Who Ate All the Pies Archives for January 2010

The Black-And-White-Years: Bill Shankly, Preston North End, 1937

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By Ollie Irish

Photo: Barratts/S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

Are you looking at me pal?

No, Bill, we dare not look at you, for you are hard as diamond nails.

Sh*t Lookalikes: Lucas Leiva & Mark Knopfler

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By Ollie Irish

This works for me. Got a lookalike for Pies? Send it to ollie@anorak.co.uk.

Chris Wright (aka Pies No.2)

GIF Of The Day: Henry Snorting Coke

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By Ollie Irish

In terms of the headline, this is not a great example of expectation management. But I don't care as it always makes me laugh...

MORE GIFS

2010 World Cup Formbook: Is Stewart Downing In Your England 23 For South Africa?

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By Ollie Irish

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Downing can play on the left side not many English players can and he's a good crosser. He may not be the most exciting choice but I'm starting to think he might, just might, be worth a place in England's 23, perhaps even ahead of Joe Cole (I doubt Capello will take both) or wildcard Adam Johnson (who can play on either wing).

Photos: Fulham 2-1 Hamburg, Europa League – Roy Hodgson Rules

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By Ollie Irish

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Fulham's John Pantsil (left) signs autographs for fans outside of Craven Cottage

Photos: Joe Giddens / EMPICS Sport

Another epic night for Fulham, who denied Hamburg the opportunity to win the Europa League in their own backyard.

Shorts: Tottenham’s New Home Kit (With Photo), Influential Drogba In Time 100, Martin O’Neill Has ‘Sour Grapes’ Over Fulop

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By Ollie Irish

Shorts!

It's a behind-the-scenes, 'you can't bring a camera in here mate' look at Tottenham's new home kit (either that or a training top). It's white and blue and looks like a seriously nice Spurs shirt, unlike the current one.

Gianluigi Buffon Reveals Reason For Man City Rejection

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By Chris Wright

Juventus 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon has revealed that the reason he spurned Manchester City's advances last summer is that they aren't a big enough club to sign him.

The 32-year-old Italian stopper was reportedly the subject of a huge bid from City (rumoured to be anywhere between €25-75 million) but Buffon rejected a switch to Eastlands as he deemed Roberto Mancini's side to be a step down career-wise;

"It doesn't surprise me that a lot of big players have turned down Manchester City, the best players in the world want to be playing for the top teams in the top three leagues, no more than five or six teams in Europe.

Photos: Liverpool 2-1 Atletico Madrid – Reds Horror Season Is Over

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By Ollie Irish

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Liverpool's Fernando Torres applauds the Atletico Madrid fans before kick-off

Liverpool were supposed to contend for the Premier League and Champions League titles this season.

Everton Enter The Race For Carlton Cole

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By Chris Wright

Word on the wind this morning is that Everton are the latest in a long line of clubs to enquire as to the availability of West Ham striker Carlton Cole.

Toffee's manager David Moyes is hoping to recieve a cash-injection to put towards bolstering his squad over the summer, and is also willing to let a few fringe players (Yakubu) leave to help fund a mini-overhaul.

The Treble: Join Our New Betting League!

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By Ollie Irish

Welcome to the third edition of The Treble, Pies' new weekly betting column, sponsored by the fine folks at Titan Bet.

How it works:

1. Pies picks three bets from the coming weekend's matches

2.

Gary Neville Signs One-Year Contract Extension At Man Utd

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By Chris Wright

Manchester United defender Gary Neville has, this very morning, put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension at Old Trafford.

The veteran right-back has joined fellow 'old guard' members of the United squad, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, in committing himself to the club until the end of the 2010/11 season.

Carlos Tevez Told He Can Leave Manchester City, Man Utd Chase £17m Real Madrid Midfielder Lassana Diarra

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By Chris Wright

Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has seemingly told his top goalscorer, Carlos Tevez, that he should move on if he's not happy at the club.

The following are the quotes in question;

"I don't know.

GIF Of The Day: Sergio Busquets Play-Acting Against Inter

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By Ollie Irish

Oh dear (shakes head, tuts)...

Peekaboo, you f**ks, you!

Also:

God, the internet works fast these days.

[All stolen off Twitter]

Cheryl Cole Voted Sexiest Woman In The World, Pulis Furious Over Stoke Mole, Ronaldo Taunted By Transvestites

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By Ollie Irish

Links!!

Cheryl Cole voted the sexiest woman in the world. No sign of Posh Beckham [Goaly Moly]

Stoke gaffer Tony Pulis not happy about dressing-room leakage [BBC]

The best starting XI made up only of managers [Caught Offside]

Peruvian prison holds own World Cup tournament [Unprofessional Foul]

In Mexico, the soccer cheerleaders are hot [Unathletic via Busted Coverage]

Joey Barton is a golf-playing monk [The Spoiler]

Cristiano Ronaldo's thighs scare me [Kickette]

Flamengo fans hire transvestites to taunt Fat-Ronaldo [Goaly Moly]

If Barcelona Inter continued.

Photos: Liverpool Training For Europa League Semi-Final Vs Atletico Madrid

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By Ollie Irish

Pies brings you some exclusive snaps of Liverpool going through the motions at Melwood ahead of this evening's Europa League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid:

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Photos: Peter Byrne / PA

Photos: Barcelona 1-0 Inter, Champions League Semi-Final

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By Ollie Irish

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Inter fans hold up a banner in support of manager Jose Mourinho before kick-off

Photos: Stephen Pond / EMPICS Sport

It takes more than a few water sprinklers to dampen the spirits of Jose Mourinho and his players.

Burnley Can Still Qualify For Europe Next Season

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By Chris Wright

Recently relegated Burnley could still find themselves playing in next season's Europa League if they manage to keep their decent disciplinary record up in their final two games of the season allied with a couple of other extenuating circumstances.

Photos: Andrey Arshavin Dressed As A Cub Scout

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By Chris Wright

Dib dib dib

Here's some charming shots of everyone's favourite war-orphan-faced footballer Andrey Arshavin dressed as a scout to promote a mass outdoor sleepover to be held at Arsenal's Emirates stadium.

Video: ‘Waka Waka’, The Official 2010 World Cup Song, By Shakira

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By Ollie Irish

Shakira: nice to look at (see gallery), not nice to listen to (watch video). All hail the mute button!

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Cynical claptrap, especially the English lyrics.

Video: Jose Mourinho & Inter Players Go Mental After Barcelona Triumph – Activate The Sprinklers!

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By Ollie Irish

Subdue the Italian invaders with water sprinklers...

You have got to love Jose, even if you hate him (that makes sense, right?). The man is clearly a knob of porno proportions, but by thunder he brings the drama. One day, though, he's gonna get lamped in his olive-skinned chops.

Photos: Fulham Train For Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg

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By Ollie Irish

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Photos: Sean Dempsey/PA

Latest Fulham team news: Bobby Zamora is a major doubt due to an Achilles injury. If Zamora doesn't start, Stefano Okaka might deputise, or even Clint Dempsey.

Chelsea Chasing Atletico Bilbao Midfielder Javi Martinez

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By Chris Wright

Reports are doing the rounds today that Chelsea are heading the pack in the race to sign Atletico Bilbao star Javi Martinez.

The 21-year-old combative midfielder is widely expected to leave Los Leones this summer after four impressive years at the club during which he has attracted interest from all across Europe most notably from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Liverpool.

Wayne Rooney Will Definitely Join Real Madrid

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By Chris Wright

Proof if proof were needed

I'm afraid the rumours are true. Wayne Rooney will undoubtedly be calling an emergency press conference in the next few hours to announce the news that he will be playing his football at the Bernabeu next season.

Man Utd Plan Tottenham Raid For £25m Luka Modric, Arsenal Linked With Trio Of Defensive Talent

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By Chris Wright

Th*rsday. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Spurs fans might want to look away now. Manchester United are mooted to be plotting a £25 million raid for Tottenham's Croatian playmaker Luka Modric in the summer.

GIF Of The Day: Sergi Busquets Play-Acting Against Inter

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By Ollie Irish

Oh dear (shakes head, tuts)...

Peekaboo, you f**ks, you!

Also:

God, the internet works fast these days.

[All stolen off Twitter]

Interlona: The Inter & Barcelona Composite XI

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By Ollie Irish

Put together a composite XI made up of the best players from Inter and Barcelona and what do you get? Something like this (note: team is based on current ability rather than career overall, and assuming all players are fit):

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Julio Cesar, Inter

Just goes to show, Barca isn't a hell of a lot stronger than Inter.

Barcelona Vs Inter – Impossible To Predict?

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By Ollie Irish

After last night's damp squib you know tonight will be awesome, whatever happens. How can it not be? Mourinho, Guardiola, Messi, Xavi, Zlatan, Sneijder (set to start despite injury doubts), Eto'o etc etc. And that's just the attacking talent.

Snapshot: Jose Mourinho, ‘The Interpreter’ For Bobby Robson At Barcelona

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By Ollie Irish

Photo: Aubrey Washington/EMPICS Sport

Jose Mourinho sits on the Barcelona bench with manager Bobby Robson, during a Spanish league match against Hercules CF in January 1997. Mourinho was Robson's assistant and interpreter.

When Louis van Gaal replaced Robson at Camp Nou, Mourinho was marginalised and forced out of the club.

Classic Tattoo Fail: It’s Everton, Not Eeverton

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By Ollie Irish

And this goes straight into the Fail category...

It really doesn't need the extra E, does it.

Camp Drog says:

"Oooh, it's a f**king disgrace!"

Which Three Players Must Manchester City Sell This Summer?

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By Ollie Irish

You are City's weakest links. Goodbye...

A hypothesis:

You are Roberto Mancini (you can take the scarf off now, seriously). Come the end of the season, when your City team has finished fourth despite spending shit-loads of cash on new players, you take a long, hard look at your squad.

Top 10 FA Cup Photos Of The Year, 2009-10

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By Ollie Irish

The 10 best pics from this season's FA Cup...

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Bristol City's Nicky Maynard is fouled by Cardiff City's Gavin Rae during the third-round match at Ashton Gate

Photos: PA

Video: Nacho Novo Taunts Celtic Players Again – ‘Ha Ha Samaras!’

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By Ollie Irish

Cheeky little scamp. Is NN the least loved Catholic in all of Scotland? Probably, aye.

MORE
Photos: Rangers Win Scottish League Title – What Now For Walter Smith?

Lee Carsley Set For Birmingham Exit

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By Chris Wright

Dum dum duuuuhhm!

Lee Carsley has announced that he is to leave Birmingham City at the end of the current season.

The 36-year-old midfielder released a statement to confirm his decision;

"I would like to announce that I will be leaving Birmingham City Football Club at the end of this season, I came to the club in 2008 to help them back into the Premiership and then to stay there.

Snapshot: Bayern Munich Dominate Lyon To Reach Champions League Final, Ivica Olic Scores Hat-Trick

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By Ollie Irish

Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Bayern Munich celebrate a 3-0 win at Lyon in the second leg of their Champions League semi final. Ivica Olic scored a hat-trick as the French side totally capitulated. It was one of the most feeble performances I've seen in recent years, though full credit to Bayern for playing so well.

Liverpool Lining Up Move For West Ham’s Valon Behrami?

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By Chris Wright

Following the news yesterday that the West Ham owners are prepared to listen to offers for all of their players (bar Scotty 'Mr West Ham' Parker), reports are circulating today that Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is planning an £8 million summer bid for the Hammer's versatile midfielder Valon Behrami.

David James Teaches Me To Stop A 90mph Shot… Or Not

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By Ollie Irish

Jamo the man, the myth, the hair

Last Wednesday I spent the afternoon with David James at Portsmouth's training ground, courtesy of E-ON's Great Saves FA Cup campaign. I was there to learn some basic goalkeeping skills, and to try not to remember how hungover I was, but mostly to be used for human target practice, in the firing line of a machine that could fire a football at you at up to 100mph.

Manchester City To Dump A Quartet Of Star Players? Real Madrid Target £20m Patrice Evra

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By Chris Wright

£50 million dump. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Manchester City are preparing to jettison £50 million worth of players in the summer as manager Roberto Mancini begins a total rebuild of his squad.

Emmanuel Adebayor, Wayne Bridge, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Stephen Ireland will all face the boot at Eastlands, and the Italian boss is planning to kick start his overhaul with a £50 million bid for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.

Man City Sign Sunderland Keeper Marton Fulop

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By Chris Wright

Sunderland's reserve 'keeper Marton Fulop has officially joined Manchester City on an emergency loan to deputise for the injured Shay Given.

Fulop has signed for City on a short-term deal that will only cover the final three games of the season, and the 26-year-old Hungarian will train with his new teams mates for the first time this morning.

Liverpool Sign Jonjo Shelvey For £1.7m

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By Ollie Irish

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Charlton midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, who turned down a move to Chelsea last season, is to sign for Liverpool after the two teams agreed a fee for a transfer.

Video: OMG Cat Surprised By Danny Rose Wonder Goal Vs Arsenal

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By Ollie Irish

Me likey.

Pele Vs Zidane At Table Football, The Brilliance Of John Terry, Hull Boot Out Jozy Altidore, England WAGs Back For World Cup?

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By Ollie Irish

Links!

This is not England's secret third kit, but it is rather lovely [Mud. Sweat. Badges]

Pele takes on Zidane at table football. Who wins? [Goaly Moly]

Frank Lampard praises "brilliant" John Terry. He would, wouldn't he [Guardian]

Hull boot out red-card villain Jozy Altidore [Sun]

Fabio Capello thinking about letting WAGs into England's World Cup camp?

Pies Classics: Top 10 Football Bond Villains

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By Ollie Irish

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CRISTIANO RONALDO - Born to play a cocky and reckless young sidekick to a South American drug lord (See: Benicio del Toro as Dario in 'Licence to Kill')

A version of this post was first published in March 2007

2010 World Cup Formbook: Is Bobby Zamora In Your England 23 For South Africa?

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By Ollie Irish

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So, Bobby Zamora. He used to be shit, now he's not. Quite a transformation for the ex-Brighton and Spurs striker. Uncle Woy Hodgson seems to have got the best out of Row Z, but could Capello do the same?

‘I’d Love To Play Just One Season For Barcelona’ – Andrey Arshavin

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By Ollie Irish

Arsenal star Andrey Arshavin has admitted he would relish the opportunity to play for Barcelona.

The wee Russian came close to joining the Catalan side from Zenit St Petersburg in the summer of 2008, before moving to north London in January 2009.

Birmingham’s Stephen Carr Facing Police Probe

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By Chris Wright

Birmingham City captain Stephen Carr is facing a police probe over alleged gestures made to the Aston Villa fans following Sunday's derby clash at Villa Park.

Carr made the alleged gestures to the home crowd as he left the pitch understandably infuriated by the decision to award Aston Villa a controversial last-minute penalty which was duly dispatched by James Milner to snatch the late win for his side.

Do Liverpool Fans Want To Beat Chelsea And Gift Man Utd A 19th League Title?

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By Ollie Irish

Cause and effect...

1. Liverpool beat Chelsea next Sunday (a draw might be enough)

2. Man Utd win a 19th title, thereby overtaking Liverpool's tally (18)

If Liverpool FC is to have any chance of playing in next season's Champions League, a victory over Chelsea next Sunday is essential.

Spot The Baller: 27 April, 2010

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By Ollie Irish

Any idea who the ball-headed Everton player is?

Previous answer: Michael Essien

West Brom Reject West Ham Bid For Graham Dorrans

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By Chris Wright


Bit of breaking news for you here folks. West Brom have turned down West Ham's written bid of around £4 million for their influential midfielder Graham Dorrans.

The former Livingston man has had an outstanding season for The Baggies this term, contributing 18 goals from midfield, and has been a driving force behind the club's automatic promotion to the Premier League.

West Ham Put Entire Squad Up For Sale… Except Scott Parker

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By Ollie Irish

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Check out Scott Parker. What a teacher's pet he is! Every single one of his West Ham team-mates has been put up for sale in theory at least by co-owner David Sullivan.

Man City Approach Sunderland For ‘Keeper Marton Fulop

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By Chris Wright

Manchester City have approached Sunderland with the view of signing their reserve 'keeper Marton Fulop on an emergency loan as cover for the injured Shay Given and his understudy Stuart Taylor.

Given sustained a dislocated shoulder during last weekend's game with Arsenal and Taylor has failed to prove his fitness following surgery to correct a knee problem.

Robbie Keane Back To His Boyhood Club Wolves? Arsenal Leading The Race For Fiorentina’s Sebastien Frey

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By Chris Wright

There's a bumper crop today. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Now they are guaranteed to be playing Premier League football next season, Wolves are reportedly eyeing a move for Tottenham striker Robbie Keane.

Photos: Crystal Palace 1-1 West Brom – Palace Still Need A Draw At Hillsborough

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By Ollie Irish

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An American eagle during a display prior to kick-off

Only needing a draw is of course a very dangerous situation to be in, but that's how it is for Crystal Palace. After yesterday's draw at home to the Baggies, Palace can still be relegated on the last day of the season, but only if they lose at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday next Sunday this is a genuine six-pointer, and how fateful that the two sides should meet in this way.

Shorts: Wayne Rooney Broke Snooker Cue After Losing, The Emile Heskey Sex Technique, Stoke Players In Bust-Up

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By Ollie Irish

Shorts!

"That was touching ball, you c**t."

If you wanted any more proof that the world's most successful sports people tend to be competitive assholes who hate to lose at anything, then Theo Walcott provided it this week.

Roy Makaay To Retire At End Of Season – The Phantom’s Playing Career In Photos

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By Ollie Irish

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Playing for Vitesse Arnhem in 1994

Dutch striker Roy Makaay (aka 'The Phantom' great nickname) is to retire at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old former Holland international informed the Rotterdammers' technical director Leo Beenhakker of his decision.

New Man Utd Kits Leaked, Tevez To Liverpool, Gerrard WAG Alex Curran Stocks Up On Cheap Booze

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By Ollie Irish

Some links what I did see and enjoy:

Man Utd's next home shirt? [EPL Talk]

... And United's next away kit? [EPL Talk]

Jozy Altidore brings the stupid [Bill Archer]

The sweeper position set for a comeback? [Zonal Marking]

An astonishing miss in MLS [Inside World Soccer]

Gerrard's WAG Alex Curran out shopping for bargain booze.

Sh*t Lookalikes: Young Thierry Henry & Deion Sanders

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By Ollie Irish

Suitably shit. We like. Send your lookalikes (the shitter the better) to ollie@anorak.co.uk

Ruben Gzirian

Cesc Fabregas’ Club-Record Arsenal Pay Deal Revealed

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By Chris Wright

As the headline suggests, the club-record pay deal handed by Arsenal to midfielder 'Cesc Fabregas a year ago has been revealed and it's fairly substantial.

The 'golden handcuff' package was offered after lengthy negotiations last summer, primarily in a bid to keep Barcelona at bay but also to compensate Fabregas for his relatively low wages (compared to those of the Premier League's elite).

Pies Classics: Top 15 One-Club Footballers

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By Ollie Irish

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Raul, Real Madrid 1994-

A version of this post was first published in March 2007

Photos: Rangers Win Scottish League Title – What Now For Walter Smith?

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By Ollie Irish

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Rangers' Nacho Novo celebrates. He's a bit mad, you know

Rangers won the SPL title again, for the 10,000th time. Celtic were second, no thanks to the not-sterling work of Tony Mowbray.

Video: Learn To Speak Scouse With Dirk Kuyt

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By Ollie Irish

Nope, haven't a forking clue what he's on about it.

Via Liverpoolfc.tv

Cesc Fabregas’ Club-Record Pay Deal Revealed

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By Chris Wright

The club-record pay deal handed by Arsenal to midfielder 'Cesc Fabregas a year ago has been revealed and it's fairly substantial.

The 'golden handcuff' package was offered after lengthy negotiations last summer, primarily in a bid to keep Barcelona at bay but also to compensate Fabregas for his relatively low wages (compared to those of the Premier League's elite).

Premier League Team Of The Year, 2009-10

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By Ollie Irish

This is the PFA Premier League Team of the Year (in what looks like a 4-4-2 formation): Joe Hart, Branislav Ivanovic, Thomas Vermaelen, Richard Dunne, Patrice Evra, Cesc Fabregas, James Milner, Darren Fletcher, Antonio Valencia, Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba.

Wayne Rooney Wins PFA Player Of The Year, James Milner Takes Young Player Award (With Photos)

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By Ollie Irish

As expected, Wayne Rooney was voted PFA Player of the Year. A good choice? Yeah, I think so Rooney is the sole reason why Man Utd are still so close to Chelsea in the table.

James Milner won the Young Player award. I'm happy for him, but I would have been equally happy had Joe Hart won it.

Arsenal Will Listen To Offers For Tomas Rosicky

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By Chris Wright

Rosicky, seen here in default setting

Rumours abound that Arsenal are willing to cut their losses with Tomas Rosicky and are ready to listen to offers for the Czech perma-crock.

Rosicky's former club Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart are both said to be interested in acquiring the services of the 29-year-old midfielder, and The Gunners are willing to listen to any offers in the £8 million region.

2010 World Cup Formbook: Is Scott Parker In Your England 23 For South Africa?

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By Ollie Irish

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Scott Parker has been in blinding form in 2009-10, and the calls for his World Cup selection are getting louder. West Ham keeper Rob Green is the latest to sing Parker's praises:

"Personally, I would love him to go [to South Africa]," Green said.

Hamburger SV To Sack Coach Bruno Labbadia?

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By Chris Wright

Hamburger SV coach Bruno Labbadia faces a decision over his future just day before they meet Fulham for the second leg of the Europa League semi-final clash on Thursday evening.

Hamburg went down 5-1 to mid-table Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga at the weekend and now Labbadia is facing mounting pressure from supporters and the boardroom alike.

Manchester City In Talks Over Emergency ‘Keeper

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By Chris Wright

Manchester City held talks with the Premier League last night, in the hope of being granted permission to bring in a goalkeeper on an emergency loan to replace the injured Shay Given.

The Irish stopper saw his season ended prematurely by a dislocated shoulder sustained during City's goalless draw with Arsenal on Saturday.

Tottenham To Capitalise From Manchester City Exodus, Manchester United Join The Race For Sergio Aguero

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By Chris Wright

Bah dah bah dah dum dum. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Man City are planning a mass clear-out in the summer and Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is waiting in the wings.

'Arry is apparently 'ammering out deals to sign want-away striker Craig Bellamy and not-quite-as-good-as-he-used-to-be defender Micah Richards.

Rumour Balls: Alex Curran (Steven Gerrard’s WAG) And Kris Commons More Than Just Friends?

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By Ollie Irish

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Alex Curran, WAG of Steven Gerrard (and Paris Hilton lookalike), has been photographed without her wedding ring this week. And her engagement ring too.

Photos: Man Utd 3-1 Tottenham – United Pile Pressure On Chelsea

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By Ollie Irish

Shit. Now I suppose I have to back Arsenal to beat Man City. Supporting Arsenal. That doesn't feel right.

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Manchester United fans gather before the game to protest over the Glazer family

Football Fashion: Dwight Yorke’s Shiny Silver Pimp Suit

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By Ollie Irish

Wow. Just wow.

Remember, Yorke was once voted 'Britain's Best-Dressed Man'. He's still got it.

Top Seven Dwarves in Football

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By Ollie Irish

There seems to be a lot of attention paid to tall footballers these days. I blame Peter Crouch. Surely it's much more entertaining to take the piss out of short-arses?

Click below for our list of vertically challenged players, and decide for yourself which one is Sleepy, Bashful, Doc etc.

USA World Cup Home Kit Leaked, The Double Overhead Kick, Professional Tottenham Sh*t Lookalikes

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By Ollie Irish

Pies likes these links:

A remarkable double overhead kick [The Spoiler]

Top 10 professional Spurs lookalikes. Plenty of Shit Lookalikes in here [TottenhamBlog]

More leaked pics of USA World Cup home shirt. You know, the one with the sash [FSC]

Mourinho and Guardiola, two superheroes [Run of Play]

Zinedine Zidane to take part in Soccer Aid at Old Trafford in June [Unreality TV]

Debenhams selling vintage England kits.

Photos: Hamburg 0-0 Fulham, Europa League Semi-Final

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By Ollie Irish

Bobby Zamora got injured, Mark Schwarzer made some saves, no goals were scored. That's about it. Not a great match. Another fine result for Fulham in Europe though, even if the threat of a Hamburg away goal means the tie is very much in the balance even taking into account the Cottagers' excellent home record.

Michel Platini Scotches France’s World Cup Chances

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By Chris Wright

UEFA President Michel Platini all but dismissed France's World Cup hopes, admitting that the lack of outstanding flair players and their problematic coach Raymond Domenech will see them struggle at the South African World Cup.

Photos: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Liverpool, Europa League Semi-Final

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By Ollie Irish

All that way on the train and not even an away goal to show for it! Liverpool created precious little and might have lost by more than Diego Forlan's ninth-minute goal. Yossi Benayoun had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside, but the Reds didn't really deserve a draw.

Meet the real football heroes and maybe win an FA Cup final tickets with E.ON – 1 Tom from Essex

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The FA Cup final is almost upon us and Portsmouth and Chelsea will soon be battling to win the world's premier domestic cup competition. Along with the FA Cup sponsor E.ON we think this is a great time to salute some of football's more unsung heroes, specifically goalkeepers. They may be stars of tomorrow, or just players who have given a lot back to their community.

World Cup Formbook: Is Michael Dawson In Your England 23?

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By Ollie Irish

The Dawse has been in brilliant form in 2010, much better than that of England rival Matty Upson (in my slightly biased opinion).

Dawson is strong, excellent in the air, brave, committed and better than you might think with the ball at his feet some of his crossfield passing (mostly in the direction of Gareth Bale) is really very good.

Everton To Wrap Up Deal For Portuguese Sensation Joao Silva

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By Chris Wright

Everton are all but set to tie up a deal for 19-year-old 'striking sensation' Joao Silva, who currently plays in the second tier of Portuguese football with Aves.

An agreement is apparently in place between the two clubs, and Silva who will cost somewhere in the region of £650,000 is excited about the challenges of the Premier League;

"I am very happy Everton like me.

Top 10 Football Georges

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By Ollie Irish

Happy St George's Day, people. To celebrate, Pies presents a rather splendid gallery of top football Georges:

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Charlie George, Arsenal legend

The Treble: New Betting League, First Table Published

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By Ollie Irish

Welcome to the second edition of The Treble, Pies' new weekly betting column, sponsored by the most excellent folks at Titan Bet.

How it works:

1. Pies selects three bets from the coming weekend's action

2.

Emmanuel Adebayor Joins BBC 2010 World Cup Punditry Team

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By Chris Wright

Along with the dire news that Colin Murray has been installed as the new presenter of Match Of The Day 2, The BBC have also confirmed that Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor will join their World Cup team as a 'guest' pundit along with Gordon Strachan, Jurgen Klinsmann and Clarence Seedorf.

Man City To Make Pre-World Cup Offer For Mesut Özil

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By Chris Wright

Good morning, Vietnam!

Manchester City's top brass have had their collective heads turned by Werder Bremen starlet Mesut Özil and are hoping to have a deal in place for the German international midfielder before the World Cup gets underway in June.

Shorts: Steven Gerrard To Real Madrid, Colin Murray To Host MOTD2, Alex Ferguson Dismisses Retirement Talk

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By Ollie Irish

Shorts!

Our new pals over at Goaly Moly (the football version of pioneering celeb site Holy Moly), who have some very good sources in some very high places, seem 99% certain that Steven Gerrard is off to Real Madrid this summer.

Man City Lining Up £50m Bid For Fernando Torres? Juventus Hoping To Lure Arsenal Duo

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By Chris Wright

Summer luring, had me a blast. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Manchester City are ready to table a £50 million bid for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.

According to The Guardian, City manager Roberto Mancini has 'laid down a marker' for another summer of huge spending by openly discussing the acquisition of the free-scoring Spaniard.

Pies Classics: Top 10 Celebrity Football Triallists

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By Ollie Irish

Football-loving celebrities bore the arse off me. Ooh, there's Robbie Williams gurning in a Port Vale shirt! Oh, and look at Ant & Dec swigging bottled beer in a sponsors' box at St James' Park! And, yes, Ralf Little, you're a half-decent defender (by celeb standards) but stick to what you do best hang on, what exactly is it you do best?

Portsmouth Will Not Play European Football Next Season

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By Chris Wright

Things are going from worse to sh*te for Portsmouth FC at the moment.

The south coast club currently find themselves relegated from the Premier League, mired in administration with rather large debts coming out of their ears and I'm afraid there's even more bad news.

Everton Manager David Moyes Dismisses Man Utd Talk

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By Chris Wright

Moyes is still mourning the death of his eyebrows

Everton boss David Moyes has today moved to play down talk of him becoming the next Manchester United manager.

Reports circulating yesterday were claiming that Sir Alex Ferguson had approached the United board with the suggestion that the Toffees chief would be an ideal replacement for him when he finally decides to vacate the Old Trafford hot seat but, speaking to The Daily Record, Moyes played down the claims;

"It was Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce and Roy Keane being mentioned not long ago.

Steve Coppell Named As New Bristol City Manager

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By Chris Wright

Bristol City have announced via a press conference this morning that Steve Coppell will be installed as their new manager as of May 11th 2010 after signing a rolling 12-month contract at Ashton Gate.

The Robin's caretaker manager Keith Millen in place since the departure of Gary Johnson in mid-March will remain in place for the final two games of the season, before dropping down to an assistant manager role next season.

Charles N’Zogbia Arrested Over Driving Test Fraud Claims

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By Chris Wright

Wigan Athletic's Charles N'Zogbia has been arrested over allegations that he had someone else complete the written part of his driving test on his behalf.

The 23-year-old winger was arrested by police when he turned up to take his practical driving test at the Sale Test Centre in Manchester yesterday.

Man Utd Planning £20m Raid For Tottenhams’s Gareth Bale? Aston Villa Latest Club Linked With Carlton Cole

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By Chris Wright

Good morning all you wonderful people. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Manchester United are reportedly readying a £20 million offer for Tottenham's in-form midfielder Gareth Bale a player they first tried to sign from Southampton in 2007.

Photos: QPR 1-0 Watford – Hornets Still In Relegation Sh*t

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By Ollie Irish

Akos Buzsaky's first-half penalty was the difference between two sides that until quite recently were in danger of the drop. Neil Warnock has steered QPR to safety, but Watford are still in the doo doo, just two points above the relegation zone.

Photo gallery:

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QPR's Akos Buzsaky scores their first goal of the game from the penalty spot

Liverpool’s Long Journey To Madrid: A Very Sh*t Graphic (Who Needs GPS?)

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By Alex 'Tony Hart' Netherton

So forking appalling I just had to share it (Ollie, Ed.). Thanks for nothing, Alex.

MORE
Snapshot: Liverpool Squad Boards Train For Journey To Madrid

Celtic Keen On Nottingham Forest Boss Billy Davies

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By Chris Wright

According to reports in The Times, Celtic are preparing an offer to bring Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies back north of the border and install him as manager in time for next season, with current caretaker boss Neil Lennon dropping back down to assistant manager.

Video: Inter 3-1 Barcelona – Mourinho Magic Works Again

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By Ollie Irish

Storming performance by Inter, who were very good value for this comeback win. Shame Mario Balotelli was such a dick afterwards, but what do you expect from the moody young forward? And even the normally placid Xavi lost his cool, arguing with Jose Mourinho in the tunnel, to the sarcastic effect of: "I bet you were happy with the Portuguese ref, Jose?

Portsmouth FC Reveal Club Debts Of £120m

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By Chris Wright

Portsmouth's administrators have revealed that the soon-to-be Championship side's debts are somewhere in the region of £120 million.

Pompey became the first top-flight team to enter administration this year with debts reported to be around the £60 million mark, but the figures that have been published today by Andrew Andronikou Portsmouth's chief administrator reveal the figure to be nearly double that amount.

Shorts: Alex Ferguson Wants Moyes, ITV Want WAG Danielle Bux For World Cup, Man Utd Reserves Win Title

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By Ollie Irish

Shorts!

According to the Sun, Sir Alex Ferguson has chosen his successor at Man Utd... it's fellow Scot David Moyes. Everton's gaffer is a fine choice, but I wonder how much say Fergie will have in the hiring of his replacement?

Photos: Notts County 1-0 Rochdale – Magpies Edge Closer To League Two Title

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By Ollie Irish

First > second. County stretches its lead at the top of League Two to four points over Rochdale, and with a game in hand; the title is surely on its way to Notts. Magpies fans must be delighted, but many have questioned the high level of County's spending this season, with critics accusing the club of buying promotion.

Chelsea’s Michael Ballack Rejects Latest Contract Offer

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By Chris Wright

Herr, there and everywhere

Chelsea's veteran midfielder Michael Ballack seems to be edging closer and closer to the exit door at Stamford Bridge.

The German has seen his latest round of contract negotiations stall, and has now had any further talks put on hold until the end of the season by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

Video: SPL Goal Of The Season – Anthony Stokes For Hibernian Vs Rangers

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By Ollie Irish

This superbly crafted goal by the erratic-but-talented Tony Stokes was voted the SPL Goal of the Season.

Celtic's Artur Boruc (also erratic-but-talented) won the Save of the Season.

Campaign: James Richardson To Replace Adrian Chiles On Match Of The Day 2

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By Ollie Irish

Now that Adrian Chiles has swanned off to ITV, Match of the Day 2 (the better of the MotdDs) needs a new host. There is fairly substantial backing on the big interwebs for eggheaded Serie A fan James Richardson ex of Channel Four's 'Football Italia' and now presenter of the Guardian's excellent 'Football Weekly' podcast to get the gig.

Man City Targeting Aston Villa Winger Ashley Young, Liverpool Linked With Everton’s Steven Pienaar

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By Chris Wright

Hump. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Manchester City are planning a mass exodus which will see Martin Petrov, Craig Bellamy and Shaun Wright-Phillips all leaving Eastlands in the summer, and manager Roberto Mancini has identified Aston Villa's Ashley Young as the man he will need to plug the sizeable gap left in his midfield.

Snapshot: Liverpool Squad Boards Train For Journey To Madrid

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By Ollie Irish

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard and team-mates board a train at Runcorn, the first leg of the team's journey to Madrid for Thursday's Europa League semi-final first leg against Atletico Madrid. The second leg will see the squad travel from London to Paris on the Eurostar.

The Black-And-White-Years: Bolivia’s Epic Spelling Fail At 1930 World Cup In Uruguay

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By Ollie Irish

The 1930 World Cup in Uruguay the Bolivia team salutes the tournament's hosts by wearing shirts spelling out 'Uruguay Viva' ('Go Uruguay!' in essence). Unfortunately, one of the players with a 'U' on his shirt went missing for the photo call.

Photos: Liverpool 3-0 West Ham – Zola Not Good Enough

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By Ollie Irish

West Ham are fighting for survival but you'd hardly know it, not based on last night's tepid display at Anfield. The failure of Gianfranco Zola to instil a fighting spirit in his players (bar the exemplary Scott Parker, who doesn't need to be told, and who was greatly missed) tells me that the Italian is not yet ready to manage at the highest level.

World Cup Merch: The Zidane Headbutt T-Shirt

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By Ollie Irish

I want this T-shirt so much that I would even part with my own cash (!!) to buy it. Very cool.

BUY IT

How Good Is Gareth Bale Right Now?

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By Ollie Irish

Bale, Bale, BALE

Rhetorical question, really. "He's forking immense" is the right answer. Candidate for best player in the Prem in 2010? You know it. I think I even have a bit of a man crush on Bale. Shhh. Don't tell anyone.

Nicklas Bendtner Doesn’t Star In Denmark 2010 World Cup Song – ‘The Danish Way To Rock’

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By Ollie Irish

The original idea was for Nicklas Bendtner to sing one of the solos in Denmark's official 2010 World Cup song, but it seems that the band Nephew decided to sing the whole thing themselves. Hmm, I wonder why?

Click below to hear 'The Danish Way To Rock'.

Bolton’s Matty Taylor: ‘Glandular Fever Affected My Form’

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By Chris Wright

Bolton Wanderer's midfielder Matthew Taylor has revealed that his form has been affected this season by a mystery bout of glandular fever or 'the kissing disease'.

The 28-year-old told BBC Radio Manchester;

"I didn't feel myself and I went and had a blood test.

Photos: Plymouth 0-2 Newcastle – Argyle Relegated, Toon Champions

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By Ollie Irish

After six middling years in the Championship, Plymouth Argyle have slipped back into the third tier of English football. Paul Mariner did a half-decent job in very difficult circumstances, and whilst I'm not yet convinced of his quality, he deserves the chance to steer the Green Army (oh do shut up) up and out of League One next season.

Shorts: Tottenham Not A Top Club Says Jol, Man City Want Milner, Cristiano Ronaldo Dating Kim Kardashian?

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By Ollie Irish

This morning's shorts...

"Jog on"

Martin Jol has made a dig at his old club Tottenham by insisting they are not big enough to sign Ajax's Luis Suarez.

The Uruguayan striker has enjoyed two impressive seasons in Amsterdam, and Spurs are reported to have joined the list of Saurez admirers but Ajax coach Jol has told them to jog on.

West Ham To Replace Manager Gianfranco Zola With Steve McClaren?

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By Chris Wright

A timeless image

FC Twente coach Steve McClaren has been installed as the favourite to take over the reigns at West Ham should current manager Gianfranco Zola be sacked at the end of the season.

However, The Hammers will have to stay up to convince McClaren to return to the Premier League, as the former England manager is currently enjoying a highly successful spell in the Dutch league which sees his Twente side just one win away from winning the Eredivisie title.

Arsenal Might Buy Real Madrid Cast-Offs (Arsene Wenger Jokes)

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By Ollie Irish

Arjen Robben and Wes Sneijder Real Madrid cast-offs, now thriving in Germany and Italy

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has joked that he would be interested in signing any of Real Madrid's unwanted players.

According to reports, the Gunners gaffer will be given as much as £60million to spend in the transfer market this summer.

AC Milan To Take £20m Gamble On Dimitar Berbatov? Craig Bellamy’s Man City Future In Doubt

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By Chris Wright

Oh, what a beautiful morning. Here's the round-up...

Rumour No. 1: AC Milan are considering a £20 million raid on Manchester United for misfiring striker Dimitar Berbatov.

An anonymous spokesman for the Serie A giants has been quoted as saying;

"No contact has been made yet but we admire Berbatov.

Sergio Aguero Drops Massive Chelsea Hint

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By Chris Wright

Atletico Madrid star Sergio Aguero has broken his silence and admitted that he'd welcome a move to Chelsea.

The Argentinian striker has been linked with moves to almost all of Europe's major clubs, but his recent comments look to have put Carlo Ancelotti's side back in pole position in the race to sign one of world football's hottest properties.

Fiorentina Striker Adrian Mutu Banned For Nine Months

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By Chris Wright

Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu has been handed a nine month ban from football by The Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal (TNA) after failing two doping tests in January.

The 31-year-old forward twice tested positive for sibutramine an appetite suppressant following league games with Bari and Lazio.

Carlton Cole Linked With Surprise Bayern Munich Move

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By Chris Wright

According to Sky Sports, Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich are being linked with a surprise summer move for West Ham striker Carlton Cole.

Cole has apparently caught the eye of the Bayern scouts after forcing his way into the England squad, and by continuing to impress this season in a struggling Hammers side.

Celtic Fans Pick Robbie Keane As Their Player Of The Year

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By Ollie Irish

Robbie Keane has been at Celtic for less than three months, but nonetheless he was voted the club's Player of the Year by its fans. It's a coded message in two parts: firstly to the management to do everything in its power to sign the Spurs striker on a permanent deal, secondly to Keane's team-mates that they have simply not been good enough this season.

Top 10 Premier League Photos: 17-18 April, 2010

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By Ollie Irish

The best pics of the weekend's action in the Prem:

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Blackburn Rovers' Morten Gamst Pedersen (left) and Everton's Mikel Arteta (right) face off. Arteta poked Pedersen in the eye but escaped with only a booking

Jermain Defoe Receives In-Car Blowjob, Ribery Questioned Over Child Prostitution Case, Joe Cole’s Scary Baby

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By Ollie Irish

Links!!

Jermain Defoe caught receiving blowjob in the back of a car. Yuck [Holy Moly]

Pies has been nominated for a couple of awards: best blog and best blogger. Yay! Please vote for us if you enjoy our meatiness (that came out wrong) [EPL Talk]

Frank Ribery has been quizzed by French police investigating a prostitution case involving a minor.

Fulham And Liverpool’s Europa League Ties Given The Go-Ahead

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By Chris Wright

UEFA have confirmed that both Fulham and Liverpool's Europa League ties have been given the all-clear following reports that they may have been postponed due to wide-spread travel disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud that is currently engulfing the entire world.

Photos: Man City 0-1 Man Utd – Scholes Header Keeps United In Title Race

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By Ollie Irish

Forgettable game, memorable winner. Paul Scholes kept his head in added time at Eastlands to win a vital three points for United. Scholes doesn't score many headers, but he knew exactly what he was doing in directing the ball past the left hand of a desperate Shay Given.

David Beckham In England Squad For 2010 Panini World Cup Sticker Album

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By Ollie Irish

It's off the meat rack, y'all!

The new Panini World Cup sticker album has just been launched in the UK awesome news, I'm sure you'll agree.

A couple of notes: David Beckham has been included in England's team (oops), whilst for reigning champs Italy Frencesco Totti is nowhere to be seen.

Photos: Tottenham 2-1 Chelsea – John Terry Sent Off As Blues Falter

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By Ollie Irish

Amazing. To beat Arsenal and Chelsea in one week is the stuff of dreams for us Tottenham fans. And despite only winning each match by a one-goal margin, Spurs totally deserved to take six points from their two big London showdowns. Now bring on Man Utd.

Man City Fans Beat Up Mame Diouf’s Brother, Throw Him Into A Bush

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By Ollie Irish

The older brother of Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf was attacked outside Eastlands on Saturday afternoon. Luckily, he escaped serious injury.

Reports claim that Abdul Biram Diouf, 28, was punched and kicked and then thrown into a bush by a group of irate Man City fans as he left the stadium after United's last-gasp 1-0 win.

Adrian Chiles Quits BBC To Head Up ITV’s World Cup Coverage

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By Chris Wright

Adrian Chiles has quit the BBC after a 'dramatic falling-out' over his reduced role on the channel's tea-time tossbag of nonsense 'The One Show'.

Chiles has quit the Beeb after hearing of plans to give DJ Chris Evans the Friday evening episode of the daily magazine show.

Hit Or Sh*t: Rate The New Ajax Away Kit For 2010-11

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By Ollie Irish

A couple of shots of the new Ajax away strip. I am loving the comedy expressions of the players in the first pic:

Images via FSC

Hit or Shit? Don't waste your vote, people...


Hit Or Sh*t? Rate The New Ajax Away Kitonline surveys

For the record, I like it a lot.

Ouch: Eddie Gustaffson Suffers The Worst Leg Break In Football History?

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By Ollie Irish

In which Red Bull Salzburg keeper Eddie Gustaffson breaks his leg so badly apparently that I can't even bring myself to watch it.

If you dare click 'play', you're made of stronger stuff than me...

Can I look now?

GIF Of The Day: Panic In Arsenal’s Defence

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By Ollie Irish

Arsenal To Replace William Gallas With Bolton’s Gary Cahill?

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By Chris Wright

It's all been a little 'Arsenal-heavy' this morning but them's the breaks...

According to reports in The Sunday Mirror yesterday, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is planning a major rebuild of his squad during the off-season and will target Bolton's Gary Cahill as part of the summer overhaul.

Arsenal Preparing £9m Bid For Man City ‘Keeper Joe Hart? Tottenham To Tempt Steven Pienaar From Everton?

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By Chris Wright

Here we go again. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Arsenal are in the midst of preparing a £9 million bid for Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart as Arsene Wenger has finally run out of patience with his first-choice stopper Manuel Almunia.

Premier League Footballer Threatened By South London Gang

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By Chris Wright


A Premier League player is being forced to pay a London gang £15,000 every three months in 'protection money' according to an investigation carried out by the BBC World Service's 'World Football' programme.

Premier League Footballer Threatened By South London Gang

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By Chris Wright


A Premier League player is being forced to pay a London gang £15,000 every three months in 'protection money' according to an investigation carried out by the BBC World Service's 'World Football' programme.

Fernando Torres To Miss The Rest Of The Season

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By Chris Wright

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has been ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery in Spain on Sunday evening to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee.

The Spaniard will now definitely miss Liverpool's Europa League clash with his former side Atletico Madrid on Thursday, along with the club's four remaining Premier League matches starting with tonight's home fixture with West Ham.

Arsenal Preparing £9m Bid For Man City ‘Keeper Joe Hart? Tottenham To Tempt Steven Pienaar From Everton?

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By Chris Wright

Here we go again. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Arsenal are in the midst of preparing a £9 million bid for Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart as Arsene Wenger has finally run out of patience with his first-choice stopper Manuel Almunia.

The Black-And-White-Years: Dixie Dean, Everton Goal Machine, Poses At Highbury

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By Ollie Irish

Bill 'Dixie' Dean poses before Everton's league match at Arsenal in September 1931. Now that's a hard man.

Photo: Barratts/S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport (right-click to view full-size image)

MORE NOSTALGIA

Sh*t Lookalikes: Bianca Gascoigne & Katie Price (Aka Jordan)

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By Ollie Irish

Bianca Gascoigne (stepdaughter of Gazza) looks even more like Katie Price than Katie Price.

Got a lookalike for Pies? Email ollie@anorak.co.uk with your tips.

Hit Or Sh*t? Rate The New Nike Atletico Madrid Home Kit

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By Ollie Irish

Here's a leaked pic of Atleti's new Nike home shirt. I rather like it. Do you?


Rate Atletico Madrid's New Home Shirtonline surveys

Photo Gallery: World Cup Mascots

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By Ollie Irish

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World Cup Willie (England 1966)

The only ones I couldn't find high-quality pics of: Juanito from Mexico '70, Gauchito (no relation) from Argentina '78, and that weird trio of 'aliens' from Japan/Korea '02.

Arsenal 85-Disc DVD Box Set – Wow! We Beat Spurs!

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By Ollie Irish

How droll (OK, it is quite amusing). I prefer the Spurs version, naturally.

Via @AnmolC on Twitter

Liverpool Linked With PSV Starlet Ibrahim Afellay

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By Chris Wright

PSV's highly-rated winger Ibrahim Afellay is the latest in a succession of skillful attacking midfielders to be linked with a £12 million summer switch to Liverpool.

The 24-year-old Dutch international has been firmly established in the PSV first team for nigh-on five years now (after making his debut in 2004 at the tender age of 17) and is apparently ready to try his hand in the Premier League.

The Friday Hat-Trick – Predict World Cup Results, WIN $100,000 Million!

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By Ollie Irish

Welcome to The Friday Hat-Trick, Pies' new weekly betting column, sponsored by the most excellent folks at Titan Bet.

Here's how it works:

We pick three bets, make our predictions and then YOU tell us what you think will happen.

Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal – The Commemorative DVD You Can’t Live Without

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By Ollie Irish

I reckon this cover took, ooh, four minutes to knock up. It's UTTER CRAP, isn't it. But who cares about the cover feel the quality inside, eh!!

Pre-order the DVD from Tottenham's online shop (it's out at the end of April)

MORE
Funny Old Game: Tottenham DVD commemorates first 42 minutes of Arsenal derby

Players Warned By Police Over Manchester Derby Conduct

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By Chris Wright

The players of Manchester City and Manchester United have been warned by the police over their conduct in the upcoming Manchester derby game on Saturday.

Greater Manchester Police contacted both clubs earlier this week to warn them that there can be no repeat of the provocative behaviour that has marred the previous meetings between the clubs this season.

Armchair Gaffer: Would You Renew Michael Ballack’s Chelsea Contract?

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By Ollie Irish

"I want you, Michael."

"Not now John. Can't you see I am trying to defend this corner with ruthless efficiency."

So, Herr Ballack's Chelsea contract expires this summer. Put yourself in Charlie Ancelotti's slip-ons would you renew it or let Ballack go on a free?

Skills: Cristiano Ronaldo Scores Cracking Solo Goal Vs Almeria (With Video)

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By Ollie Irish

He's still got it.

Ron's solo goal proved to be the winner at Almeria. It keeps Real in the title race, just three points behind leaders Barcelona.

Via The Spoiler / 101GreatGoals

Benfica Name Their Price For Chelsea And Man Utd Target David Luiz

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By Chris Wright

He's in there somewhere!

After months of enquiries flooding in from most of Europe's major clubs, Benfica have finally named their asking price for highly-rated defender David Luiz.

The Portuguese side have told all the interested parties that they will need to stump up £25 million to prise the 6′1″ centre-back from the Estadio da Luz.

Liverpool For Sale – Tom Hicks And George Gillett Have Had Enough

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By Ollie Irish

Big news. Liverpool FC is up for sale. American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have appointed Barclays Capital to find a buyer.

"Following numerous expressions of interest from third parties, the Club has engaged Barclays Capital to advise on the sale process," a statement read on the club's official website.

Real Madrid Want Both Wayne Rooney And Fabio Capello, Man Utd Monitoring James Milner’s Contract Talks

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By Chris Wright

Gadzooks! Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Sensational stuff in The Sun this morning with the 'news' that Real Madrid are planning a huge £90m summer raid for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.

Barcelona Deny Cesc Fabregas Promise

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By Ollie Irish

"Boo!"

Yesterday, Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood claimed that Barcelona promised to keep its Catalan paws off Cesc Fabregas.

Today, Barca technical secretary Txiki Begiristain (surely a good Scrabble score) says no such agreement is in place:

"If Barcelona think that he [Cesc] is necessary for the team, they will go for him, always respecting negotiations," Begiristain told Spanish newspaper AS.

Pies Classics: Cristiano Ronaldo Looks Confident, Doesn’t Understand What It Means

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By Ollie Irish

You can't go wrong with Comrade Red Neville at your side...

Ah, how refreshing to be reminded of the time when C-Ron was just a goofy, giraffe-necked, Guido-haired winger being mocked for his poor command of English. I miss those days he was WAY more fun then.

Photos: Wigan 0-0 Portsmouth – Ailing Athletic Still In Relegation Battle

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By Ollie Irish

In front of less than 15,000 fans, Wigan failed to get the win that would have lifted them clear of the relegation dogfight. If Roberto Martinez's team do go down, they will rue not beating a makeshift Pompey team that couldn't even name six substitutes.

Notts County’s Luke Rodgers Denied US Work Permit

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By Chris Wright


Notts County striker Luke Rodger's move to MLS side New York Red Bulls is in jeopardy, after seeing his application for a US work permit denied today due to a past misdemeanour.

The 28-year-old forward has a conviction for affray in the UK (dating back t0 2003)Â after being fined and ordered to perform community service for releasing a firework in a pub car park that struck a young girl in the face.

Photos: Aston Villa 2-2 Everton – Jagielka Own Goal Hurts Toffees

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By Ollie Irish

An injury-time own-goal by Everton's Phil Jagielka salvaged a point for Aston Villa, after a couple of Tim Cahill headers looked to win the game for the visitors. Villa's failure to pick up three points means they are almost certainly out of the running for a Champions League spot.

Juan Roman Riquelme Sexted WAG Luli Fernandez In Bid To Betray Boca Team-Mate Pablo Mouche

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By Ollie Irish

Luli Fernandez at work

Argentine model Luli Fernandez is caught at the centre of another football love triangle, this time between Boca Juniors stars Pablo Mouche and Juan-Roman Riquelme.

What If… The A Team Was Cast With Football Stars?

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By Ollie Irish

Yoann Gourcuff as Templeton 'Faceman' Peck

Mad Jens Lehmann as 'Howling Mad' Murdock (natch I wouldn't even audition for this part, Mad Jens is a shoo-in)

Marcelo Lippi as cigar-chomping John 'Hannibal' Smith

George Elokobi as BA "I ain't gettin' on no plane" Baracus

Now that's an A Team movie I would pay to watch.

Photos: Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal – Stand Up, Danny Rose

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By Ollie Irish

Regardless of the result, let's stand up and applaud a brilliant match. This was the Prem at its absolute best two teams with the gloves off, punching and counter-punching for 90 minutes. Captivating.

As a Spurs fan, the result has put a massive smile on my face.

Sh*t Lookalikes: Heurelho Gomes & Eugene The Jeep

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By Chris Wright

For all of you who don't know, Eugene The Jeep was a character from Popeye who used to jump around like a clown, causing all kinds of mayhem in his own penalty area until he was sat down by Harry Redknapp and told to sort himself ou.

PFA Player Of The Year Shortlist: Rooney, Drogba, Fabregas, Tevez – Who Deserves It?

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By Ollie Irish

There is no debating this season's PFA Player of the Year award. There can be only one winner, and that's Wayne Rooney.

Wazza heads a four-man shortlist (reduced from the usual six) that also includes Didier Drogba, Cesc Fabregas and Carlos Tevez.

Shorts: Fabio Capello Wants Adam Johnson For England, Pensioner Dies In World Cup Ticket Queue, Ribery’s Next Club?

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By Ollie Irish

This morning's shorts:

Fabio Capello has hinted that Man City winger Adam Johnson could force his way into England's World Cup squad.

The Italian looks set to hand Johnson his first cap in England's friendly against Mexico next month.

Roberto Mancini On Italian FA’s Managerial Shortlist

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By Chris Wright

The FIGC (Italian FA) have drawn up a fresh shortlist of potential new coaches and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is said to be heading it.

Mancini, who only joined City in December, is joined on the list by former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri who is currently guiding AS Roma to a late run on the Serie A title.

Photos: Dundee United 0-0 Rangers – A Useful Point For 10-Man Terrors & Gers

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By Ollie Irish

Rangers' failure to pick up three points at Tannadice last night makes a very, very small dent in their title challenge, but an 11-point lead over Celtic is a fairly comfy cushion. The Gers now need just five points from their remaining five matches to be crowned SPL champs.

Jose Mourinho Confident Of Bringing Steven Gerrard To Inter Milan

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By Chris Wright

Mr Lampard?

Apologies 'pool fans, but this one just won't go away. Inter Milan are seemingly becoming increasingly confident of being able to tempt Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard to Serie A with the offer of a ridiculously large contract coupled with the promise of Champions League football next season.

Sh*t Football Songs About Arsenal, No.1: ‘Live + Breathe’ By The Away Boyz

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By Ollie Irish

I just threw up in my mouth. Gooners probably the most self-satisfied fans in the world.

Spotter's badge: The Fiver

The Drog says:

"Ooh, it's a flippin' disgrace."

There's more.

Chelsea’s Michael Ballack To Make Inter Milan Switch? Real Madrid To Pip Man Utd To £22m David Silva

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By Chris Wright

Oh Ballack! Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Chelsea midfielder clogger Michael Ballack may find himself reunited with former coach Jose Mourinho in the summer.

Ballack's contract at Stamford Bridge runs out in July and negotiations over a new deal are at an impasse, fuelling speculation that Ballack will be allowed to walk out of the club on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Video: Danny Rose Scores Wonder Goal, Spurs Vs Arsenal

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By Ollie Irish

Holy shit, that was astonishing. One of the goals of the season, fo' sure. Danny Rose, you just had your Wayne Rooney moment (Rooney's was also against Arsenal).

PS. I'm posting this at half-time. We'll have to see if Spurs can hold out against a decidedly weakened Arsenal side.

LA Lakers Star Kobe Bryant Hails ‘Incredible’ Lionel Messi

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By Ollie Irish

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant has spoken out in praise of Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

"He is the most incredible player I have ever seen," Kobe told Sport.

"The truth is that it amazes me when the best player in the world continues inventing things that I have never seen before.

Snapshot: Reading 1-2 Newcastle United – Toon Title Almost In The Bag

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By Ollie Irish

Boof! Reading's Andy Griffin (left) lays into Newcastle United's Jonas Gutierrez (right), during the Toon's 2-1 win at the Madejski.

Kevin Nolan scored twice to move Newcastle ever closer to an almost-certain Championship title. The Magpies now have a nine-point lead (and +13 goal difference) over second-placed West Brom.

New Chelsea Home Kit Leaked (With Photos) – It’s Blue And RED!

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By Ollie Irish

Lo-res pics of Chelsea's new home kit for the 2010-11 seasons (Via FSC):

It's simple and an improvement on the current kit, but do we really need another new Chelski kit? Of course not. And what's with the red trim?

Hit or shit?

Liverpool Manager Rafa Benitez Given Juventus Ultimatum

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By Chris Wright

Ten days and counting for Rafa?

According to The Times, Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has been issued with a ten-day ultimatum by Juventus to throw his hat into the ring for the soon-to-be-vacant managerial post at the Italian side.

Photos: Celtic 2-1 Motherwell – A Welcome Win For The Hoops

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By Ollie Irish

You can hear Neil Lennon's sigh of relief from down here in soft-as-shite London. Josh Thompson of all people was Celtic's hero, scoring twice in the second half as the Hoops came from 1-0 down to win at Celtic Park and help banish memories of the Ross County debacle.

Pies Classics: Top Six Football Judases

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By Ollie Irish


1. Harry Kewell (Leeds Utd to Galatasaray)
Leeds Utd fans were incensed that one of their former stars signed for the club they hate almost as much as Man Utd as you probably remember, two Leeds fans were stabbed to death by Turkish fans at a UEFA Cup semi final between the two clubs in 2000.

Photos: Chelsea 1-0 Bolton – Not ‘Easy’ But Three Points Vital For Blues

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By Ollie Irish

Fergie got it wrong. This wasn't "easy" for Chelsea, but they got the win at this stage of the season, nothing else matters. Nicolas Anelka's headed goal, via a Drogba cross, did the damage.

For all Bolton's battling qualities, Chelsea deserved the win.

Skills: Gabriel Obertan Scores Wonder Goal, Man Utd Reserves Vs Liverpool Reserves (With Video)

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By Ollie Irish

Wow. Monsieur Parsnip hit that. Fergie was at the match, so it will be interesting to see if Obertan is promoted to the first-team squad in any games left this season. I doubt it Obertan is still very raw.

Via 101GreatGoals

Football Scenes You Will See Today: Sol Campbell Abused By Tottenham Fans

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By Ollie Irish

Arry Redknapp fears Tottenham fans will give Sol Campbell "grief" during this evening's north London derby:

"I'm sure he will get some grief. It is no good me sitting here and saying that he won't," the Spurs gaffer said.

Arsene Wenger To Be Handed £45m War Chest?

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By Chris Wright

"Hmm, how many 5′4″ 17-year-old attacking midfielders does £45m get me"

According to an independent study that analyses club's financial results, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be the most cash-rich Premier League manager during the next transfer window with an estimated kitty of somewhere between £30-45 million to spend on new players.

Photos: Notts County 3-1 Lincoln – Magpies So Close To Promotion

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By Ollie Irish

Only Rotherham's 1-0 home win against Northampton prevented this from turning into a promotion party for County. The Magpies are so close to going up, and only a complete collapse combined with four MASSIVE wins for Rotherham would prevent them doing so; in effect nothing can stop them making it to League One.

Leo Messi: Cesc Fabregas Has Barcelona ‘In His Blood’

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By Chris Wright


Lionel Messi has stated that he fully expects Arsenal talisman 'Cesc Fabregas to rejoin his boyhood club Barcelona at some point in the near future as the Gunner's captain has the blaugrana 'in his blood'.

Manchester United Plot £14m Raid For Stephen Ireland, Everton Chasing PSG Striker Mevlut Erding

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By Chris Wright

Y'all come back y'hear? Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Manchester United are reportedly considering a shock £14 million move for Manchester City forgotten man Stephen Ireland.

After enjoying such a fruitful season last time out, a succession of niggling injuries and a dip in form has seen the 23-year-old restricted to only 16 Premier League starts this season and his struggle to regain a place in the City first team has convinced the Irishman that his future may now lie elsewhere.

New Blackburn Rovers Away Kit, David Beckham’s Body, Everton Want Muntari

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By Ollie Irish

Links!!

David Beckham tops 'best body' poll. C-Ron must be gutted [Vidas via Kickette]

The England 'Mostly Teenagers' XI [The Spoiler]

Fun Flash game in which you can pass it like Xavi. Or not [Pass It Around]

Blackburn's new away kit is simply red [FSC]

The four most annoying types of female sports fans [Uncoached]

Decent interview with MLS commissioner Don Garber [Sports Illustrated]

Brazilian striker Amauri turns Italian [Dirty Tackle]

Everton keen on Inter midfielder Sulley Muntari?

Skills: Javi Martinez Owns Almeria Defence, Scores Great Solo Goal

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By Ollie Irish

Sweeeeeet. You can see why he's on Rafa Benitez's radar.

David Beckham, A Football Career In Photos – Part One, The 1990s

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By Ollie Irish

With David Beckham's playing career all but over (sniff), what better time than to break out the rose-tinted nostalgia specs.

So here's a bumper gallery of Dave's highs and lows, starting with the 1990s and his Man Utd & England glory days:

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Playing for England U18s in March 1993

So young!

Sh*t Lookalikes: The Wenger & Bodhi & Ken & Nedved Bumper Edition

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By Ollie Irish

That's a heavy amount of flaxen hair. Pick any permutation you want to make a classic Shit Lookalike.

Any more Young Wenger / Bodhi / Ken / Nedved ringers whilst we're here?

Skills: Kick Off 2, A Free-Kick With Extra Bounce

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By Ollie Irish

The best part, clearly, is when the keeper dives ten yards to his left, AFTER the goal had been scored.

Ah, memories. They don't make 'em like they used to. And that's probably a good thing.

Seen any mad skills recently? Email ollie@anorak.

Emmanuel Adebayor Retires From International Football

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By Chris Wright

Togo and Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has announced his retirement from international football.

The rangy forward has won 38 caps for his country scoring 16 goals but has admitted that the fatal attack on the Togolese team bus he witnessed at this year's African Cup of Nations has made it impossible for him to represent his country again.

Spot The Baller: 13 April, 2010

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By Ollie Irish

Can you identify the ball-headed Chelsea star?

Previous answer: Nemanja Vidic

Juliano Belletti Tweets About Chelsea Exit

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By Chris Wright

Chelsea's underrated utility man Juliano Belletti's days at the club appear to be numbered as revealed by the man himself via his Twitter account.

Speaking on the micro-blogging site, the Brazilian admitted that next month's FA Cup Final may be his last game in a Chelsea shirt;

"Maybe [the cup final] will be my last game for Chelsea.

Shorts: Tevez Was A Slacker At Man Utd, Tevez Unhappy With Man City Double Training Sessions

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By Ollie Irish

A slow news morning is dominated by Carlos Tevez...

Rio Ferdinand has revealed that former Man Utd team-mate Carlos Tevez never gave his all in training with United:

"Carlos is an interesting character. When he was at United, he saved all his energy for the games he didn't really go over the top at training.

Snapshot: Swindon Town 1-1 Exeter City

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By Ollie Irish

Exeter City's Steve Tully and Swindon Town's Scott Cuthbert battle for the ball. A Matt Taylor own goal in the 94th minute robbed Exeter of victory and maintained Swindon's push for automatic promotion to the Championship.

Photo: PA

Liverpool Eye Hamburg Winger Eljero Elia, Arsenal Tracking Juventus Defender Martin Caceres

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By Chris Wright

Thumb and thumber. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: The latest nippy winger to be linked with a move to Liverpool is Hamburg's Dutch international flyer Eljero Elia.

Elia has apparently been on The Red's radar for some time now, and Rafa Benitez is hoping that a £9 million bid will tempt the German side into parting with the highly-rated 23-year-old.

Manchester United Ready To Dump Dimitar Berbatov?

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By Chris Wright

Caption deemed unnecessary

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has reportedly finally reached the end of his tether with misfiring striker Dimitar Berbatov, and is prepared to make a huge loss on the £30 million Bulgarian in a bid to offload him in the summer.

Sh*t Lookalikes: Young Arsene Wenger & Patrick Swayze In ‘Point Break’

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By Ollie Irish

"Back off Warchild."

Thanks to Takeshi Cho for the tip. Any time Pies can feature 'Point Break' is a happy time.

Got a lookalike for Pies? Is it a bit shit? Then email ollie@anorak.co.uk, with 'Lookalikes' in the subject field.

Video: Man Utd Vs Bayern Munich, The LEGO Remake

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By Ollie Irish

Superb recreation of Bayern's two goals at Old Trafford by German LEGO nut Fabian Moritz.

Skills: Japanese Player Jun Suzuki Scores Direct From Corner Kick

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By Ollie Irish

By Jove! I think he meant it! Cracking strike, keeper should have done better though.

MO' SKILLS

Top 10 Premier League Photos: 10-11 April, 2010

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By Ollie Irish

The best pics of the weekend's action in the big bad Prem, starring Alberto Aquilani, Peter 'Monkey's heid' Reid and Dimitar Berbatov:

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Hull City's Paul McShane (left) and Burnley's David Nugent share a joke

The Friday Football Shirt Quiz

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By Ollie Irish

Name the five clubs from the shirt details:

Good luck with those bad boys.

CSKA Moscow Prepare £9m Bid For Liverpool’s Yossi Benayoun

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By Chris Wright

Liverpool may have their resolve tested as reports are again circulating that CSKA Moscow are to hit them with a £9 million bid for their murine (look that one up) midfielder Yossi Benayoun.

CSKA are hoping to tempt Benayoun to the Russian league by offering him a financially generous and relatively short-term contract, after learning that the 29-year-old Israeli had spent last week discussing his future with his agent despite still having three years left to run on his current Anfield deal.

MLS Balls: Notts County Striker Luke Rodgers To Sign For New York Red Bulls

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By Ollie Irish

Notts County forward Luke Rodgers is on the verge of a slightly sensational move to New York Red Bulls (who are managed by former Magpies boss Hans Backe) in MLS.

The 28-year-old striker is set to play his last game for County against Lincoln at Meadow Lane on Tuesday evening.

Video: James Corden And Man Utd Film Sports Relief Sketch – Behind The Scenes

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By Ollie Irish

Love the image of Fergie and Capello walking in on Corden, Rio, Rooney and co.

FA Cup Photos: Tottenham 0-2 Portsmouth – Pompey Make Final Against All Odds, Crouch Misses Everything

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By Ollie Irish

Congrats to Uncle Avram and his Pompey team (he said, through clenched teeth). God knows they deserve a break. Still, I can't see them beating Chelsea in the final. However, I didn't see them beating Tottenham either, so there you go. Shit happens.

Spurs had a shocking, hair-tearing day in front of goal with Peter Crouch particularly wasteful, although Crouch's 'goal' should have stood that was never a foul by Niko Kranjcar on David James; James knew it too.

MLS Balls: Notts County Striker Luke Rodgers To Sign For New York Red Bulls

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By Ollie Irish

Notts County forward Luke Rodgers is on the verge of a slightly sensational move to New York Red Bulls (who are managed by former Magpies boss Hans Backe) in MLS.

The 28-year-old striker is set to play his last game for County against Lincoln at Meadow Lane on Tuesday evening.

Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie To Return For Tottenham Clash?

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By Chris Wright

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger may risk striker Robin Van Persie in Wednesday's North London derby with rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

The Dutchman has been sidelined for more than five months with ruptured ankle ligaments but is in line for a first team return after coming through intensive training sessions unscathed.

CSKA Moscow Prepare £9m Bid For Liverpool’s Yossi Benayoun

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By Chris Wright

Liverpool may have their resolve tested as reports are again circulating that CSKA Moscow are to hit them with a £9 million bid for their murine (look that one up) midfielder Yossi Benayoun.

CSKA are hoping to tempt Benayoun to the Russian league by offering him a financially generous and relatively short-term contract, after learning that the 29-year-old Israeli had spent last week discussing his future with his agent despite still having three years left to run on his current Anfield deal.

Shorts: Man City Want Fabregas, Rafa Gives Up On Fourth, Fergie Dismisses ‘Easy’ Bolton

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By Ollie Irish

This morning's shorts:

Manchester City are preparing a £50m summer swoop for Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas. So says the New of the World (makes timeless "must be true" gag). It's a credible rumour, but only in as much as City have loads of cash and Fabregas is a brilliant young player who has proved himself in the Premier League.

Tottenham Targeting Trio Of T’riffic Top Top Talent, Man City Watching Werder Bremen Star Mesut Ozil

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By Chris Wright

Here's the round up...


Rumour No. 1: Tottenham Hotspur are featuring heavily in this morning's transfer gossip, finding themselves linked with a trio of players.

Firstly, Man City manager Roberto Mancini is ready to let Micah Richards and Roque Santa Cruz leave the club after both players have seemingly failed to impress the Italian during his short tenure at Eastlands, and Spurs are said to be first in the queue to sign both players.

FA Cup Photos: Aston Villa 0-3 Chelsea – Depressingly Predictable

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By Ollie Irish

At half-time, with the score at 0-0 and Villa having been denied a certain penalty, I lumped on Chelsea (a mighty £2!) to outscore Villa in the second half. Easy money, I thought: Villa will fade, Chelsea will do its usual overpowering thang. And so it proved.

Horror Tackle: John Terry On James Milner (With Video)

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By Ollie Irish

John Terry enhanced his rep as the most odious man in football with this reckless assault on England team-mate James Milner, during Chelsea's rather dull 3-0 FA Cup win over Villa:

Yeah, Howard, that's only a yellow.

In my opinion, that was a worse tackle than Shawcross on Ramsey it's only because Milner's standing foot wasn't planted in the turf that he escaped a potentially career-ending leg break.

Photos: Celtic 0-2 Ross County – Hoops Crash Out Of Scottish Cup

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By Ollie Irish

Oooh, not good. This has to rank as one of the most humiliating results in Celtic's history but nuff respect to Ross County for taking their chances and keeping the Hoops at bay. Georgios Samaras hit the post but that was as close as Celtic got to scoring.

Football Venn: Jamie O’Hara Vs Jermain Defoe

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By Ollie Irish

Photos: Tottenham Train For Portsmouth FA Cup Semi Final

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By Ollie Irish

A few choice photos of Spurs preparing for Sunday's FA Cup semi against Pompey. Great to see Aaron Lennon back on his feet and in good spirits:

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Cristiano Ronaldo Is More Selfish Than Lionel Messi, Claims Study By Spanish University

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By Ollie Irish

I'm getting the words... Gay Chat

A study of C-Ron and Leo, conducted by the University of Coruna in Spain, has revealed some interesting stats:

• More than 80% of Barcelona's passing moves involve Messi, compared to 60% in the case of Ronaldo and Real Madrid.

The Friday Football Shirt Quiz

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By Ollie Irish

Name the five clubs from the shirt details:

Good luck with those bad boys.

Mad Skills: Lionel Messi Scores Awesome Rabona On Pro Evolution Soccer

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By Ollie Irish

Arsene Wenger described Lionel Messi as a PlayStation character. And here is the unreal Leo, scoring a cracker on PES:

In all my PES years, I never scored with a rabona. Pfff.

GIF Of The Day: Mick McCarthy Loves One In The Hole

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By Ollie Irish

Love it.

Thanks to Christian Erikson for the tip.

Frank Lampard Nominated For Sony Radio Award, New Liverpool Kit, 10 Ways To Stop Lionel Messi, England WAGs Plan To Defy Capello

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By Ollie Irish

Links!!

10 ways to stop Lionel Messi [The Offside]

Frank Lampard interview up for Sony radio gong [Inside World Soccer]

The genius of Wesley Sneijder [Run of Play]

England WAGs plan to defy F-Cap and join their men at the World Cup [Daily Star]

A glimpse of Liverpool's new home kit.

Man Utd Sign Deadly Mexican Striker

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By Ollie Irish

I refuse to make a joke about the shirt sponsor

(That's deadly as in his finishing. Nothing to do with swine flu. Just to know.)

Man United's new signing, and the club's first ever Mexican signing, is Javier 'Chicharito' (Little Pea) Hernandez.

Man Utd Priced Out Of £40m David Villa Move?

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By Chris Wright

Manchester United are reportedly unable to meet Valencia's £30-£40 million asking price for their star striker David Villa, despite the Spanish hitman admitting that Old Trafford would be his preferred destination should he move to England.

Man City To Make ‘Shock’ Ivica Olic Move? Tottenham Plan To Bring Guti To The Lane

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By Chris Wright

Bulging at the seams. Here's the round up...

Looks like he doesn't fancy City much

Rumour No. 1: Manchester City are rumoured to be planning a 'shock' move (I'm sure it has nothing to do with a certain football match that took place earlier this week) for Bayern Munich grafter Ivica Olic.

Pepe Reina Signs Mammoth New Deal At Liverpool

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By Chris Wright

Liverpool 'keeper Pepe Reina has signed a new looooong-term deal at the club.

Reina has put pen to paper on a new six-year contract that will replace his current deal and extend his Anfield commitments until 2016.

Wayne Rooney And Steven Gerrard Are Very Sh*t Artists

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By Ollie Irish

... And not just Wazza and Stevie G. Most footballers can't draw for toffee, churning out witless, childlike scribbles that bely their general lack of imagination.

Anyhoo, 40 Premier League footballers and managers drew self-portraits for a book called The Art Of Football, which will be auctioned at the Football Extravaganza dinner on Monday in London.

Liverpool Chasing Lazio Left Back Aleksandar Kolarov

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By Chris Wright

Due to the inescapable fact that Emiliano Insua is their first-choice left back, Liverpool are understandably eager to bring in an actual footballer to fill the berth, and that man is reportedly Lazio's Aleksandar Kolarov.

Rafa Bentiez is to renew his efforts (Liverpool made initial enquiries in January) to sign the Serbian international before the World Cup begins in June, in a bid to recruit the fullback before a decent tournament inflates his asking price further.

Football: An Obituary

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By Alex Netherton

An obituary of football on a football website that does not thereafter immediately shut perhaps highlights the futility of existence. This existentialist crisis is probably only matched by the futility of football itself. Football, like dignity and the common usage of the question mark, is waning.

Photos: Wolfsburg 0-1 Fulham – Zamora For England?

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By Ollie Irish

Another goal by Roberto Zamora in the first minute! was more than enough to see Fulham through to the last four in the Europa League. They now face another Bundesliga side, in the form of Hamburg.

Even without Clint Dempsey, the Cottagers gave a composed, mature performance against the current German champions, and fully deserved the win.

Rate The New Liverpool Home Kit (Wot No Carlsberg!)

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By Ollie Irish

This is Liverpool's next home kit, for the 2010-12 seasons. As you can see, it's missing a big Carlsberg logo, for the first time in 17 years (Standard Chartered is a British bank with a dull logo zzzzzz). Not that the Reds ever won the league with Carlsberg on their shirts, so it might be the dawn of a trophy-tastic new era.

Video: New Liverpool Home Kit – Ooh, It’s Too Tight For Steven Gerrard

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By Ollie Irish

Er, what can you say? It's red, it's nice, it's new.

Photos: Liverpool 4-1 Benfica – Torres Leads Reds To Semis

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By Ollie Irish

I predicted the 'Pool would be knocked out by Benfica a dangerous team but I'm happy Torres and co. proved me wrong. This was a fine win, if a wee bit nervewracking until Torres scored Liverpool's fourth and his second in the endgame, with a very classy chipped finish.

Claude Makelele Announces Retirement

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By Chris Wright

Claude Makelele, what an anchor!

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid holding midfielder Claude Makelele has announced that he will retire from football at the end of the current season.

The 37-year-old is currently playing in France with Paris Saint-Germain, and speculation had been rife that he was to be offered a further one-year playing extension at the Parc des Princes.