Who Ate All the Pies Archives for January 2007

O2's football v rugby virals

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Mobile phone company O2 has released a couple of virals mocking football and rugby. Presumably not wanting to offend too many customers, the videos paint footballers as party animals with bigger egos than brains and rugger boys as fat public school toffs who love a bit of homoerotic rough-and-tumble. Click below to see the other video. If, like Hugh Jasper-Burrows, you preferred your balls oval-shaped check out our sister site Scrumbag.

LIVE NOW! Champions League group stage draw

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Click below to read our live blog of the draw: Refresh the page for regular updates Hello one and all and welcome to Pies' live blog of the draw for the group stages of the 2007/08 Champions League, from Monaco. In other news, Sky Sports News has just announced that David Dein has sold his remaining stake in Arsenal, to a Russian billionaire.

Man Utd need another striker before the transfer window shuts. Who should Fergie sign?

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Ole Solskjaer is hanging up his deadly boots, Wayne Rooney is out injured (although he's reportedly recovering faster than expected), Alan Smith and Guiseppe Rossi have moved on, Louis Saha's body can't be trusted, Carlos Tevez is settling in... for all Man Utd's strengths, they surely need one more proven goal scorer if they are to seriously challenge Chelsea and Liverpool for the title this season.

Lee Hughes returns to football - What do you think?

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This week, sneaking under a lot of news radars, Lee Hughes was released from prison after serving 3 years of a 6 year sentence at Featherstone prison. Hughes was imprisoned after he caused the death of 56-year-old Douglas Graham in a car crash almost four years ago. Now, Hughes is a professional footballer again and in the ranks of Oldham Athletic.

Top 10 Transfer Window Stories: Zat Knight involved in drugs bust hours after signing for Villa, Anelka stays at Bolton, Man Utd want Defoe, Mourinho begs for Q

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There's always a hint of 'desperate boyfriend looking for a half-decent present at the 24-hour garage for his missus on Christmas Eve' about Premier League managers at this time of the season. Panic sets in - do I have a strong enough squad to survive the season, or until January at least? Here, according to papers and blogs, is the most interesting last-minute action, with hot links to the full stories: 1 Nicolas Anelka chooses to stays at Bolton, ending rumours that he might be off to Manchester (either the red or sky-blue half).

Shit Lookalikes: Jens Lehman and Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers

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Arsenal would probably do better to shove Flea in goal right now, given Mad Jens's shocking start to the season - Manuel Almunia played in goal for Arsenal against Sparta Prague last night, with Jens sulking at home in Germany, supposedly injured. (Thanks to Pies reader Chringle for this spot.)

The Snapshot: Antonio Puerta, RIP

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A girl writes a message in memory of Sevilla player Antonio Puerta on the outside of the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on August 29, 2007 in Sevilla, Spain. Puerta, a 22-year-old Sevilla player, died on August 28 after suffering a heart attack during his team's Liga match against Getafe in Sevilla. The message reads 'See you soon Puerta, always in the hearts of Real Betis and especially Sevilla fans'.

The FA to impose new rules on agents

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The Football Association are to introduce new rules preventing agents from acting for more than one party. Anyone else think that this is a direct response to the Carlos Tevez affair? The Football Agents Regulations come into effect on Saturday (just after the transfer window slams shut) and include guidelines on dual representation, nepotism and overseas agents.

Bolton Wanderers fans to dig out old kit for Reebok's 10th birthday

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On Saturday, Bolton Wanderers want the fans to get shirty at the Reebok's 10th birthday party. Fittingly, the weekend game sees The Trotters taking on Everton, who were Wanderers' opponents on the very first competitive game at The Reebok on September 1st 1997. Supporters are being urged to dig out their old kits to celebrate the past decade.

Six British teams in the Champions League draw - which one has the best chance of winning it?

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So there are six (count 'em!) clubs in the group stages of this season's Champions League: the big four in England, plus Celtic and Rangers. The English clubs can't meet each other, because they are all amongst the top eight seeds, but there's a very strong chance that we'll see another so-called 'Battle of Britain', namely an England v Scotland group showdown.

Celtic team-mates Artur Boruc and Lee Naylor have a bit of a scuffle

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Celtic progressed to the group stage of the Champions League after beating Spartak Moscow and, in some cases, each other. Goalkeeper Artur Boruc and defender Lee Naylor had to be talked out of a Kieron Dyer/Lee Bowyer-style punch-up after a minor scuffle. Click here to see our Team-mate Scuffle XI.

Gazzetta all di Pies: Juventus back in Serie A with style

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The Old Lady of Italian football showed experience counts for everything as she bounced back from Serie B in style. Juventus opened their Serie A campaign with a 5-1 thumping of Livorno. Striker partners David Trezeguet and Vicenzo Iaquinta (pictured above) were on fire, weighing in with a hat-trick and a brace respectively. The margin of the victory sent Juve to the top of the table.

Shit Lookalike: Alexander Hleb and Kevin Bacon

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Our latest Shit Lookalike comes courtesy of Pies reader Daniel Budden. He quite rightly pointed out that Arsenal's man from Minsk, Alexander Hleb, is a dead ringer for a young Kevin Bacon, which is a coincidence because he also saved Arsene Wenger's bacon against Fulham a couple of weeks back.

Kit Parade: Newcastle United third kit (now available with stilts)

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Newcastle's new third kit (we will skip over the issue of why a club that barely gets any wear out of its away kit would want a third kit!) is perfect for the shorter gentleman. As you can see from this photoshoot, the Argentina-esque strip can elongate even the teeny-tiniest of footballers. Little Michael Owen, 5ft 7in and a fag end tall, only had to pull on the magic kit - launched yesterday - and he was suddenly the same height as 6ft 2in duo Shola Ameobi and Steven Taylor.

Champions League review: Arsenal 3-0 Sparta Prague (Arsenal win 5-0 on aggregate)

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Photo Getty Images Smiles all round at the Emirates, as Arsenal breezed past a distinctly average Praha side. Eduardo da Silva (seen here being shown position one of the Kama Sutra by team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor) scored for the first time this season, to add to earlier goals by Tomas Rosicky and Cesc Fabregas, and looked very lively throughout the match.

Gamper Trophy review: Barcelona 5-0 Inter Milan

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Barca thumped Internazionale (who had rested several stars, including Zlatan) to win their annual Joan Gamper Trophy. Inter deserved to lose for bringing a weakened team to the Camp Nou. With Messi, Henry, Ronaldinho and Eto'o to call on, Barca's attack is shaping up to be, well, scarily good - and don't forget Mexican wonderkid Gio dos Santos, who has just earned Spanish citizenship (as has Ronaldinho).

SuperLiga Final review: CF Pachuca 1-1 LA Galaxy (Pachuca win 4-3 on penalties, David Beckham picks up knee injury)

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So David Beckham missed out on picking up his first trophy Stateside. Instead, he picked up a potentially serious knee injury, which may jeopardise his involvement in England's Euro 2008 qualifiers in September. Doh! says Steve McClaren and the rest of us. Becks was substituted after twisting his knee in a block tackle (see it at about 2mins 13sec into the video).

Carling Cup review: Michael Owen scores first competitive goal since 2005 and Man City march on

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He's still got it! When Little Michael Owen tucked the ball under the body of Barnsely's keeper and into the net, it was the first time he'd scored in a competitive game since December 2005, some 20 months ago. The finish was a bit scuffed, but still, Owen thrives on goals, and this is welcome news both for Newcastle and England. In the other Carling Cup matches last night, Boro beat Northampton 2-0 and Sven's Man City looked very slick in beating Bristol City 2-1 at Ashton Gate.

The Snapshot: West Ham's Kieron Dyer fractures his tibia and fibula

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West Ham's recent signing Kieron Dyer receives physio treatment and comfort from his team-mates after suffering a double leg fracture in last night's Carling Cup tie with Bristol Rovers. Dyer was injured in a tackle by Rovers' Joe Jacobson, which left Hammers boss Alan Curbishley fuming. Click here to see the incident. Photo Julian Finney/Getty Images

Oranje Wednesdays: Ajax off to a flyer (but their new signing will soon change that!)

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Ajax are looking more dominant than in recent years after two games of the Dutch Eredivisie. They are top-of-the-table after coming from behind to beat Heerenveen 4-1 at the weekend. Ajax have not won the title for three years, but with the talented Luis Suarez in top form they seem to be favourites this season. Here are the goals from last weekend's action.

Leicester's Clive Clarke collapses at half time in Carling Cup game

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It's been a terrible week for the footballing world. With the awful news that Antonio Puerta passed away after suffering a heart attack on the pitch during a La Liga match for Sevilla, Leicester player, Clive Clarke, on loan to the Foxes from Sunderland, collapsed at half in the Carling Cup match at Nottingham Forest. Clarke was treated with a defibrillator in the dressing room and spent the evening in a "stable" condition in hospital.

The FA hit clubs with fine for poor discipline - is it right?

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The Football Association have fined 10 Premier League and Football League clubs and warned nine others for their poor discipline during the 2006/07 season. With this, seems a signal of intent to stamp out (ho!) the dirtier side of football. As we know, football is high octane and scintillating at best, but, are we in danger of losing the physical aspect of the game?

The Tragically Young Death XI

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Following the tragic death of Antonio Puerta yesterday, Pies celebrates the James Deans of the football world who died too young. Aaron Flahavan The Portsmouth keeper died after crashing his BMW in 2001 aged 25. His blood alcohol level was three times over the legal limit. His brother Darryl plays for Southend. Niccolo Galli The Arsenal youngster died in a motorcycle accident while on loan to Bologna in 2001.

Torsten Frings' Put It Where You Want It Nike viral

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Following Wayne Rooney's Put It Where You Want It virals for Nike, Germany international Torsten Frings is now aboard the bandwagon. Once again Welsh daredevils Dirty Sanchez were drafted in to help Frings demonstrate his accuracy. Click below to see a preview of Pies favourite Gennaro Gattuso's forthcoming viral.

Should Newcastle be punished for racist abuse against Mido?

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The FA are to investigate claims that Newcastle United fans subjected Mido, Middlesbrough's Egyptian striker, to Islamophobic abuse during Sunday's match at The Riverside. If the FA are to take a tough stance against racism, could we see Newcastle fans being banned from watching football? The Football Association officials have begun to study audio and video footage of the game and sources say that racist chants directed at Mido from visiting Newcastle supporters were "clearly audible" and it is understood that the FA will contact Cleveland police today and ask for their cooperation in identifying those involved before making them the subject of banning orders.

Horror Hair: Robbie Savage

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Robbie Savage has had this haircut since the beginning of time, and it has always been dodgy. He has always been blond, but he has never been this blond. Mr Savage is now undoubtedly a candidate for our Bottle Blond XI. Shades of Pavel Nedved, but without the footballing ability.

Portsmouth ready to sell David Nugent – is he really that bad?

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‘Arry Redknapp is renowned for his wheelin' and dealin' skills but even a master sometimes makes mistakes like, ‘buying the first one you see before the end of season sales arrive.' That's the situation Portsmouth appear to be in after admitting they could sell David Nugent just a month after signing him – and even his goal in last night's Carling Cup match against Leeds might not make a difference.

VOTE: Should FA Cup winners be awarded a Champions League spot?

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Meddling Michel Platini's idea to restore some respect to the FA Cup is to award the winners the fourth and final place in the Champions League. Of course, top four managers like Sir Alex Ferguson think that the idea is ‘ridiculous'. The Man United manager even went as far as taking a swipe at last season's winners, Chelsea, claiming they didn't have to play anyone until the final – where they met Man Yoo of course.

Ionel Ganea attacks the assistant referee

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Attacks on match officials can range from the petty to the horrific. Former Wolves striker Ionel Ganea opted for that age old playground tactic, the nipple twist. The Politehnica Stiinta player was sent off against Rapid Bucharest at the weekend after seemingly grasping the assistant referee's nipple before holding him by the throat. Ganea was eventually escorted away from the pitch by four policemen!

Teutonic Tuesday: Trying to ignore Bayern Munich

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Teutonic Tuesday is in danger of becoming a weekly tribute to Bayern Munich's seemingly unstoppable march towards the Bundesliga title, so for a bit of variation here is a picture of Eintracht Frankfurt's Ioannis Amanatidis stroking their eagle mascot at the end of a 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen. The victory puts them on seven points and in the pack chasing Bayern Munich (who thrashed Hannover 3-0, by the way).

Shit Lookalikes - Rudi Völler and Liam from Big Brother 8

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As featured on our sister site, AvailableForPanto, which deals with all things Big Brother, it has been noticed that Geordie fave Liam bears more than a passing resemblance to German World Cup winner Rudi Völler... either that or David Coverdale out of Whitesnake.

Horror Hair: Paul Scharner, Wigan Athletic

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Wigan Athletic's Austrian man might have been on the scoresheet against West Ham at the weekend, but his barnet is definitely off target. Pretty much anything you could want to be wrong with Paul Scharner's hair has been incorporated into this look. The fluffiness of the mohican gives a hint of baby duckling chic. The shaved section of the hair reveals a worryingly bumpy head.

Jens Lehmann's hilarious warm-up before England versus Germany

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At last someone has posted the hilarious footage of Jens Lehmann's pre-match warm-up against England last week. Here is Mad Jens showing the Wembley turf his best moves (for anyone who missed it, this went out live on primetime BBC One!). [Via Bundesliga Offside]

Is Chelsea's move for Ronaldinho a good idea?

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The biggest piece of tit-fer-tat this weekend was the news that Roman Abramovich is ready to bid a stupid amount of money (somewhere in the region of £50m if some reports are to be believed) to bring Ronaldinho to Chelsea. Not only that, he could be earning himself a very reasonable £200,000-a-week wages. Despite the excitement, is this really a good move?

Liverpool want Julio Baptista - but do they need him?

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He might not have made much of an impact at Arsenal during a foreign exchange loan deal for Reyes last season, but The Beast could be back in the Premier League. According to reports in the often mythical Spanish newspaper, Marca, Julio Baptista is wanted by Benitez to bolster an already overcrowded front line at Liverpool. Although he featured rarely, the four goals he scored against the Scousers in Arsenal's 6-3 mauling in the Carling Cup must have made an impression on Rafa.

Stan Lazaridis gets one-year ban but claims "I'm not a drug cheat"

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Former Australia international Stan Lazaridis has been handed a one-year ban after testing positive for a banned performance enhancing substance. However, he has insisted that he is not a drugs cheat. The former West Ham and Birmingham midfielder tested positive for finasteride - a masking agent - which was present in medication he was taking to treat hair loss.

Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta in "very critical" condition

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Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta is in a "very critical" condition after collapsing during a match on Saturday, doctors said in a statement. "The player remains in the hospital in a very critical state and his progress is unfavourable," said doctors at the Virgen del Rocio hospital in Seville. The Spanish international collapsed during the Primera Liga match against Getafe.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to retire - because even baby-faced assassins grow old

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Photo Getty Images Arguably the most popular footballer in Premier League history - even Man City fans quite like Solskjaer - is to retire from the game, aged 34. A series of knee injuries has afflicted the Norwegian in recent seasons, and he's sensibly decided to call it a day. He has already been involved in coaching young United players and was appointed a club ambassador last year - so it's safe to say he has a job for life at Old Trafford.

The Snapshot Special: Premier League weekend, 25-26 August

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Arsenal 1-0 Manchester City Cesc Fabregas finally found a breakthrough, despite an excellent performance from Manchester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The young Dane made a string of saves, including Robin van Persie's 65th minute penalty. Aston Villa 2-1 Fulham Shaun Maloney's late winner secured victory for Villa.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Man Utd career, in pictures

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Ole brings the ball under control during a Champions League match against Fenerbahce in 1996. Photo Clive Brunskill/Allsport Ole Gunnar Solskjaer outjumps Rio Ferdinand, then a West Ham player. Manchester United won this 1997 league match 2-0. Photo Ben Radford/Allsport Firing home against Brondby during the Champions League match at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Tuncay turns it on in training

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This is what Newcastle can expect to face in the North-East derby on Sunday...

Sponsored link: Boro v Newcastle is available on Setanta on 26/08/07

Goal of the week: Christian Pander, England v Germany

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Not a bad way to mark your international debut. Pander clearly has a foot like a traction engine...

Ian Holloway compares kidney stone to giving away the ball...

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You've got to be philosophical if you work in football haven't you? Either that or barking mad. When we were told that Pies fave Ian Holloway was having problems with kidney stones, we all wished him the best. Well, now that he's on the mend, Hollo is back to cracking the jokes. "It's still in my body and I'll have to pass it at sometime but my passing's absolutely diabolical.

Shit Lookalikes: Martin Jol and Hugh Jackman

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Who is this slim hunk of a man with a slight Jackman look about him? Surely not Big Martin Jol, before he got big? Yes, it's true.

Andriy Shevchenko - should he stay or should he go?

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He's gone from the country's most expensive signing to a misfiring misfit who's struggling to command a transfer fee, but Andriy Shevchenko still has his admirers. There's been rumours that his former club and Ukrainian champions, Dynamo Kiev, want him to return home – as long as it's on loan. Dynamo president, Igor Surkis, made remarks reported on the club's website.

Arjen Robben and Gabriel Heinze join Real Madrid - does Real now have the strongest squad in Europe?

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Real Madrid new signings Arjen Robben and Gabriel Heinze are presented at the Bernabeu stadium on August 23, 2007 in Madrid, Spain. Photo Jasper Juinen/Getty Images With Robben and Heinze on board, Madrid now have one strong-looking squad - consider that this summer they have also signed Dutch wonderkid Royston Drenthe, German centre-half Christoph Metzelder, Portuguese defender Pepe, Dutch flyer Wesley Sneijder and Argentine pocket rocket Javier Saviola, as well as welcoming back Julio Baptista from Arsenal and Roberto Soldado from Osasuna.

Fantasy Friday, Matchday 2: Pies Editor in relegation trouble

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No player has scored more Squadgod fantasy points so far than... Antoine Sibierski (pictured, above, with Sunderland's Kieran Richardson). That's right, Wigan's Gallic slaphead has bagged an incredible 70 points so far. Other players who have started strongly are Micah Richards (three games, three clean sheets) and Frank Lampard (whose shoot-on-sight policy is rewarded in this league, where shots on goal score extra points).

Sunderland sign Andy Cole – but is he going to play or preach?

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Apparently, Andy Cole is on the verge of signing for Sunderland after Harry Redknapp agreed to release the 35 year-old from the last two years (!?) of his Portsmouth contract. It means a reunion with his old Manchester United teammates, Roy Keane and former striking partner, Dwight Yorke – who's aged more gracefully by playing in midfield.

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

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1 Tonnerre Yaoundé, Metz, Salernitana, Liverpool, West Ham United, Lens, Galatasaray (current). Whose career path? 2 Which French club did Zinedine Zidane start his career with? 3 Picture round: which club's stadium (click to enlarge pic)? 4 Newcastle United originally wore red and white striped shirts. True or false? 5 Which former footballer is currently married to Estelle Cruyff, niece of the great Johan Cruyff?

Classic Moment: Tomas Brolin's lying down header

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The other day we were pondering whether Peru under 17 international Carlos Bazalar had invented the lying down double-header. While he may be able to claim that particular title, Swedish Tomas Brolin was scoring lying down header long before Bazalar. This may look like a fluke, but it is actually Brolin's carefully honed method of scoring headers while burning as few calories as possible.

Shit Lookalikes: Chris Powell and Claude Makelele

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Thanks to Pies reader Leean Pindar, who spotted this glaring error in last weekend's Sunday Times Style supplement. As Leean points out, the paper appears to have used a picture of ex-England international Chris Powell (remember him?) to go alongside a little profile piece on Claude Makelele. I'll concede that they look a leeeeetle bit alike, but still, shoddy work Sunday Times peeps.

The Animal Kingdom XI

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Peter Fox May sides claim to have a cat between the sticks, but we've got a Fox. Mark Fish The ex-Bolton and Charlton defender will reel in any attackers. Peter Haddock The former Leeds man completes our fishy centre-back pairing. Wolfgang Wolf A former player who famously went on to manage Wolfsburg.

Alternative uses for Steve McClaren #3457

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(Summary is not available.)

Shit lookalike: Mark Noble and Rodney Trotter

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Rodders may have been an East End wideboy, but West Ham's Mark Noble is an East End central midfielder.

The Snapshot: David Beckham loses his head against Chivas USA

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David Beckham continued clocking up air miles by arriving in LA-LA land yesterday afternoon, after playing 90 minutes at Wembley, and then being named in the starting line-up half an hour before his team's match against Chivas USA. He couldn't do anything to prevent a 3-0 defeat against the Galaxy's local rivals with a subdued performance that produced only two shots – both off target.

French Football Friday: Nancy go top as Marseille are booed off

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Ligue 1 is a three-horse race at this early stage of the season. With four games played Nancy, Lorient and Le Mans are level at the top of the table on 10 points. All three teams have identical goal difference, goals scored and goals conceded. Nancy secured their cut of the action by coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Marseille. The home side were booed off the field and are currently in a disappointing 13th place in the table.

Pies vs Lawro, Premier League Predictions

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Saturday Everton v Blackburn Lawro 2-1, Pies 1-1 Sponsored link: Everton v Blackburn is available on Setanta on 25/08/07 Sunderland v Liverpool Lawro 0-2, Pies 0-1 Arsenal v Man City Lawro 2-0, Pies 1-0 Aston Villa v Fulham Lawro 2-1, Pies 3-0 Bolton v Reading Lawro 1-1, Pies 1-1 Chelsea v Portsmouth Lawro 2-0, Pies 1-0 Derby v Birmingham Lawro 2-1, Pies 1-1 West Ham v Wigan Lawro 2-0, Pies 3-1 Click below for Sunday's predictions.

Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer's genius solution to the Lampard/Gerrard problem: as you were lads

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I despair of the standard of football punditry in Britain today. The Beeb and ITV have so much money to splash out on good, incisive, articulate pundits (Eamon Dunphy, for example) and yet we get clowns like Alan Shearer and Ian Wright. Even Alan Hansen, who used to be decent, is losing the plot. Last night, when asked by Gary Lineker how he'd resolve the Lampard/Gerrard midfield axis of evil, Hansen basically replied: 'Just carry on playing them together.

The Snapshot: Mexico 0-1 Colombia

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Steven Velez of Columbia leaps over a tackle by Mexico's Julo Cesar Dominguez during the international friendly match between Mexico and Columbia at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on August 22, 2007 in Commerce City, Colorado. Colombia won a very tight match 1-0, thanks to a goal from Interdependiente Medellin winger Jaime Castrillon. Photo Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Chelsea overlook Daniel Alves, accept second best in Juliano Belletti. Translation: common sense prevails

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Chase me, chase me, chase me! ... oh, they've buggered off. Sevilla, the little teases, have apparently failed in their bid to get Roman Abramovich to part with almost £25m for a right-back/Star Trek character. They should really have accepted Chelsea's reported bid of £21.5m, which is still way over the odds for Alves, who is very good, but not that good.

Lionel Messi mesmerising Norway

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Here is Argentina star Lionel Messi teasing Norway's defence in last night's friendly. His skills were not enough for victory though as Norway ran out 2-1 winners. [Via 101Greatgoals]

Shit Lookalikes: Daniel Alves and Quark from Star Trek

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It's a protracted transfer from Sevilla to Chelsea, Jim – but not was we know it. And Daniel Alves is on the starboard bow... Or something like that. Many thanks to Carey Roberts for this excellent heads-up. Keep those lookalikes comin'...

Should Arsenal axe Jens Lehman?

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‘Mad Jens' Lehman literally handed Blackburn the equaliser at Ewood Park on Sunday with his second goalkeeping gaffe in as many games. The spiky German has been starring in his very own bloopers reel this season after an equally embarrassing lapse of concentration on the opening day, when he allowed David Healy to nip from close range. Wenger has dropped him for Manuel Almunia before – and also has a the young Pole, Lukasz Fabianski, waiting in the wings.

Little Sam gets ripped into in the Guardian fan gallery

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Being a Bolton Wanderers fan, it's hard to laugh when everyone is ripping your manager to bits. Still, sometimes, people are just too witty and you have to snigger (and secretly hope they're ultimately wrong). Over on the Guardian's footy gallery, Little Sam is on the receiving end of a royal kicking. As we can see above, some of the Photoshop skills are a real treat.

Thousands turn out for Red Star Belgrade training session

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This footage is quite unbelievable. The Red Star Belgrade players went out for a training session to be greeted by thousands of fans, singing and waving flares. Absolutely astonishing! Yes, you read that right... a training session.

England - Do you care anymore?

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I've been on my holidays and before setting off, I looked at the time of my return flight. I noticed that I would be home in time for the England and Germany friendly and was quite pleased. However, as with most flights, there were delays and I sat in the airport grimacing. Then, on approach to the airport, my plane couldn't land and circled in the air for ages.

Gazzetta all di Pies: Roma triumph in Supercoppa

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Roma picked up the first meaningful-ish trophy by beating Inter 1-0 in the Supercoppa (if you're translation skills are appalling, that's the Italian Super Cup). Daniele De Rossi's late penalty secured Roma's win. The real star of the show was Simone Perrotta who managed to get himself sent-off for dissent while waiting to come on as a substitute.

England v Germany: XI conclusions

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1 England started in promising fashion, but it all ended in the same old flat performance and poor result. 2 This must surely be the first time that 80,000 England fans have spent half-time praying for David James to come on for the second half! 3 This leads us to the culprit: Paul Robinson. Ian Wright made a valid point (which is a first) about England goalkeepers being played simply because they are 'number one' rather than being dropped when their form dips.

THE VOTE Who should be England's goalkeeper for the Israel game?

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With Paul Robinson looking increasingly out of sorts and hopelessly out of form following his blunder against Germany last night, who should Steve McClaren stick in nets for the next qualifier? Is Robbo getting a rough deal from England fans? Is David James the man to call upon? Should be McClaren be looking at a younger keeper? Is this too many questions?

Kasper Schmeichel concedes a goal, aged six

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This video shows something that is a bit of a rarity at the moment: Kasper Schmeichel conceding a goal. But here he is Peter's lad aged six conceding a sloppy goal in the Old Trafford tunnel. City fans will love the sight of him decked out in his Man Yoo kit! Steve Bruce's son Alex, currently playing at Ipswich, is the man who beats him at his near post.

The German Invasion XI

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With England facing Germany in a friendly tonight, Pies looks at the German players who have dared to ply their trade in England. Bert Trautman Regardless of your thoughts on the effect foreign players have on the England national team, you could hardly hold it against Trautman. He came to England as a prisoner of war during the Second World War.

Classic Moments: Gazza's tears, Italia 90

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David Beckham might take all the credit for creating the metrosexual footballer, but Gazza was showing men it was OK to cry back in 1990. Then again, he has also done some pretty un-metrosexual things but we won't go into those here!

The Snapshot: Germany train at Wembley

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Germany defender Per Mertesacker stretches at a training session at Wembley ahead of tonight's friendly against England. Photo Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Classic England v Germany Moment: Geoff Hurst and the Russian linesman, 1966

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Of course, he wasn't actually Russian. He was really from Azerbaijan, but that is about as relevant as the whole 'was it over the line or not?' debate. The goal was given, we won the World Cup, job done. Cue Nobby dancing.

Oranje Wednesdays: Ajax kick-off with an 8-1 win

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We thought Bayern Munich had thrown the gauntlet down to the other teams in the Bundesliga, but in neighbouring Holland the signal of intent from Ajax has been emphatic. They thrashed De Graafschap 1-8 in the opening round of matches of the Dutch Eredivisie. Klaas Jan Hunterlaar weighed in with four goals. Here are the highlights. Watch the goals thumping in accompanied by an equally thumping Eurobeat.

International friendly review: England U21 1-1 Romania U21

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Blackburn's Matt Derbyshire scored for England's youngsters, from a Gabriel Agbonlahor cross. But as is so often the case, England couldn't hang on to a lead. [Clip via 101GreatGoals]

WAG of the week: Elena Santarelli

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Name Elena Santarelli Nationality Italian WAG of... Man City striker Bernado Corradi, who despite being a bit useless at scoring goals has still managed to snag himself a stunner like Elena. Fame ranking 5/10 Pretty well-known as a glamour model in Italy, but few Brits could identify her.

Classic Moments: England 1-0 Germany, Euro 2000

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The one highlight of a dreadful tournament for England. This was in truth a pretty dreadful match between two nations struggling at the time to compete with Europe's best teams. I can't remember a weaker German team, and England were hardly world beaters. Of course, I cheered like a maniac when Alan Shearer's well-directed header found the net.

John Terry and Micah Richards - the best centre-half pairing for England's future?

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Player of the season so far? Many people would nominate Micah Richards, Man City's colossal young defender. He was simply immense in keeping Man Utd's attackers at bay last Sunday and has been instrumental in a City defence that has yet to concede a goal in three Premier League matches. Richards is a phenomenal athlete - even when he does find himself caught out of position, he has the pace to recover from most tricky situations.

Shit Lookalikes: Tim Roth and Roman Abramovich

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Does Roman call Jose 'Hunny Bunny', I wonder? Probably not, but the thought makes me chuckle. Thanks to Egyptian Gooner for the spot. Got any shit lookalikes for Pies? Then email me with your nominations and you may well see it up on the site.

Top five quotes of the week: Jose Mourinho vs Rafa Benitez, again

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'I think I have a naive team. They are naive because they are pure and they are clean.' Jose Mourinho, exceeding himself in the 'they said what!?' stakes. 'If Chelsea are naive and pure then I'm Little Red Riding Hood.' Rafa Benitez disagrees with Jose Mourinho's assessment of his own side. 'These so-called big stars are people we are supposed to be looking up to.

Classic Moments: Martin Jol calls Gabby Logan 'darling'

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'Thank you darling...' Big Martin Jol turns on the charm, as only he can. Gabby Logan, ever the professional, takes it in her stride and laughs it off.

Shiny Media relaunches Scrumbag in preparation for Rugby World Cup

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That's right, folks - Scrumbag is back, it's on the protein powder and it's fired up. In today's blogosphere there's an egg-shaped hole where rugby union news, player features, irreverent humour, analysis, gossip and videos should be. Well, that's what Scrumbag is aiming to achieve, by bringing on writers from all the big rugby-playing nations, from current champions England to champions-elect New Zealand, Wales to South Africa.

The Snapshot: Sol Campbell back in the England squad

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A pensive Sol Campbell sits out an England training session at the London Colney training ground on August 20, 2007. Photo Phil Cole/Getty Images

Horror Hair: Joachim Loew

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Last summer I very cruelly mocked up Joachim Loew's face on a box of Just For Men. A year down the line and the Germany boss does now have a few grey hairs sneaking through. The barnet remains equally as dodgy though. His thick mop-mit-side-parting is Paul McCartney-meets-Lawrie Sanchez-meets-emo-kid. Expect to see a clash of two Horror Hair titans of the football manager world tomorrow when Loew's mop tackles Steve McClaren's ginger island quiff at Wembley.

Teutonic Tuesday: Franck Ribery helps destroy Werder Bremen, Rafael van der Vaart loves his grandparents

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New look Bayern Munich continued to look unplayable as they demolished Werder Bremen 0-4 at the weekend. Franck Ribery was at the heart of the thrashing. He opened the scoring and set up Hamit Altintop for the third with an outrageous piece of showboating. A video of the 79th minute goal is after the jump. Watch in amazement and wonder how he made it through the last ten minutes without someone decking him!

The Vote: Does Martin Jol deserve the sack?

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The papers are abuzz with rumours that the suits at Spurs have lost faith with Martin Jol and have quickly lined up Sevilla head coach Juande Ramos as a replacement. According to The Guardian: 'Ramos met with the Tottenham club secretary John Alexander and vice-chairman Paul Kemsley at the Alfonso XIII hotel in Seville last Friday. And although both parties tried to downplay the significance of the meeting, claiming that it was entirely coincidental, Martin Jol's position at Tottenham has become untenable.

'I accept that I may have affected the result of the match': Rob Styles, you are the weakest referee, goodbye (for now)

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If Chelsea pip Liverpool to the league title this season, by, ooh, let's say one point, Rob Styles will never be able to show his face in the north-west ever again. Having awarded Chelsea perhaps the weakest penalty I've ever seen in the history of the Prem on Sunday at Anfield (watch it here), Styles has been dropped from the reffing roster for this weekend's games.

Peru's Carlos Bazalar invents the lying down double-header

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You have heard of the downward header, the glancing header and even the diving header, but have you ever heard of the lying down double-header? If not, it may just have been invented by Peru under-17 international Carlos Bazalar. Check him out heading against the crossbar before finishing the job off while lying flat on the grass. [Via The Offside]

Classic England v Germany Moments: Germany 1-5 England, 2001

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I reckon we would settle for a scoreline like this tomorrow night. It is not likely though. In fact, Michael Owen making it through the game without breaking down would be good, never mind scoring a hat-trick.

Free Gabriel Heinze t-shirt

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Gabriel Heinze's attempts to move from Manchester United to Liverpool are expected to be settled by a Premier League arbitration panel later today. This should provide a speedy resolution to the situation, just ask Heinze's new team-mate and compatriot Carlos Tevez! So while we can look forward to another tabloid slanging match between two Premier League teams over an Argentinian transfer target, the optimists among you might consider the potential for getting plenty of use out of this Free Heinze t-shirt from TShirts365.

The Tuesday Teaser: Whose team is 'pure and clean' and doesn't 'dive into the swimming pool'?

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'My players? I think I have a naive team... They are naive because they are pure and they are clean. We don't have divers, we don't have violent people, we don't have people with nasty tackles or people diving into the swimming pool. ______ are a pure and naive team.' Which Premier League manager said this today? Answer after the click... Yep, it's another incredible quote to add to the Jose hall of fame.

Rene Higuita f**ks up his scorpion kick

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Remember Rene Higuita, the crazy keeper responsible for the remarkable scorpion kick? Here he is, via Skinner & Baddiel's Fantasy Football, making a total balls-up of his trademark back-flip clearance. Watch how it should be done after the jump... And check this scorpion goal out too... And I also recommend you read the Guardian sport blog's recent piece on Higuita.

John Terry is Tommy Cooper

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John Terry discusses England's defensive options ahead of the Germany game. Just like that! [Via FanBanta]

Shit lookalike: Harry Redknapp and the Lion from The Wizard Of Oz

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Thanks to Pies reader Dave Sparks for notifying us of the glaring similarities between Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp and the Lion from The Wizard of Oz. The pair have similar wigs and identical droopy cheeks. I always get the characters mixed up. If I recall correctly, the Tin Man was looking for a heart and the Scarecrow wanted a brain. I think the Lion was after a bung as part of Dorothy's controversial move to Emerald City.

Do Manchester United need to buy another striker?

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With only two points to show from their first three games, it's United's worst start to the league for 15 years and Fergie has already admitted that the Champions face an uphill struggle to reclaim their title. Equally disappointing is the fact that, despite a hatful of chances, they've only scored a single goal so far – and there were plenty of missed opportunities again during yesterday's derby.

HolloWatch: Ollie rushed to hospital in kidney stone drama

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Ian Holloway missed Plymouth Argyle's match against Ipswich Town on Saturday after being rushed to hospital suffering from a kidney stone. Ollie was admitted to hospital with lower back pains shortly before kick-off. Assistant boss Tim Breacker and coach Des Bulpin oversaw the 1-1 draw in Holloway's absence. Breaker said: "I haven't spoken to him personally but the club doctor told me Ian had a kidney stone, which can be very painful.

Premier League week 2: XI conclusions

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1 Micah Richards is a superhuman backtracking machine who will hunt you down and tackle you (and he'll get himself in all sorts of terrible positions first just to give you a bit of a chance!). 2 If Sven keeps this up he might be able to miss 'the England years' out of his autobiography altogether. Manchester City top of the table. Who would have thought?

La Liga Lunes: Sevilla thrash Real Madrid in Spanish Super Cup

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Buenos dias! The big news in Spanish football is Sevilla's victory over Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup last night. The Andalucian outfit beat Real 5-3 on the night and 6-3 on aggregate to lift the trophy. A Fredi Kanoute hat-trick and a brace from Renato secured victory for Sevilla. Sevilla went in 3-2 up at half-time. Real boss Bernd Schuster sent out a more attacking team for the second half and Sergio Ramos levelled the scores up.

The Snapshot Special: Premier League weekend, 18-19 August, part one

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Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea Fernando Torres, who scored his first Premier League goal for Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, is hounded by John Terry, Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel of Chelsea. Blackburn 1-1 Arsenal David Bentley delights in Jens Lehmann's cock-up at Ewood Park. The German keeper let David Dunn's 25-yard strike slip through his fingers in the 72nd minute.

The Snapshot Special: Premier League weekend, 18-19 August, part two

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Portsmouth 3-1 Bolton Nicolas Anelka opened the scoring for Bolton, but Pompey roared back, with goals from Kanu, John Utaka and Matthew Taylor. No points from three games for Bolton under Little Sammy Lee. Tottenham 4-0 Derby Crisis, what crisis? A home tie against Derby, the weakest team in the division, was just what Spurs needed to bounce back from two consecutive defeats.

Pies vs Lawro: Premier League Predictions: The Result

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Saturday Portsmouth v Bolton 3-1 (Lawro predicted 2-0, Pies predicted 0-0) Birmingham v West Ham 0-1 (Lawro 1-1, Pies 1-2) Fulham v Middlesbrough 1-2 (Lawro 2-1, Pies 1-1) Reading v Everton 1-0 (Lawro 1-1, Pies 1-1) Tottenham v Derby 4-0 (Lawro 2-0, Pies 3-1) Wigan v Sunderland 3-0 (Lawro 2-1, Pies 1-0) Newcastle v Aston Villa 0-0 (Lawro 2-2, Pies 2-1) Sunday Man City v Man Utd 1-0 (Lawro 1-2, Pies 1-3) Blackburn v Arsenal 1-1 (Lawro 1-2, Pies 1-1) Liverpool v Chelsea 1-1 (Lawro 1-1, Pies 2-1) The result Lawro Seven points (one correct scoreline, four correct results) Pies Six points (one correct scoreline, three correct results) Readers You take the spoils this time, thanks to Liam, who scored eight points (five correct results and one correct scoreline) *One point for a correctly predicted result, three for a correct scoreline

David Beckham makes first start – but is he taking too much on?

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Becks made his first start for the LA Galaxy at the weekend but, despite a hat trick of assists, he couldn't prevent his team from losing 5-4 to the New York Red Bulls. While nine goals in one game would have pleased the 66,000 sell out crowd, it's not a score line that you'd usually associate with professional football and most of the goals came from the type of defending that would give Alan Hansen a coronary.

More Gift Grub: The Premier League Managers go back to school

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Gift Grub's Mourinho cracks me up. Not sure about his Martin Jol and Arsene Wenger though, but full marks for effort.

The Bottle Blond XI

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It would have been too easy to go for the entire Romanian 1998 World Cup squad, so here is Pies blond bombshell collective. Santiago Canizares He's daft as a brush but Canizares gets the nod for the Bottle Blond XI. Impressive for Spain and Valencia over the years, Santi went peroxide circa 2002. We'll put it down to a mid-life crisis.

Goal of the week: Obafemi Martins, Newcastle vs. Bolton

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The Premier League is only a week young, but we've already seen some cracking goals being scored. A couple that caught the eye were debutant Oliver Kapo's Exocet missile against Chelsea and Andy Todd's nostalgic diving header, which sealed a late equaliser against Portsmouth. But, the pick of the bunch so far has to be Obafemi Martin's overhead kick for Newcastle against Bolton last Saturday.

Shit Lookalike: Stilian Petrov and Corey Haim

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One's a Bulgarian winger who plays for Aston Villa while the other is an 80s American teen star (remember The Lost Boys?) - but both share a fondness for big hair and outdated highlights

Is McLaren right to leave out David Bentley?

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David Bentley is apparently paying the price for refusing to play in the recent U-21 European Championships by being omitted from Steve McLaren's England squad to face Germany next week. Blackburn manager, Mark Hughes confirmed that he spoke to the England manager regarding the club's and Bentley's decision to get some rest this summer by snubbing England's U-21s.

Classic Moment: French goalkeeper Jeremie Janot dresses up as Spiderman

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The FA would never allow this sort of continental, Eurotrash-style antics in the Premier League. Shame. Another Janot clip after the click... And Janot without the costume, but still acting like a clown...

HolloWatch: Ian Holloway's BBC column returns (and the fun begins)!

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Ian Holloway's outstanding BBC column is back in action this week. The Plymouth Argyle boss has been mulling over his start to the season, Roy Keane, Wayne Rooney's boots, Sven and the Euromillions jackpot winner. You may be aware that Pies loves Ollie nearly as passionately as Landon Donovan loves David Beckham. And he is excelling himself even at this early stage in the season.

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

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1 QPR, Sampdoria, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion, Millwall, Preston North End, Toronto FC (current). Whose colourful career? 2 Which Italian Serie A club's full name includes the word 'cricket'? 3 Picture round. Name this European football stadium: 4 Complete this sequence: Carlo Ancelotti, Marcello Lippi, Fabio Capello, Didier Deschamps, __________?

A-Level student receives Sven's transfer offers by text

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A student has been receiving good luck messages and player offers intended for Sven Goran Eriksson. Christina Tambaros was assigned the number used by Eriksson when he was England boss after he quit last year. The 17-year-old received messages from former Charlton boss Les Reed and PFA chairman Gordon Taylor, and an offer to take Inter Milan midfielder Aparecido Rodrigues Cesar on a free transfer from his agent.

The Snapshot: How to play football in a river

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There is the football season, and then there is seasonal football. My guess is that as soon as this pitch gets a bit waterlogged, you get out of there! This pitch is slap bang in the middle of the Rio Almanzora, in Andalucia, Spain, which is fine until the snow melts and it rains in the mountains. Any more suggestions for football pitches in unusual location, Pies fans?

Classic Moment: Roy Keane impersonator interviews the real Roy Keane

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Not just any Roy Keane impersonator, mind - the great Gift Grub (aka Mario Rosenstock), a cult Irish radio comedian who has been featured on Pies before. 'Fair play' and 'all credit' to the real Roy, who takes the joke in good spirits (although, 'at the end of the day', he probably beat the shit out of Mario after the show).

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink joins Cardiff City - hit or miss?

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Eddie Murphy impersonator, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, has teamed up with Robbie Fowler at Cardiff City in what once would have been a dream partnership in the Premier League. The 35-year-old with the crazy eyes has been without a club since being released by Charlton at the end of the season. 'I do not think anyone would have believed going into the close season it would be possible to get players like them,' said chairman Peter Ridsdale on the club's website.

French Football Friday: Nancy and Le Mans early Ligue Un surprise packages

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Nancy and Le Mans finished level on points last season in distinctly mid-table positions. They are level on points again three games into the Ligue Un season, but both have a 100 per cent record and are top of the table. As you can imagine, Le Mans set the pace headlines are de rigeur. Pre-season favourites Lyon and Marseille are both languishing in the bottom-half of the table, although Lyon have a game in hand.

Fantasy Friday, Matchday 1: Leon Osman stars, Sunderland fan tops the Pies table

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The luck of the Irish (specifically Roy Keane) must have rubbed off on the Pies Fantasy Football League, because after the first week of action a Sunderland fan tops the table - and by an impressive 21 points from the second-place manager (league table is after the jump, below). With only Man Utd out of the big four having played two league matches so far, it's players from the so-called lesser clubs that have scored the most points so far - bet you wouldn't have predicted that Leon Osman of Everton would have scored more points (52) than any other player after Week 1?

Pies vs Lawro: Premier League Predictions

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Guess who's back, back again... Yes, it's the return of Lawro (pictured here defending against fellow BBC presenter Gary Lineker in the all-Merseyside FA Cup final in 1986 - see, Lawro could play a bit). Photo Getty Images You know how we do – Lawro guesses some scores, then we guess some scores, then one of you lot does better than either of us – so let's move things along.

You know I said Landon Donovan hated David Beckham? I was wrong. Landycakes freaking loves Becks

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I thought relations between Landycakes and Golden Balls might be a little chilly, especially since Beckham took over the captain's armband from the D. But then, in the wake of LA Galaxy's win against DC United in the Superliga, Donovan comes out with an almighty pro-Becks gush, that means he's either a very good liar or he's damn relieved to have the pressure of captaincy taken off him: 'I know it seems almost silly to keep talking about him because he's only one player but he makes a big difference in there and it's not just the goal,' Donovan said after the 2-0 victory.

Kieron Dyer realises that Lee Bowyer is still at West Ham

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Hmm, I bet Dyer can't wait to 'team up' with Bowyer again.

Newcastle fan wears 'Keano wanks his dog' shirt

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I know Geordies really hate Mackems and vice versa, but you've got to be a very, very brave man to get a t-shirt bearing the unforgettable legend 'Keano wanks his dog' put on the back of your shirt. God help him if Roy ever finds his address. I laughed out loud though - does that make me a bad person?

What the bloggers say: David Beckham vs DC United

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'Let's just cut to the chase, Major League Soccer is not even on par with the Championship. This isn't ten years ago, Beckham isn't 22, and this certainly isn't the Premiership. He's a 32-year-old man playing at "78%" and for a little over an hour he completely shredded arguably the best team in the MLS.' Football is for the Madman 'I don't think that is hyperbole but David Beckham's free kick goal Wednesday night was more than just an exquisite thing of beauty; it was the stuff that fills history books.

Uefa Cup review: MyPa 0-1 Blackburn Rovers

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British clubs' good week in Europe continued as Blackburn returned from Finland with an away goal and a clean sheet. Roque Santa Cruz, who came off the bench to score at Middlesbrough on Saturday, celebrated his birthday and his first Rovers start with a fine goal after just six minutes. The Paraguayan has settled in at Rovers very quickly, which pleased Mark Hughes, the newly crowned hardest manager in the Premier League: 'We're encouraged by Roque, so early in his career here and he can only get better,' said Sparky after the game.

Serial pitch invader Jimmy Jump strikes at the Barcelona v Bayern Munich

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Pitch invader extraordinaire Jimmy Jump has been up to his old tricks again. The Barca fan - most famous for 'jumps' at the 2006 Champions League semi-final between Villareal and Arsenal and the 2007 Champions League final - entered the fray once again at the Catalan giants' friendly with Bayern Munich yesterday. [Via 101GreatGoals]

Premier League most expensive XI

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With a combined cost of around £250m, even Roman's roubles would be stretched to afford this team consisting of the most expensive players (in their position) in the Premier League. Money might not be able to buy you love but, with the possible exception of an Argentinean Ali-G look-alike and a non-scoring Ukrainian, it can certainly buy you a dream team full of superstars.

Horror Hair: Garry O'Connor

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Birmingham City's Garry O'Connor is getting all geographical with his disastrous barnet. On top he has been building mountains, but down below there are waves. O'Connor was born in Edinburgh, which also happens to be the hometown of the Bay City Rollers. Coincidence? We think not. Could we be on the verge of a mullet revival? Let's hope so, Horror Hair fans!

The Snapshot: David Beckham and Landon Donovan hate each other (maybe)

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David Beckham poses with his teammates for a team photo before his first start in the Superliga match against DC United at the Home Depot Center on August 15, 2007. Is it just me, or is the body language between Captain Becks and Landon Donovan (the former captain) not exactly great. Becks could not be much further away from Landycakes. Do you think the American superstar is pissed at being usurped by a global superstar?

Who's the hardest Premier League manager?

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Which Premier League boss would win in a fist fight? Let's look at the runners and riders, as I decide who'd be the last man standing after a 20-manager barroom brawl... Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) The mild-mannered Professor would surely never resort to violence. He'd either run away from a fight, or if, say, Roy Keane accused him of spilling his pint, he'd say 'I did not see the incident Roy.

What's up with Christiano Ronaldo's new free kicks?

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Is it just me, or does Cristiano Ronaldo have a new free kick routine? The twinkle toed winger seems to have taken a leaf out of Johnny Wilkinson's dead ball warm up with some strange posturing over the ball before he predictably launches a speculative shot into the stands . It involves a wide stance with arms angled straight out at the sides and a puffed out chest from the Cantona school of thought – although the crown prince still has some way to go before he can be considered The King.

The Players We Love to Boo XI

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Ashley Cole Do you remember the days when Cole was a popular player? Because he was very popular for most of his Arsenal career - here was a talented young Englishman with the potential to become the best player in the world in his position (really). Then he went and spoiled it all by saying something like 'How much a week? Are you kidding!

The Snapshot: Sparta Prague 0-2 Arsenal, Champions League qualifier

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Cesc Fabregas takes on Sparta Prague's defence during the Champions League qualifier between Sparta and Arsenal in Prague on August 15, 2007. Arsenal won the game 2-0, with goals from Fabregas and Alexsander Hleb, and are now strong favourites to progress to the group stages. Photo Phil Cole/Getty Images Watch full highlights from the match after the click.

Shit Lookalikes deathmatch: Landon Donovan and Steve Sampson vs Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez

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Who wins this fight? I'd have to take Castro and Chavez, hardened politicians who also know how to wield a Kalashnikov. And I bet Landycakes fights like a girl: 'Not the face, not the face!' Sampson, the former LA galaxy head coach, is a big man but he's not exactly in shape.

American football expressions - what are they on about?

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In case anyone missed Channel 5's new MLS programme, David Beckham's Soccer USA, last night, I have to comment on some bizarre sporting expressions being bandied about by Stateside commentators. Each week, Soccer AM's Tim Lovejoy widens our traditional football vocabularly with some typically cheesy but inventive ‘Americanisms'.

The Snapshot Special: Midweek Premier League round-up

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Portsmouth 1-1 Manchester United Cristiano Ronaldo grimaces after being shown a red card for violent conduct. Reading 1-2 Chelsea Reading's Andre Bikey can see a tap-in is coming his way after Petr Cech's error. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) Manchester City 1-0 Derby He's only got them playing like Brazil! Watch the video to see Michael Johnson's superb goal.

David Beckham scores his first goal for LA Galaxy

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Becks found the net (and perhaps even more miraculously, the pitch) in LA Galaxy's victory over DC United in the SuperLiga. He scored a trademark free kick on 28 minutes, and also set up Landon Donovan for a second goal. Beckham, who was made captain for the game, lasted 63 minuted before being substituted. He said: "It was nice to get the early goal, but it was not just about my goal and Landon's goal.

Gazzetta all di Pies: Lazio in controversy and Inter celebrating pre-season success

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It is becoming an annual tradition for Italian clubs to be thrown out of Europe at this time of the season (and then let in again in some instances). This season it is Lazio who many people want to be banned from the Uefa Cup after crowd violence and racist chanting overshadowed their 1-1 draw with Dinamo Bucharest on Tuesday night. Five Romanians were injured in clashes at the match and one remains in hospital after being stabbed in the side.

Champions League review: Toulouse 0-1 Liverpool

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In stifling heat - it was more than 100 degrees at pitch side – Liverpool all but assured their passage to the group stages of the Champions League. They were never really troubled by a distinctly average Toulouse team, and controlled the tempo of the match for long spells. It was a pretty dull game to watch, apart from Andriy Voronin's blistering winner, which you can watch below: Online Videos by Veoh.

Premier League Predictions: midweek games, Wednesday 15 August

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Portsmouth v Man Utd A very tough fixture for United to try and get their first win of the season - Pompey have won at home against United in four of the past five meetings. That said, I still tip the visitors to sneak a win. Carlos Tevez is expected to make his debut for the champions. Prediction: 1-2 Reading v Chelsea Man Utd and then Chelsea - Steve Coppell's team couldn't have had a much harder start to the season, but a battling draw at Old Trafford last Sunday will give them the confidence to take on Mourinho and co.

The Snapshot: Bayern Munich vs Barcelona – Mehmet Scholl's final game for Bayern

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A member of the band Hidden Camera dances prior to the Franz Beckenbauer Cup match between Bayern Munich and Barcelona at the Allianz Arena on August 15, 2007. The game was also a tribute to Mehmet Scholl who began his career in 1989 at Karlsruher SC and signed for Bayern Munich 1992. Photo Johannes Simon/Bongarts/Getty Images

THE VOTE Is Jamie Carragher right to refuse England?

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Jamie Carragher has confirmed that he will not return to international football. After finally getting a guaranteed first team place, the Scouse defender has decided he doesn't want it - but is he sticking to his guns or shooting himself in the foot?. Carragher is tired of being continuously overlooked by his country, despite being considered one of the finest defenders on the Continent.

Shit Lookalike: Nani ands 80s Michael Jackson

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Shamon motherf*cker! Remember when Michael Jackson was still black and had most of his own facial features? No, well he probably doesn't either. But, if you want to remember MJ the way he was before it all went wrong, just take a look at United's new signing with the soul glow short back and sides

How good are Manchester City's new signings?

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Sven made a triumphant return to English football at the weekend when his new look Manchester City side outplayed West Ham with some of the weekend's most attractive football. No less than five new players started the game after signing during City's recent spending spree, including Elano, Bianchi, Petrov and Geovanni. It usually takes a while for foreign imports to adapt but, despite only a few weeks together, all the newbies played like Premier League veterans – claiming both goals and an assist between them.

The strangest and flukiest goal ever scored anyone?

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Whilst watching the Superliga game between Pachucha and Houston Dynamo (which ended 2-2 with Pachucha winning on pens), I witnessed one of the flukiest goals I've ever seen in my life. In fact, I'll stick my neck out and say that Dwayne De Rosario opener is the jammiest goal in the history of football. Watch the video below and wait for your jaw to slap the floor.

Shit Lookalike: Lawrie Sanchez and Gok Wan from How To Look Good Naked

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Yet another of Pies' hugely popular barrel-scraping doppelgangers series, Shit Lookalikes, for your viewing pleasure. Fulham's Anglo-Ecuadorian-Northern Irish manager Lawrie Sanchez and his new specs are a dead ringer for Anglo-Chinese Channel 4 presenter Gok Wan, star of the WAG must-watch How To Look Good Naked.

Shit Lookalikes: Mido and David Blaine

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Did Mido's agent hire David Blaine to hypnotise 'Boro boss Gareth Southgate: 'Look into my eyes, not around the eyes... When you awaken, you will believe that my client is worth £6m...'

Champions League review: Rangers 1-0 Red Star Belgrade

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A Nacho Novo strike, from a classic route-one attack, in the 90th minute transformed the night for Rangers, who had struggled until then to break down a resilient Red Star. With a clean sheet to take into the away leg, Rangers are now slight favourites to progress. Very dull game though, if truth be told.

Roy Keane 'D'ye like dogs?' Brad Pitt / Snatch top from TShirts365

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Fresh from his outspoken comments on WAGs, here is a Roy Keane t-shirt showing the Sunderland boss as Brad Pitt in the film Snatch. He becomes Pikey Mickey, the caravan-dwelling, dog-loving bareknuckle boxer, for this t-shirt from TShirts365. Keano is known to be a dog-lover himself and was never adverse to a bit of bareknuckle boxing on the pitch.

Frank Lampard becomes first footballer to have his own TV channel

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As previously reported on Pies, midfield barndoor misser and KD Lang lookalike, Frank Lampard, has his own TV channel dedicated to him. Orange announced the launch of Frank TV, a mobile channel dedicated to England and Chelsea star, and will be available exclusively to the 1.3 million Orange 3G customers on its mobile phone TV service. Orange mobile TV channels also include BBC, Channel 4, Sky and FHM.

Cult Heroes - Michael Knighton

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Watching the Football Years last night (on some freeview channel), I reveled in the season or 89/90. That year, Liverpool won the league, Man United won the FA Cup and most importantly, the biggest charlatan in football made his appearance. Michael Knighton announced that he was going take over at Old Trafford and bring a smile back to the United faithful, promising to bring back the "glory years".

WAG of the week: Janelle Khouri (Owen Hargreaves' girlfriend)

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Name Janelle Khouri Nationality Canadian WAG of... Man Utd new boy Owen Hargreaves Fame ranking 2/10 Janelle doesn't seek the tabloid spotlight, but she can play football. She was team captain of the gold medal-winning Calgary team in the Canadian National Under-17 club championship in 1998, and has represented Canada at international level.

Oranje Wednesdays: PSV Eindhoven unveil their new star signing

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Reigning Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven have unveiled their new star performer. He has certainly got a lot of pace, has a great engine, plus he can keep running for 90 minutes and still have plenty left in the tank. Unfortunately, for PSV's football fans it is a car. PSV are among a number of clubs to join the Superleague Formula, which sees football club brands transported to the racetrack.

Roy Keane blasts 'weak players' for following their wives

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Our question asking whether footballers are under the thumb seems to have been answered by that eternal fountain of testosterone himself, Roy Keane. The Sunderland manager has missed out on a few signings this summer and has launched one of his infamous tirades in the direction of ‘weak and soft' players who are dictated by their WAGs. 'I think it's weak.

The Snapshot Special: Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Everton

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Everton piled the pressure on Spurs boss Martin Jol with a 1-3 victory at White Hart Lane. Joleon Lescott headed Everton into an early lead after losing 'marker' Anthony Gardner. Gardner returned the favour by exposing Lescott's slack marking to equalise. A second goal of the season for Leon Osman and a deflected free-kick from Alan Stubbs completed the victory.

Reading defender Michael Duberry puts it where he wants it

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This spoof of Wayne Rooney's Put It Where You Want It campaign for his new Nike boots shows Reading centre-back Michael Duberry putting it exactly where he wants it - right on top of Wazza's paper-thin boots. Crunch goes the metatarsal.

History of football quiz online

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Okay, you obviously don't need any other football quiz once you've tackled The Fiendish Friday Quiz on Pies, but for those of you who can't wait until then, you may be interested to know that you can tackle (studs up) a history of football quiz on the UKTV History website. Click here to have a go at questions that relate to particular games, to the invention of the rules to a certain horse that appeared at the first ever cup final at Wembley.

Wanted: English strikers for Euro 2008 qualifiers

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The England squad is in crisis at the moment. Why? We've got no strikers. Don't think it's that bad? Well, Steve McClaren does as he sets off for a trip to White Hart Lane this evening to watch the three leading contenders to replace Wayne Rooney in the forthcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers. Crouchistuta finds himself suspended for the tie against Israel and Newcastle's Michael Owen is currently in an oxygen tent nursing a broken eyelash.

West Ham's massive wages begins to backfire

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West Ham are starting to see why most clubs like to have some sort of wage structure in place. Barcelona forward Eidur Gudjohnsen is stalling over an £80,000 a week offer from the Hammers because he wants £100,000. It would be easy to blame the ex-Chelsea man and accuse him of greed, but if I was a player of Gudjohnsen's class I would want to be a few leaps up the salary scale away from £60,000 a week Lucas Neill!

Horror Hair: Andriy Voronin

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Is it a My Little Pony? Is it Emmanuel Petit's greasy brother? Is it Fabien Barthez in a wig? No, it's Liverpool's summer signing Andriy Voronin. The Ukrainian first came onto our Horror Hair radar when we picked up reports of a ponytail thrashing around pitches in Germany during the 2006 World Cup. And here he is in the Premier League and, indeed at Anfield, the rightful home of Horror Hair.

Manchester City chairman is a wanted man

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Thailand's Supreme Court has issued a warrant for the arrest of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and Manchester City chairman, on corruption charges. Shinawatra failed to attend court in Bangkok as the court was to hear the first of a series of cases being brought against the former leader, who was ousted in a military coup last year.

The Dream Premier League Five-a-Side XI

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If you were going to pick a squad of eleven players (two goalkeepers and nine outfield players) to represent the Premier League in a five-a-side tournament, who would you pick? Whilst you have a think about your selection, here's who we'd pick... Shay Given (Newcastle) Given is super agile, has cat-like reflexes and makes few mistakes - just what you want in a five-a-side keeper.

The Snapshot: Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena

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A dramatic outside view of the Allianz Arena after the Bundesliga match between Bayern Munich and Hansa Rostock on August 11, 2007 in Munich, Germany. Bayern won the match 3-0, with goals from new signings Miroslav Klose (two) and Luca Toni. Picture Johannes Simon/Getty Images

Premier League preview: Tottenham v Everton (Tues 14 August, 8pm k.o)

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Tottenham The papers seem to think that Darren Bent (pictured) will start up front for Spurs, perhaps in place of Dimitar Berbatov, who looked out of sorts against Sunderland on Saturday. Maybe we'll even see a 'B' strikeforce of Bent and Defoe start the game, but I doubt it. In defence, Matt Dawson faces a late fitness test on his ankle.

Craig Bellamy: 'Kieron Dyer is like Nigel Reo-Coker, except he can play'

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Cheeky chappy Craig Bellamy just can't hold his tongue. Here he is signing autographs for West Ham fans when one asks for his thoughts on Kieron Dyer (who at this stage is on the verge of a move to Upton Park). Craig the populist takes over from Craig the professional, and he can't resist splurting out: "He's like Reo-Coker, except he can play.

Has Peter Crouch been badly treated by Liverpool?

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Peter Crouch wasn't even on the bench for Liverpool's trip to Aston Villa on Sunday. Poor Crouchinho seems to have dropped even further down the forwards' pecking order since the summer arrival of Fernando Torres, Andriy Voronin and Ryan Babel, all of whom featured in the 2-1 win at Villa Park. I don't know quite what Crouch – who has a better scoring record in internationals than most English strikers – has done wrong to find himself in this lowly position, but he deserves regular first-team football (Steve McClaren will agree, I'm sure), and Rafa Benitez clearly isn't prepared to offer him that.

Chaos at Turkish match after fan attacks player

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When we have a bit of handbags in the Premier League it always gets blown out of proportion, but if you want to see a proper scuffle you need to head to South America or Turkey. And it was from the latter that the following crazy video is taken. In some weird microcosm of a Middle East crisis, a brawl broke out at the game between Trabzonspor and Sivasspor after after a bad tackle by Egyptian Abdelaziz Aiman on Israeli Pini Balili.

Teutonic Tuesday: Bayern's new signings Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni pay dividends

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Bayern Munich are playing the part of Liverpool this season. With their pedigree and tradition last season's fourth place finish in the Bundesliga just wasn't good enough. And while the Reds of Anfield have settled for nearly two decades without a domestic title before this summer's mammoth spending, Die Roten of Bavaria have instantly splashed the cash to get their title back.

La Liga Lunes: Real Madrid try to sign every Dutch player known to mankind

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As we mentioned on Friday, Pies is serving up a lot more continental dishes this season for you to enjoy alongside the bread and butter of your Premier League news, banter, videos and pictures. So following the inaugural French Football Friday, welcome to La Liga Lunes. You've guessed it, our weekly round-up of Spanish football. La Liga doesn't kick into life until the last weekend in August, but the usual pre-season rituals are in full swing.

The Snapshot Special: Premier League opening weekend in pictures, part two

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Sunderland 1-0 Spurs Keano can do no wrong. Spurs could do no right. Middlesbrough 1-2 Blackburn An encouraging away win for Rovers was marred by a horrible injury to Benni McCarthy. The striker was knocked unconscious after a nasty collision and will undergo further tests to determine the seriousness of the injury.

Neil McDonald becomes first managerial casuality of the season

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Unbelievable. Only one game into the new season, and Carlisle have already decided to part company with their manager Neil McDonald. McDonald, a former Everton player, took over from Paul Simpson at the start of last season after he left to take over at Preston, and guided the club to eighth in their first season back in League One. United drew their first game of the new season on Saturday 1-1 at Walsall, but a statement on the club website, revealed: "The board of Carlisle United regret to say that they have lost confidence with Neil McDonald and are terminating his contract forthwith.

Blackburn Rovers' David Bentley and David Dunn have a dance-off

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What the flip? Just when you think you have seen it all, you find a video of Blackburn Rovers duo David Bentley and David Dunn enjoying a camp-as-you-like nightclub dance-off. The footage comes from Squires Nightclub in Preston - classy looking establishment - and shows the two Davids getting down and dirty as Benni McCarthy watches on. [Via Guardian]

Pies comes out on top in Guardian list of football blogs!

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Like Tardelli's eye-bulging, neck vein throbbing celebration in the '82 World Cup, Pies once again celebrates a weekend of glory. Not only was it the first game of the season (which saw some disappointment for Pies writers), but it also saw Pies being top of the pile in the Guardian Guide's Blog Roll listing of top footy blogs! It's not the first time we've been mentioned on their esteemed pages, but that shouldn't stop us from crowing a little.

Have Tottenham Hotspurs been too cocky?

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Every man and his dog had, pre-season, predicted big things for Spurs this season. All eyes looked toward them as a challenger for the sacred top 4 finish. Every Londoncentric person that is. You see, for me, Spurs look almost identical to last season, and while there is no doubt that they've added some quality to their squad this summer, they are, in essence, the same team.

Kit Parade: Adidas Originals AC Milan shirt

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A stone-cold classic football shirt, that conjures up memories of the great Milan side of the late Eighties - the one that included Paolo Maldini, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Franco Baresi, Frank Rijkaard etc (although I think Lotto made Milan's kit back then, not Adidas). Available from the Adidas Original online store, for £35 (reduced from £50).

The Premier League Under 21s XI

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No, we are not advocating FIFA introducing another needless competition with a name like the European Inter-League Champions Toto Mickey Mouse Under 21 Cup, but following the under 21 European Championshups this summer Pies has but together a dream team outfit featuring the pick of the Premier League's youngsters. Scott Carson Seems to have been around for ages now, but he is still only 21 years old.

Big Sam, Little Sam - spot the difference?

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Already, after just one game, Bolton fans must be quaking in their boots at the thought of a season without Big Sam at the helm. Little Sammy Lee may be wearing a suit these days, but he can't disguise his assistant manager roots - he clearly wants to be in a comfy tracksuit, offering sage advice to his gaffer, not pacing up and down in his technical area wondering how he got himself in this deep.

Zinedine Zidane plays football with his kids

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This video shows Zizou having a kickabout with his children in the garden. If you thought Walcott was the only up-and-coming Theo in the world of football, think again. Theo Zidane is also a bit tasty as are his brothers Enzo (who we already knew about) and Luca. Here they are showing that they are all chips of the old block, and also highlighting why daddy was never renowned for his world class defending!

Premier League review: Blinders and Shockers

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BLINDER Tony Warner Fulham's keeper was immense at the Emirates and, you've guessed it: 'He didn't deserve to be on the losing team'. Steven Gerrard Stevie G (pictured) almost single-handedly won three points for Liverpool at Villa. So why was David Beckham taking free-kicks for England all this time? Sven-Goran Eriksson Worked wonders with his new signings.

Carlton Palmer is an estate agent

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Not content with being a rugged midfielder with a shit first touch, then a shit football manager, and then a shit TV pundit, Carlton Palmer is now branching out. According to this website (which I assume is for real), he's now a property agent dealing in luxury homes and apartments. Carlton's property company, Home-Away (geddit!), offers 'a personal overseas home buying service that is tailor made to suit your exact requirements: whatever the budget, location or how demanding your personal tastes'.

THE VOTE Who should England play up front with Wayne Rooney out injured?

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With Wayne Rooney almost certainly out of England's forthcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers with yet another case of knackered metatarsal, Pies has to pose the inevitable question: who is Steve McClaren going to play up front? Michael Owen has barely kicked a pre-season ball so even he might be out of contention. Click your two choices from the list below (or add another suggestion as a comment).

Birmingham City + washing powder = Aston Villa

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Pies does not condone this sort of childish banter (translation: we don't want hate mail from a load of pissed off Brummies). But many thanks to Scott Gibson for sending this in - it did make us chuckle out loud.

The Snapshot Special: Premier League opening weekend in pictures, part one

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Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool Gareth Barry's 85th-minute penalty looked like claiming a point for Villa, until Stevie G popped up with this splendid free-kick. Arsenal 2-1 Fulham Another great escape for one of the big four. Fulham probably deserved a point – and they already look more resilient under Lawrie Sanchez than they did under Chris Coleman – but a late, late goal by Alexsander Hleb ruined their day.

Premier League opening weekend: XI conclusions

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1 Well who knew? Svennis knows what he's doing, apparently. Brazilian midfielder Elano and Italian striker Rolando Bianchi (pictured, celebrating his goal against West Ham on Saturday) in particular look like very shrewd signings. 2 I select Wayne Rooney in my fantasy team... and he gets crocked almost straight away. Bloody typical. 3 Big Sam > Little Sam.

Shit lookalikes: Kaspar Schmeichel and dad Peter

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Kaspar kept a clean sheet on Saturday for Man City; Peter used to keep a load of 'em for Man Utd. And they're both big blonde Viking types with massive hands and a nice line in shouting at defenders, although I don't think Kaspar's quite as vocal as his old man - at least not yet. Nor does he have such a red nose. Still, Kaspar is very much one to watch.

Craig Gordon's first interview as a Sunderland player

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Who's gonna turn down Roy Keane? You just don't turn down Keano. I'm sure if Roy turned up at Kaka's house with a contract, he'd walk away with a signature. By the way, Gordon makes his first start for Sunderland today, at home against Spurs.

Video: Zoe is The Hot Spur

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Our team-mates over at Spurs Pies have started the new season as they mean to go on by signing up an ace to their squad. Zoe is The Hot Spur and will be bringing her own brand of video reports to the site throughout the campaign. Check out the video below and then catch another one over at Spurs Pies now.

The Snapshot: Bundesliga Two, Alemannia Aachen vs Carl Zeiss Jena

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An Aachen fan leads chanting during the Bundesliga second division match between Alemannia Aachen and Carl Zeiss Jena at the Tivoli stadium on 10 August, 2007 in Aachen, Germany. The game finished 2-2. Picture: Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images

Kit Parade Special: New Premier League Home Kits, Part Two & Vote

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Following yesterday's imaginatively titled Part One, today Pies profiles the home kits of the 10 Premiership teams who would have their names called at last on the school register. Manchester City There is a hint of baseball to Citeh's new shirt, with its rather fetching white pinstripes. Reebok are out and French brand Le Coq Sportif (currently enjoying a Lazarus-style revival) are in.

Today on Spurs Pies...

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If you've not yet had a munch on our new blog Spurs Pies, then what are you waiting for. It's just like this one, but it's all about Tottenham Hotspur, what more can you ask for. Well maybe ones for Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool - so we've got them too. Anyway, check the links below for the best of Spurs. Who are the dangers at Sunderland?

THE POLL Who will win the Premier League this season?

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One day until kick-off and we're as excited as David Pleat after surviving a relegation tussle. So today seems like a good time to poll all Pies readers with the six-billion dollar question: Who the hell is going to win the Premier League this season? Simple question, so give us a simple answer... MySpace Poll - Take Our Poll

Premier League Predictions: Derby County

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(Summary is not available.)

Shit lookalike: Jim Rosenthal and Count von Count

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Maybe not at first glance but next time you take a look at ITV sports presenter, Jim Rosenthal, you'll see he bears an odd resemblance to Sesame Street's number loving vampire – Ah, Ah, Ah...

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

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1 River Plate, Barcelona, Real Madrid (current). Which Barca traitor? 2 What is the only publicly traded Bundesliga club on the German stock market? 3 Picture round. Name this Premier League new boy: 4 Why have Man City not issued a No.23 shirt since 2003? 5 From which club did Arsenal sign striker Eduardo da Silva? 6 The club crest challenge: Answers are you-know-where.

The New Season: What the Bloggers Say - Sunderland

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As the season draws ever nearer (tomorrow! TOMORROW!), I'll be throwing a few of these up before anyone can get depressed/begin dreams of winning the league after 90 minutes of football. So, the latest to offer their tuppence is a proud Mackem who wants nothing but bad for the Geordies and is keen to see a chairman abducted by aliens... Hello.

The New Season: What the Bloggers Say - Liverpool

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Yet more fans spouting off about their new signings and their loathing for rival teams? Great! This is what we want. Now, we visit Anfield where they're all a bit excited about a certain Spanish striker... and likening Rafa to Nick Leeson... oh, and our scouse blogger comes from new Pies affiliate, LiverpoolPies! Hello? Who are you? How did you get in here?

The New Season: What the Bloggers Say - Manchester United

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Now, to our glory hunting Manchester United fans (I'm kidding! I'm kidding! Back off!) to find out about their dreams of silverware and stuff. I interviewed the main lad at new Shiny blog, ManUnitedPies, and found that he was very busy, and therefore, a bit short on words... but you would be if you'd been gloating all summer at Chelsea fans. Introduce yourself.

Pies Premiership Preview - August 11th

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Tim Lovejoy and Danny DeVito's stunt doubles team up with YouTube superstar and football know-it-all Susi Weaser to deliver the first ever Pies Premiership Preview. Here Pies ed Ollie (the TJ lookey-likey) attempts to guess what this week's scores will be while being constantly interupted by the other two.

Premier League Predictions: Birmingham City

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Player of the season: Gary McSheffrey proved he had what it takes in The Championship and will be hoping to make the step up to the big league – although without a goal since February he needs a good start One to watch: The young Dutchman, Daniel de Ridder, caused a stir during this year's Under-21 Championship and has the pace to shake up Premier League defences Player most likely to be booed: Hossam Ghaly won't be wearing a blue shirt if he plays at St.

The New Season: What the Bloggers Say - Tottenham Hotspurs

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We've heard from quite a few bloggers about the imminent Premier League season, and now, we get to see what a Spurs fan thinks and how they will fare. Will they push for 4th? Well, it would annoy the Gooners eh? What's more, this Spurs fan is the main boy at Shiny's new Tottenham blog, SpursPies! Alright fella? Introduce yourself... Jonathan Weinberg, Tottenham Hotspur, www.

French Football Friday: Bonjour

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Bonjour! Welcome to the inaugural French Football Friday. With the new campaign about to get under way Pies is dedicated to ensuring we keep a close eye on our European neighbours and goings on in their leagues (apparently they're playing football on the Continent now, would you believe?). So from now on you will will be able to begin your weekend with French Football Friday.

Becks is back – but is it in time for England?

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The wait is over. David Beckham made his long anticipated MLS debut last night when he came on as a 72nd minute substitute for or the Los Angeles Galaxy. Although Goldenballs was unable to prevent a 1-0 defeat, he did pull off a couple of Hollywood passes that created chances for teammates and showed no sign of the ankle injury that kept him from the American public.

Moritz Volz gets stuck in the toilet

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Volzy, Volzy, Volzy. What are you going to get up to next? The crazy Fulham utility man had to be rescued by a handyman after locking himself in his toilet. The German was preparing to leave his house for the pre-season friendly with Brighton when the incident happened. Volzy nipped to the loo before leaving, but found the door had jammed when he tried to get out.

Pies has shiny new design

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As you can see, Pies has a lovely new kit for the 2007/08 season. You may (or may not) experience a few teething problems with the new design, but please be patient whilst we resolve any of these issues. Hopefully, most of you will like the new look. For those that don't, boo sucks! - and we're sure it will grow on you in time. We needed to give Pies a wee makeover to incorporate our handsome new family of Premier League club blogs (Arsenal Pies, Chelsea Pies, Man Utd Pies, Liverpool Pies and Spurs Pies), which we highly recommend you check out if you like the main site.

Wayne Rooney enjoys a bit of target practice with Dirty Sanchez

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Remember we warned you that the latest Nike Put It Where You Want It viral would feature Wayne Rooney smacking the ball at scantily clad Welsh daredevils Dirty Sanchez? Well here is the finished article. The group enjoy a few eye-watering games revolving around being pelted by the Rooney rocket. Note the ominous to be continued caption at the end of the video.

John Fashanu hosts Deal or No Deal Nigeria

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John Fashanu is officially the black Noel Edmonds! Fash is currently presenting the Nigerian version of gameshow Deal or No Deal. The ex-Wimbledon striker has been fronting the show on the M-Net Africa network since July. Fash does have presenting experience from his days as host of Gladiators, but Pies prefers to remember the day he became a contestant on the show instead.

Kit Parade Special: New Premier League Home Kits, Part One

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The big kick-off is nigh and we don't have a thing to wear. Well, we do now. This is part one of a bumper Kit Parade Special from Pies. Arsenal This looks a little familiar... wait a cotton picking minute! Yes, Arsenal have retained last season's home kit for a further season. It makes my job a bit harder because you have all seen it before, but I'd be delighted if I was a Gooner.

Frank Lampard gets his own mobile TV channel: Frank TV

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Yes, Lamps has got his own mobile TV channel. It's called Frank TV (great name, peeps), and is being launched by Orange as part of its drive to persuade more people to watch telly on their phones. It includes Frank's own video diaries filmed in the last two seasons at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea's training ground and Frank's house. There's also guest interviews with his dad Frank Lampard Sr, Jamie Redknapp and, er, rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio.

Shiny Media launches five new club football blogs! 'Ave a munch on Arsenal Pies

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Shiny Media is today launching five (count 'em!) new Premier League club blogs. We've already told you about Man United Pies, Spurs Pies, Chelsea Pies and Liverpool Pies – now it's time to launch our fifth and final Prem club blog for the day, namely Arsenal Pies. When is comes to the art of football, Arsenal is on a different plane to the rest of the world's huff and puff, long-ball merchants.

Horror Hat/Horror Hair: Ronaldinho and Frank Rijkaard

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The sheer horror of Frank Rijkaard's hair is well-documented, but here he is enjoying a good laugh at Ronaldinho's terrible choice of headgear. It looks like Frank is thinking 'I may have kept the same hairstyle for the past 20 years, but at least I don't look as much of a dick as Ronaldinho'. And no amount of camouflage can disguise the fact that Ronaldinho has some big-ass teeth.

Shiny Media launches five new club football blogs! You'll love Liverpool Pies

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Shiny Media is today launching five (count 'em!) new Premier League club blogs. We've already told you about Man United Pies, Spurs Pies and Chelsea Pies – now it's the turn of Liverpool Pies, a must-read for any self-respecting 'Pool fan. Here's editor Dan Burt to introduce the site... At the time of writing the staff of Liverpool Pies were still reeling from the shock of seeing Rafa Benitez's 'face mouse' up close and personal.

Leeds United to start next season with 15 points deducted

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Bad news for Leeds United's fans as they are set to begin the new season at the foot of the League One table after their appeal against a 15-point penalty was rejected at a meeting of Football League chairmen. Leeds chairman Ken Bates made an impassioned plea to have the sanction lifted after the club were finally granted permission to play in the division after being handed back their share.

Alan Shearer fake money confiscated

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Trading Standards officials have seized a number of Alan Shearer £20 notes from a car boot sale. Cash featuring the mugs of Mark Viduka, Nolberto Solano, Michael Owen, Steven Taylor and Kieron Dyer instead of the Queen were also taken from the sale at Blaydon Rugby Ground in Gateshead. Sheila Johnston, director of development and enterprise at Gateshead Council, said: "These notes look just like real bank notes when they are folded in two and we are very concerned that some people may be conned into accepting them as legal tender.

Shit Lookalikes: Nani and Carlton Banks from Fresh Prince of Bel Air

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I think there's enough of a resemblance to get away with this – and anyway, it makes me laugh.

France coach claims Materazzi was 'man of the match'

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It was the head butt that ruined France's hopes of reclaiming the World Cup and ended a legend's career on a sour note – while the Italian antagonist, Marco Materazzi, instantly became football's public enemy No. 1. Well, that's how we remember it but it seems French coach, Raymond Domenech, had a different view. "In a World Cup final you score a goal, you get the opposing best player sent off and then you score your penalty (in the shootout).

Shiny Media launches five new club football blogs! Snack on our Spurs Pies

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Shiny Media is today launching five (count 'em!) new Premier League club blogs. We've already introduced you to Man United Pies, and now we can point you in the direction of Spurs Pies, a fantastic blog dedicated to all things Tottenham. Here's editor Jonathan Weinberg to introduce the site... It's never been easy being a Spurs fan. The constant weight of expectation, the constant crowing from the Gooners, the constant jibes from Hammers fans – not to mention having to endure everything from five up front to howlers at the back.

Shiny Media launches five new club football blogs! Now chew our Chelsea Pies

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Shiny Media is today launching five (count 'em!) new Premier League club blogs. We've already introduced you to Man United Pies and Spurs Pies, and now we can proudly launch Chelsea Pies, a fantastic blog dedicated to all things, er, Chelsea. Here's editor Lee Coan to introduce the site... Life as a Chelsea supporter is never dull. With Mourinho's mouth, Roman's millions, Drogba's goals and dogs being imported from Portugal, there's always something to rant about in the blue corner of London.

Goalkeeping howler in Real Madrid pre-season friendly

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Consider the plight of Belenenses goalkeeper Marco. You are minutes away from helping your side to a 0-0 draw against Real Madrid, arguably the biggest result of your life, and this happens...
[Via 101GreatGoals]

Should gambling firms be allowed to sponsor replica club kits for kids?

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Our fantastic new Tottenham blog, Spurs Pies, poses this interesting question. Casino firm Mansion currently sponsors Spurs in a deal worth some £8.5m a year. But the meddling Government is getting involved with footie sponsorships (as it did with tobacco sponsorship in F1) and trying to stop clubs having gambling ads on children's replica shirts.

The Team-Mate Scuffle XI

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The next Pies XI features a group of players who love nothing better than to fight among themsevles. Bruce Grobbelaar Once grabbed a young Steve McManaman by the throat during a heated debate after the winger dared to yell back at him as he berated the winger for a weak clearance at the end of the Merseyside derby in 1993. Andy Myers His Bradford skipper Stuart McCall needed stitches to a facial wound after the pair clashed during a 6-1 derby drubbing against Leeds in 2001.

The New Season: What the Bloggers Say - Manchester City

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With the news that our bosses have set up a special Man United Pies blog, it's worth remembering that most Mancunians count themselves as City fans, and that, most United fans don't have a postcode that starts with an 'M'. Often derided as bitter blues, City fans have lived in the shadow of their more successful neighbours, so, with that, it seems apt to catch up with Man City blog, BitterandBlue.

Are Liverpool mad for letting Scott Carson go?

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Yet more rumours abound about the future of Liverpool's Scott Carson, as he appears to be making his way to Aston Villa on loan for the new season. The 'Pool sent the England U21 'keeper on loan to Charlton last season which saw him applauded for his performances in sticks. Now, in the quest for first team football, and with an eye on breaking into the senior team for England, Carson is off to Villa.

Shiny Media launches five new club football blogs! For starters, take a bite out of Man United Pies

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Following the table-topping success of Who Ate All the Pies – and to coincide with the start of the new footy season – Shiny Media is today launching five (count 'em!) new Premier League club blogs. Firstly, may we point you in the direction of Man United Pies, a blog dedicated to the current Premier League champs. Editor Sam Collins tells you what to expect from Man United Pies.

Radical Iranian militants interested in buying Manchester United

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While many pundits and fans have been debating whether the lack of transparency at Leeds means that tests of suitability on new owners have been bypassed, Pies reckons this one is less likely to sneak under the radar. Apparently a radical Iranian militant group is interested in buying Manchester United. Ansar Hezbollah claims its first act in charge would be to change the club's name to Khayber in honour of an oasis near the holy city of Medina.

Spectacular free kick from Levadia Tallinn's Konstantin Nahk

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It is Red Star Belgrade who progress to play Rangers in the next round of the Champions League on away goals, but not before they had lost 2-1 on the night courtesy of this free-kick from the halfway line from Konstantin Nahk.

Manchester City want Antonio Cassano - here comes trouble?

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Ever heard of Antonio Cassano? He's like Italy's answer to Craig Bellamy – cool finisher with a hot head and an overrated opinion of himself who regularly falls out with teammates and managers alike. Well, his career continues to mirror the mardy faced Welshman as he looks like leaving a European giant for a smaller club with big money and a new manager.

Premier League Predictions: Aston Villa

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Player of the season Gabriel Agbonlahor scored against Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal last season, proving that he can cut it against the big boys. Villa boss Martin O'Neill will rely heavily on the 20-year-old forward to offer some cut and thrust to the team's decidedly average strike force. One to watch 19-year-old midfielder Isaiah Osbourne has been compared to his hero Patrick Vieira.

The Snapshot: David Beckham could make MLS debut against DC United tonight

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David Beckham has his left ankle treated during a training session at Washington's RFK Stadium. The superstar has not yet played in the MLS but he is almost recovered from an ankle injury and could feature in tonight's clash between the Galaxy and DC United. [Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images]

Friendly Watch: Glentoran 0-3 Man Utd, Dunfermline 0-4 Man Utd

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Whilst Alex Ferguson is away (ordered to stay at home by his missus), Nani can play. After scoring a cracking goal in this friendly at Gletoran (pub quiz trivia: Fergie's father played for them), Nani performed another death-defying celebration, despite orders from his boss to cut out the acrobatics.
Glentoran V Manchester United 08.

Konstantin Nahk does a Beckham lob from the centre circle

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Konstantin Nahk of Estonian club Levadia Tallinn scored this Beckhamesque winner against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League last night. Don't know why Red Star's keeper was so far off his line, but Nahk's free-kick was mighty impressive anyway. On the down side, Red Star won the tie, despite losing 2-1, on away goals. They now face Rangers in the third and final qualifying round.

Mitre Pass It On viral (featuring all sorts of people, including Ian Holloway)

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Ball manufactureres Mitre have produced this viral featuring representatives from all 24 Championship clubs to show off the bespoke balls they are providing clubs with. From a HolloWatch view, Ollie makes an appearance. The green and white Plymouth Argyle ball prompts him to remark: "Goodness gracious me." [Via FourFourTwo]

Horror Hair: Daniel Braaten (Bolton Wanderers)

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The 25-year-old striker from Norway, signed recently by Bolton Wanderers, has big fly-away hair that reminds me of Simpsons' villain Sideshow Bob. Thanks to Pies regular Cole for the spot.

WAG of the week: Helen Svedin

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Swede dreams are made of this... Name: Helen Svedin Nationality: As the name suggests, she's Swedish WAG of: The king of slicked back suave and provoker of pig's heads, Potugeezer Luis Figo Fame rating: 6/10 – As the face of H&M, she's a successful model that's popular all around the world, except Barcelona perhaps Babe rating: 8/10 – although we're tempted to just give her give her one!

Premier League Predictions: Arsenal

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Continuing our build-up to Saturday's start of the new Premier League season, here's the first in our neck-on-block, club-by-club predictions. For alphabetical reasons, we begin with Arsenal... Player of the season If he stays fit, then Robin van Persie can go a long way to filling Thierry Henry's rather large shoes. The young Dutchman has the ego and talent to become Arsenal's new talisman - at best, he'll be a contender for Player of the Year awards at the end of the season.

Scouting report: Maceo Rigters (Blackburn Rovers)

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There was not much fanfare surrounding the transfer of Maceo Rigters from NAC Breda to Blackburn Rovers this summer, but from what I saw of Rigters during the recent European U-21 Championship, he could make a name for himself in the Premier League. The 23-year-old forward didn't score many goals for Breda, but he was usually played out of position, on the wing.

The Snapshot: David Beckham is taken out to the baseball game

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'Who the hell is this limey I gotta shake hands with?' That's what I imagine NY Yankees manager Joe Torre is thinking as he presses Becks' flesh for the cameras. Beckham was attending a game between the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto - he even got to stand on the mound as one of his LA Galaxy team-mates threw out the first pitch.

Hi. I'm Carlos Tevez and I'm a singer

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In a long line of singing footballers (maybe we should do a Singing Footballers XI?) Carlos Tevez is the latest (to me at least) hitman to pick up the mic. He's the front man in a band called Piola Vago, who play cumbia villera, a form of Argentinian shantytown/urban music. Piola Vago managed to hit the charts in Argentina with their song Lose Your Control which saw Carlitos crooning about whipping a girl and begging her for sex (c/o The Sun).

Would it be better for Arsenal's season if they were knocked out of Europe early?

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An Arsenal fan who shall remain nameless (if he pays me enough) suggested to me yesterday that it might be better for Arsenal's Prem season if they were knocked out of Europe at the earliest opportunity. His logic (I hesitate to call it that) being that Arsenal will struggle to match the might of Chelsea, Man Utd and also Liverpool, so it would be better for their young squad if they could concentrate fully on the domestic league, rather than Europe.

Shit Lookalikes: Royston Drenthe and Cat from Red Dwarf

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Mad props to Pies reader Nathan, who suggested that Feyenoord's star youngster (and new best friend of Steven Gerrard) is a dead ringer for Cat out of cult sci-fi series Red Dwarf. Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! (as the Cat himself might wail).

Horror Hair/Amusing Name: Ufuk Talay (Sydney FC)

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Not only does this guy, a journeyman midfielder for Sydney FC, have a brilliantly amusing first name, but he also has gravity-defying hair that puts me in mind of the infamous 'hair gel scene' with Cameron Diaz in the movie 'There's Something About Mary'. I mean, what does this guy use to keep his hair up? Most of his salary has to go on hair gel.

UEFA to launch inquiry into racism at Rangers match

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After recent claims that they were going to stick the boot in on clubs with racist fans, it's now time for UEFA to earn their keep. UEFA have stated that they will hold an inquiry into alleged racist taunts aimed at DaMarcus Beasley and Jean-Claude Darcheville, during Rangers' 1-0 Champions League qualifying victory over FK Zeta. UEFA spokesman William Gaillard told BBC Five Live: "We have decided to open an investigation as there were many witnesses who reported the problems.

The New Season: What the Bloggers Say - Birmingham

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Hotly tipped to struggle this year, Birmingham are in the same boat that all newly promoted team find themselves in. Still, that won't dampen the spirits of Brum fans. So, let's have a peak on the terrace and see what a Birmingham blog has to say for itself concerning the new season. Introduce yourself... My name if Aff, I support Birmingham City and I run www.

Is Craig Gordon worth £9m?

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Roy Keane has broken the British transfer record for a goalkeeper by signing Craig Gordon from Hearts for an astonishing £9 million. It's also a record fee for the Black Cats, beating the £6.75m they paid for beanpole striker, Tore Andre Flo, five years ago. We assume Keane is expecting heavy traffic in his team's penalty area this season but it sounds like a lot of money for a youngster that's never played in the Premier League.

The Fantasy Football Bargains XI

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Who should I pick in my fantasy football team this season? A question that any self-respecting football fan asks themself at this time of the year. The trick is to pick players who are cheap to buy – so you can also accommodate expensive stars like Messrs Rooney and Ronaldo – but will amass you loads of points. Like Portsmouth's Matty Taylor last year, for example - he was cheap to buy yet scored a few (cracking) goals and was part of a stingy defence.

Kit Parade: Liverpool's black European kit

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MR. PINK: Why can't we pick out our own colours? JOE: I tried that once, it don't work. You get four guys fighting over who's gonna be Mr. Black. Since nobody knows anybody else, nobody wants to back down. So forget it, I pick. Be thankful you're not Mr. Yellow. MR. BROWN: Yeah, but Mr. Brown? That's too close to Mr. Shit. Quentin Tarantino knows the score.

Champions League: FK Zeta 0-1 Rangers

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Rangers are through to the next round of Champions League qualification after beating FK Zeta of Montenegro 0-1. DaMarcus Beasley's 81st minute strike was enough to secure a 3-0 aggregate win, but the game was overshadowed by racist chanting aimed at Beasley and team-mate Jean-Claude Darcheville. They will face Red Star Belgrade or Levadia Tallinn in the next round.

How did Leroy Lita really injure himself?

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Reading striker Leroy Lita will miss the start of the Premier League season after apparently injuring himself by stretching in bed. The 22-year-old claims he sustained the nerve problem by enjoying a nice stretch when he woke up. Pull the other one, Leroy (that's an incredulous outbust rather than my suggestion of how he injured himself, I think!

The Silly Injuries XI

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With Leroy Lita resting up after his nasty bed-stretching incident, Pies looks at some equally slapstick injuries that footballers have picked up over the years. Meet the team so unlucky with injuries that they would be tempted to hire Jonathan Woodgate as a fitness coach: it's the Pies Silly Injuries XI. GK Dave Beasant Famously dropped a jar of salad cream on his foot in the 1993 pre-season and was out for two-and-a-half months.

Are footballers under the thumb?

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He may well be a born leader of men but that doesn't mean Fergie wears the trousers at home. Apparently, the United manager has been grounded tonight and will miss United's final pre-season friendlies while he helps his missus move house. We're not sure what this is going to do for a reputation built on fear and can imagine a few 'whipping noises' being whispered around the Man Utd dressing room – not that Sir Alex could be left any more red faced.

Shit Lookalikes: Manuel Almunia and Haywire from Prison Break

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Thanks to an anonymous Pies reader who emailed in this shit lookalike, featuring Arsenal's second-choice 'keeper and Charles 'Haywire' Patoshik (played by Silas Weir Mitchell), a fictional character from the 'gripping' (that's what they tell me - I can't be bothered to watch it) American TV series, Prison Break. According to his FBI file, Haywire has a fear of crowds.

The Snapshot: David Beckham wears women's panties, says Toronto fan

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A very creative bit of sign-making, I'm sure you'll agree. The guy used actual panties...

How will Chelsea’s injuries affect their start to the season?

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Chelsea's squad for last weekend's Community Shield match was so bare that they played without a recognised striker for most of the match. And it looks like they'll have to make up the numbers when their Premier League kicks off on Sunday. John Terry, Michael Ballack and Wayne Bridge are definitely out. Didier Drogba doesn't look like being ready and there are doubts over Salomon Kalou and Andriy Shevchenko.

Bayern Munich scrape past minnows on penalties in German Cup

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I've always wondered what would happen if you had a penalty shoot-out in a German cup game. Surely you'd be there all night? Not so it would seem. Bayern Munich survived a penalty shootout to defeat third division amateurs Wacker Burghausen in the first round of the German Cup. Bayern went a goal down in the game, only to scrape through on pens.

The New Season: What the Bloggers Say - Bolton Wanderers

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Another chance to hear some footy fan spouting off about their side! It's time to look at a fan's eye view of the forthcoming Prem season, and this time, we're stopping at the door of Bolton Wanderers. Introduce yourself to Pies readers then... Peter Sharples, Bolton Wanderers, www.the-wanderer.co.uk Looking forward to next season?

What if all footballers were as nice as Lee Cook?

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New Fulham signing Lee Cook has donated his £250,000 signing-on fee to former club QPR. Boyhood Rangers fan Cook knew QPR were struggling for cash and thought they had been paid under the odds by Fulham for his services. He said: "It goes through your mind the club might go into administration but I heard new investors are coming." This is a player making his first move to the top-flight with no guarantee that he won't be back in the Championship within a year.

Friendly watch: Aston Villa 3-0 Inter Milan

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Aston Villa are the new Premiership champions. Well, Inter Milan beat Manchester United 3-2, and Villa beat Inter 3-0 so they must be the best in the league. Right? Gareth Barry slotted home and scored a penalty either side of a header from defender Martin Laursen. It is the softest of penalties, by the way.

Should Heinze be allowed to make Liverpool switch?

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Gabriel Heinze is a troubled man. Apart from being the footballer that no commentator can agree on in terms of pronouncing his surname, he's also trapped in a loveless relationship. By that I mean his stay at Old Trafford. Heinze will take his dispute with Manchester United to a Premier League arbitration panel next week regarding his wish to leave the club.

Diego Maradona warms up for a game

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Before Mr Motivator there was Diego Maradona. This is supposedly his pre-match warm-up, although whether he was supposed to be warming himself up or warming the crowd up we are not sure. While being very entertaining, this is a kick in the teeth for any footballer who has gone through a rigorous warm-up routine and then pulled their hamstring anyway.

Shit Lookalikes: Jermaine Jenas and US rapper Rich Boy

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Following our feature on footballers who rap, perhaps we should next consider footballers who look like rappers. First we showed you that El Hadji Diouf is Pharrell Williams. Now we can conclusively proove that Spurs and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas is a passable double for US hip hop star Rich Boy. Nuff respec' to Pies reader Craig for spotting this one.

Should Sol Campbell get an England recall?

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What started as a new regime is starting to resemble an old school reunion in Steve McLaren's England camp. First, Becks was brought back from the brink and now it seems Sol Campbell could be making a comeback. Like Beckham, Campbell was cut from the England squad after Sven's 2006 Word Cup but a spate of injuries could see the one-man mountain getting a recall for this month's friendly against Germany.

Tuesday 10: Football jailbirds

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This week's Tuesday 10 looks at footballers who thought extra time was the outcome of a bad parole hearing. This list comes a bit too soon for Mr Joseph Barton, but he faces a maximum of five years banged up if he is convicted of assaulting former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo. 1 Tony Adams Arguably football's most famous jailbird.

UEFA to get tough on racism

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The UEFA president, Michel Platini, said yesterday that the European governing body must crack down further on racial abuse inside stadiums. "We will be strong," said Platini. "We will not say 'please don't do that'. We will not leave space for racism in football just like we will not tolerate fighting or violence. In the past clubs have been fined and we have appealed because we thought that the fines were not enough.

The New Season: What the Bloggers Say - Arsenal

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More rants and opinions from the fans about the upcoming Premier League season. This time, we speak to Arseblogger, who unsurprisingly supports a certain North London team who have just lost their talismanic striker. Hello there. Introduce yourself to the class... Arseblogger - Arsenal - Arseblog.com How do you think you'll do next season?

Sven Goran Eriksson appointed Manchester United manager (by himself)

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Sven just can't help putting his foot in it. It comes naturally to him, as do negative tactics and poor substitutions. Here he is asking new signing Valeri Bojinov how it feels to have signed for Manchester United! Valeri probably got all excited for a couple of seconds until the howls of the watching media kick in! [Via 101GreatGoals]

Should Steven Gerrard be punished for handbags?

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No, not really. Yes, Stevie G raised his hand in a friendly (Liverpool were held 1-1 by Feyenoord) and could have been sent off, but let's move on, please. A classic case of handbags where no one got hurt. Royston Drenthe's tackle on Gerrard was not great, but hardly a leg breaker - indeed, the Liverpool captain himself didn't seem that pissed off with it; it was Daniel Agger's reaction that started the scuffle: Watch highlights of the game after the jump.

The BBC detective drama based on West Bromwich Albion!

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A drama writer managed to create a cast littered with West Brom-related character names without anyone noticing - and kept it up for four series. Roy Mitchell, creator of the BBC's detective drama New Tricks, began his homage to the Baggies by naming the three central characters Jack Halford, Brian Lane and Gerry Standing after Albion's Halford Lane Stand.

Is Kieron Dyer worth £8million?

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Newcastle gaffer Sam Allardyce has revealed that Kieron Dyer's move to West Ham collapsed after the Hammers refused to pay an "escalated" fee of £8m. You read that correctly. EIGHT. MILLION. QUID. Apparently, The Magpies had accepted a bid of £6m but increased the amount they wanted to £8m. Dyer had agreed personal terms and passed a medical at the London club but West Ham boss Alan Curbishley said on Saturday that the deal "was pulled at the 11th hour by Newcastle and there's not much we can do about that".

Why Didier Drogba will win the Golden Boot (again)

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The bookies' favourite to be top scorer in the Premier League this season is Didier Drogba, at 4-1 generally. No surprise there, but not much value either. So can anyone outscore the Chelsea powerhouse? A few names spring to mind... Before I look at them, I'll choose to ignore Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, currently second and third favourite, at 6-1 and 7-1 – Man Utd tend to spread their goals around generously, so I can't see either Ron or Roo topping the scoring charts at the end of the season, even if both have strong seasons again.

The Snapshot: Australia's 'Matildas' World Cup squad announced

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Heather Garriock and Danielle Small of the Australian Matildas model their team's new kit during the World Cup squad announcement at Darling Harbour on 6 August, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. [Photo: Robb Cox/Getty Images]

Manchester United beat Chelsea to win Community Shield

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Edwin van der Sar was the star of the show as Manchester United lifted the first silverware of the season. The Dutch keeper saved three consecutive Chelsea penalties to win the Community Shield for his side in a shootout. The game had finished 1-1, with Ryan Giggs giving United the lead and Chelsea new boy Florent Malouda equalising with a neat finish.

10 things the Community Shield taught us about the new season

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1 Chelsea's reserves have pretty much got their league sewn-up already. 2 Thomas Kuszczak and Ben Foster (when he is fit again) will have their work cut out ousting Edwin van der Sar. 3 Wayne Rooney is back! Was he ever away? Anyway, Fergie has predicted a big season from the England star and he made a promising start as he ran at defenders in a way he didn't seem confident enough to do at times last season.

Spectacular overhead bicycle kick own goal

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Watch out Chris Brass because you might have some competition, matey! This has got to be up there with the best own goals of all time. An overhead kick own goal from about 14 yards out - you wouldn't think it was possible but it is! This astounding incident comes from a recent Brazil under 20s game between Fluminense and Cruzeiro. The defender - with no attackers anywhere near him - pulls off this spectacular bicycle kick to leave his keeper stranded.

China could detain swearing football fans

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There is nothing quite like venting spleen at a football match. In fact, you could argue that watching your team for 90 minutes is enough to get 7 days worth of venom out of your body, leaving you cool and placid for the rest of the week. Well, do that in China and you could spend a night in the clink. Worried that loutish behaviour will shame the nation during next year's Beijing Olympics, police are threatening to detain fans who swear at a football match in the capital this weekend, as a way of stamping out the habit.

Friendly Watch - Huddersfield 2-1 Blackburn

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Despite fielding a pretty strong side, Blackburn went down to Huddersfield in their pre-seaon friendly which saw Morten Gamst Pedersen missing an open goal (spectacularly) from a matter of yards out.
Huddersfield 2-1 Blackburn
Uploaded by super-goal

The New Season: What the Bloggers Say - Blackburn Rovers

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Looking forward to the new season? Who isn't?! Well, in the name of looking forward let's carry on from where we left off (a look at Aston Villa's season,) and look to the North with Blackburn Rovers. Dreams of an FA Cup final against Burnley and tales of born again Christians abound. Introduce yer'sen... Dan Clough. Blackburn Rovers.

Champions League draw analysis

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In a nutshell: Arsenal v Sparta Prague, Liverpool v Toulouse, Celtic v Spartak Moscow and Rangers or FK Zeta v Crvena Zvezda or Levadia Tallinn. The BBC is lamenting a tough draw for the British clubs, but you would expect at least three of the four to progress. They may not be easy games (there are no easy games at this level, Clive) but to call it a tough draw might be taking things a bit too far.

Deco gets wet for Umbro Ultra SX boots

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With Nike pandering to the masses with adverts showing Wayne Rooney pelting the ball against a man in a jockstrap, Umbro have decided to go all arthouse on us with this commercial for their new boots. Deco is on board to express the virtues of Umbro's waterproof technology by indulging in a little underwater football. Paul Nugent, director of global marketing at Umbro said: "We briefed exposure to create an image that would communicate the product benefits of the Ultra SX as simply as possible in an engaging and emotive way, we believe we have achieved that.

Classic Community Shield Moments: Peter Schmeichel saves David Seaman's penalty

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Of course, back then it was all in the name of Charity. I reckon the Community/Charity Shield is one of those trophies which is a little short on Classic Moments, but as Manchester United are taking on Chelsea this weekend in English football's annual curtain-raiser we ought to celebrate its limited archive of great moments. Here is David Seaman and his caterpillar moustache finding out why Peter Schmeichel was the best keeper in the Premier League at the time!

The Carlos Tevez saga: satisfactory conclusion or whitewash?

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It seems Carlos Tevez's protracted move to Manchester United might finally be completed today. The prospect of a court case has sobered up all parties and a deal appears to have been struck. Tevez is expected to move to Old Trafford on a two-year loan deal with West Ham receiving £2 million in compensation. The Argentine will pick up more than double that this season alone with a salary of £4.

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

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1 Inter Milan, Venezia, Udinese, Inter Milan, Roma, Brescia, Palma, Ascoli (current club). The career path of which journeyman? 2 Who plays at Stark's Park? 3 Picture round: who's this Anton Ferdinand-a-like? 4 Fabio Capello left Real Madrid for the second time this summer. Who are the other four managers to have been in the Bernabeu hot-seat more than once in the last 20 years?

5 Grand traditions ahead of the new season

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1 The annual 'will this be Liverpool's year?' discussions. It never is and this year is no exception. 2 Every pundit predicts that the three promoted teams will go straight back down. It hasn't happened since 1998. 3 Alan Hansen maxes out his quote of Liverpool players/old boys for his Telegraph fantasy football team.

One to watch: Rhain Davis, Aussie wonder boy (Manchester United)

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Rhain Davis is nine years old and plays his football for Redlands United, an U-10 side based in Brisbane, Australia. Or he did play for Redlands until recently. Now he plays for a slightly more famous United – namely Manchester United. The move to England came about after Rhain's grandfather sent a DVD of his uber-talented grandson in action to Old Trafford.

Is Fergie right to moan about Man Yoo's defence?

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After Inter Milan scored three times in 17 minutes during yesterday's friendly against Man Utd, Fergie pointed his hairdryer in the direction of the defence. It's the one area that United have chosen not to strengthen during a summer of spectacular spending. But, now that United have returned to their gung-ho philosophy of scoring one more than the opposition, is there going to be more pressure on the back line that boasted the league's second best defensive record last season?

Football managers losing the f**king plot

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Worth watching for Big Ron's pop at Richard Keys alone. [Spotted on The Guardian's Sport Blog - but that's OK, because their YouTube round-up always includes stuff we featured ages before them]

Newcastle Utd don't need Alan Smith… and what's his best position anyway?

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Newcastle have reportedly agreed a £6m fee to sign Alan Smith from Man Utd. 'I am hoping that the Alan Smith deal will go through today,' said Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce. 'He has other clubs to consider [Everton, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, to name three interested parties] and I am hoping we are top of his list.' Surely what Newcastle need more than anything is quality defenders - not a utility player who doesn't seem to know his best position anymore (yeah, thanks for the failed 'holding midfielder' experiment Fergie)?

Barton in bother again after smacking someone (yawn)

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Finish drinking your tea. You don't want to spit it everywhere when you hear some really shocking news. You'll never guess. Joey Barton has been charged with assault after an alleged training ground bust-up with a former team-mate. *faints* The England and Newcastle United midfielder is accused of attacking fellow player Ousmane Dabo on 1 May.

The New Season: What the Bloggers Say - Aston Villa's

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Welcome to a new feature. Sporadically, we'll be getting the opinions of the fans and bloggers of each Premier League side in the run up to the new season. Of course, these opinions will be biased and far from fair, but that's part of the joy of football eh? Today, let's have a look at the views of a Villa fan who is hoping that Reo-Coker will shine next season.

Pro Evolution Soccer players I have loved, No.2: Valeri Bojinov

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Ah, little Valeri, the goal poacher extrordinaire with the girly name. In the last couple of versions of PES, I always made sure to buy the Bulgarian hotshot (and Man City target) for my Master League team. He developed at a frightening rate, eventually turning into one of the most complete strikers in the game, with a seriously deadly left foot.

The Snapshot: David Beckham's LA Galaxy misery continues…

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The body language says it all: 'Can I go back to Madrid now Victoria?' Yep, David Beckham's dream Hollywood move is already looking like a major mistake, and not just because he's injured right now. Becks looks like he'd rather be anywhere else as he watches his hapless LA Galaxy team-mates go down 2-1 to CD Chivas during their SuperLiga match at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 28, 2007.

Thierry Henry and Ronaldinho in action together for Barcelona against Hearts

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Some nice footage of Ron and TH in action during the recent friendly between Barca and Hearts at Murrayfield (the Spanish giants won 3-1 and generally looked about 38 divisions too classy for Hearts). Ronaldinho's already looking pretty sharp and he teamed up neatly with Henry on a couple of occasions; Henry's pass for Barca's third goal was lovely too.

Top 10 goals from around the world

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I love the internet. It gives you the chance to watch amazing goals from matches that feature teams you didn't even know existed. From the cracking 101GreatGoals, here's the top 10 goals from around the world that have been bagged in the last week.
GolTVs Top10 Goals July 2007 Week 5
Uploaded by CatrachoMillonario

Horror Hair: Manuel da Costa

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More Horror Hair talent appears to be Premiership-bound if Rafa Benitez gets his wicked way with PSV Eindhoven over Portuguese youngster Manuel da Costa. Liverpool is a club with fine Horror Hair pedigree from the bubble perms of Keegan and co. to the peroxide dabblings of David James. Pretty soon we should be able to add the wiry mullet of 21-year-old da Costa to that list.

Dirty Sanchez the next target as Wayne Rooney puts it where he wants it

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Pies has been keeping a close eye on Nike's Put It Where You Want advertising campaign, in which Wayne Rooney vents his frustration at Colleen's latest shopping spree by smacking the ball against a variety of targets (so far a badly drawn circle and an annoying film director have felt the venom of Wazza's new T90 Laser boots). The next targets are Welsh daredevils/Jackass impersonators, Dirty Sanchez, who bravely allowed Roo to pound them with the ball while wearing nought but a jockstrap.

Friendly watch: Manchester United 2-3 Inter Milan

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United lost at home to Inter Milan in this pre-season friendly. Despite Wayne Rooney putting it where he wanted it to open the scoring, the Red Devils were 1-3 down at half-time after goals from David Suazo (two) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They pulled one back in the second half when Adriano headed a Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick into his own net.

Blackburn's new signing Roque Santa Cruz is a pop star

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We all know which footballers can rap, but Blackburn's new signing Roque Santa Cruz is capable of rocking out with the best of them. The Paraguayan striker scored a top 40 hit in Germany and Austria with his collaboration with German band Sportfreunde Stiller. Here is the video for the song, entitled Ich Roque.

Sunderland sign Mido for £6m

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In one of the most surprising transfers yet this season, overweight Spurs striker Mido has joined underachieving (in the Prem at least) Sunderland for a fee of £6m. On paper, it looks like a personality clash of the titans between Keano's never say die team approach and Mido's lethargic, self-absorbed attitude. But, although the Egyptian front man has had numerous run ins with former coaches, if anyone can whip him into shape surely Keane can.

Prison inmate signs for Boston United

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An inmate from an open prison in Lincolnshire has been signed to play for Boston United. Rob Wesley, a 23-year-old defender, is serving a four-and-a-half-year stretch at North Sea Camp prison for stealing from cash machines. He will be allowed out for training and games with the Pilgrims as part of a rehabilitation scheme. 'He's done something wrong and I think it's the first thing he's done wrong,' said John Blackwell, Boston's general manager.

Anelka - How much is he worth?

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It's testament to the progression of Bolton Wanderers as a club to see big names sniffing around the squad. Once upon a time, The Trotters were offloading the likes of Mike Whitlow to anyone who'd have him. Now, the big four are all looking toward Nicolas Anelka to solve their striker woes. Anelka is the first truly world class striker to wear a Bolton shirt in modern times.

Thierry Henry shaves with Tiger Woods and Roger Federer in Gillette ad

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'I never think about yesterday,' says Thierry. That will please Arsenal fans no end. [Via The Beautiful Game] Behind-the-scenes footage (much funnier than the actual ad) from the shoot after the click... Love the fact that the director of this ad for razors has a huge beard.

Bean bites back

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Sean Bean has given a Sharpe response to Neil Warnock's accusations that the film star and Blades fanatic upset his family with a foul-mouthed tirade after last season's relegation. In today's Sun, the grisly-faced actor said, "The story Warnock tells is not the one that I remember and I was there. But perhaps when you spend so much time rehearsing to get picked for Strictly Come Dancing it affects your memory.

Kit Parade - New Bolton home shirt

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With each new season comes new kits. I recall legging it to the newsagents to buy Shoot and Match in the hope of seeing the new parade of home and away shirts for the forthcoming season. Now, I'm a little older and wiser, I've not changed one bit. Being a Bolton fan (don't laugh, I'm worrying about relegation), I eagerly awaited the new home kit.

Friendly Watch - Chelsea 2-0 Brondby

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Chelsea keep on going great guns in their warm up to the new season with a 2-0 victory over Brondby t'other day. Here is the second of Didier Drogba's brace. The first, a Nat Lofthouse style header, can be seen over the jump.

Sven dips into transfer kitty for another striker and a defender

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Sven-Goran Eriksson's (or Ol' Blue Eyes as he's being dubbed in certain parts of Manchester) overhaul of Manchester City looks set to continue, as the club close in on Real Sociedad defender Javi Garrido and Fiorentina's Bulgaria striker Valeri Bojinov. These two, should the deals be completed will join Rolando Bianchi, Martin Petrov, Geovanni and Gelson Fernandes.

LA Galaxy beat FC Dallas 6-5

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A David Beckham-less Galaxy beat FC Dallas in a 6-5 thriller in the Superliga. Check out Landon Donovan signalling game over at 5-3 (there's a few more goals left yet, Landy) and Abel Xavier proving why he is no longer good enough for the Premiership with some schoolboy defending. Our apologies for inflicting the Spanish language 'Gol, gol, gol, gol etc' commentator on you once again, but try to humour him!

Gianluigi Buffon does a Schumacher on Newcastle's Andy Carroll

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The other day we told you about Big Sam Allardyce's complaint that Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon had committed 'common assault' on Newcastle youngster Andy Carroll at the weekend. Well, the YouTubers of this world have finally caught up and here is footage of said incident. It is certainly reminiscent of the Harald Schumacher incident and, just like Schumacher, Buffon gets away with it.

Chelsea new electricity yellow away kit

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Apparently Chelsea's new fluorescent away kit is supposed to give them some sort of edge on the pitch, although Pies would have to question the logic of having Jose Mourinho's tactics printed on the kit for opposition managers and players to see. You can see the actual shirt - chosen by owner Roman Abramovich with a hat tip to Barcelona's bright orange change kit - in our 10 Nasty kits gallery.

Manchester Utd sell Rossi for £6.7m

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Oh, the fickle world of football: Tuesday 31st July: Fergie reveals a crop of promising youngsters he dubs ‘the future' of the club. "My biggest management job next season will be with the young players - Johhny Evans, Gerard Pique, Danny Simpson Lee Martin, Chris Eagles, Frazier Campbell and Guiseppe Rossi," he said.

Join the Pies Fantasy Football League & WIN £500! + iPods, football shirts and more prizes!

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There's still time to join the Pies' Premiership Fantasy Football League, set up in association with our friends at SquadGod, the most interactive online fantasy footy game around. If you want to pit your fantasy managerial wits against my good self and other Pies writers, then EMAIL ME and I'll send you a personal invite. That's how nice I am.

Asian Cup flop Socceroos good enough to moan for England

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Throughout the recent Asian Cup, Pies feared for Australia as they seemed to be heading down a dangerous road that England had gone down last summer. The Socceroos implemented The Masterplan (© Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard, A. Cole) of telling every man and his dog just how good they were before the tournament, not delivering on the arrogant promises on the pitch and crashing out trophy-less.

The Snapshot: Bench it like Beckham

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FC Dallas fans mock the lack of playing time at the start of David Beckham's LA Galaxy career with this cheeky Bench it like Beckham banner. Becks did not make the trip to Dallas due to his on-going ankle injury. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Champions League qualifier: Rangers 2-0 FK Zeta

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Rangers were expected to dominate this CL qualifier but they struggled to impose themselves against the underdogs from Montenegro. And you won't see two uglier goals in your life. This was not the beautiful game in action, but the Scottish side should have enough of a lead to progress.

Blackburn Rovers unveil Roque Santa Cruz

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Mark Hughes wanted to sign Roque Santa Cruz and now he has his man, signed for a relatively modest £3.5m from Bayern Munich - it's a good move for the popular Paraguayan striker, who would probably have spent much of this season at Bayern sat on his ass, watching the likes of Luca Toni, Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose score goals in the Bundesliga.