October 28, 2010
Posted: 1303 GMT
Now we know why the football hierarchy is all fingers and thumbs when it comes to making delicate decisions about the game - the boys spend much of their spare time in the fantasy football world of Sony PlayStation.
Michel Platini’s fears that introducing goal-line technology would lead to “PlayStation football” is the second time in a week that a top football figure has drawn an analogy between the real game and a video game.
However, while Platini made a negative connection, Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, in describing in-form striker Florent Malouda, as a “PlayStation footballer”, inferred that the Frenchman’s similarity to the mini-me version of himself was a good thing, and I have to agree with him.
Before I continue, I must confess that I don’t own a PlayStation, though I do have a Wii, and routinely get thrashed by my 10-year-old son on his FIFA Soccer game, even though he plays kick and rush and I take the tiki-taka approach favored by Spain and copied, with varying degrees of success, by my home-town club, Arsenal. Shoot, why don't you!
October 25, 2010
Posted: 1332 GMT
A lean, mean scoring machine. That is what Real Madrid have turned into over the last few weeks. Even though Jose Mourinho has moved to dampen expectations in his first season at the Bernabeu, it looks as though this team could win it all.
Do you remember when Real were criticized for being defensive and boring after they managed to score only nine goals in the first seven matches of the season? Well since then, they have hit the back of the net a whopping 18 times in the last four games! Right now Los Blancos are simply irresistible.
So what has changed at the Santiago Bernabeu and why have they been so quick to fire on all cylinders? It´s quite simple. It all comes down to hard work and discipline.
Posted: 1138 GMT
Golf's silly season officially began with the PGA's rather loftily titled Grand Slam of Golf, which took place in the sun-kissed paradise of Bermuda recently.
It brings together the four winners of the year's majors who play over 36 holes. The winner takes home a cool $600,000 with generous prize money for the other three.
PGA champion Martin Kaymer and U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell snapped up their invitations but unfortunately for the organizers, Masters champion Phil Mickelson understandably decided to put his family first after a long season and skip the event, while British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen was injured.
October 23, 2010
Posted: 1451 GMT
The new NBA season tips off on October 26 with a mouth-watering clash as the new-look Miami Heat visit the Boston Celtics. That game will be a fitting opening to what is arguably the most anticipated basketball season since Michael Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls back in 1998.
During the off-season, the Heat pulled off perhaps the greatest coup in the history of the league by re-signing Dwyane Wade and acquiring free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors respectively.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Wade and LeBron are two of the top-three players in basketball alongside the L.A. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant. Add to the duo a top-five big man in Bosh, and the Heat have all the ingredients to not only compete for multiple championships over the next five years, but even challenge the all-time single season wins mark of 72 set by the Bulls in 1996.
October 22, 2010
Posted: 1447 GMT
So it was all a storm in a tea cup. A little tantrum. A cry for attention. Call it what you will, but Wayne Rooney’s dramatic about-face over his decision not to sign a new deal with Manchester United caught us all on the hop and left this particular journalist dumbfounded as to why his dirty laundry was ever aired in public.
A day ago Wayne Rooney was on his way to becoming a pariah at Old Trafford, not just for rejecting the offer of a new contract, but for damning the club as un-ambitious and a spent force in terms of its ability to sign big name players and win major trophies.
Wazza was on his way to Real Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, or Chelsea, take your pick, and was destined to be a target for the Red Devils’ boo boys for the rest of his career.
So what happened? Did Sir Alex Ferguson, already earmarked as “a genius” by Rooney in the midst of all the kerfuffle, work his magic again? Well that’s what Wazza says, though can we believe him after the schizophrenics of the last few days?
October 21, 2010
Posted: 1029 GMT
A few years back there was an evergreen Manchester United striker called Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The fresh-faced Norwegian went by the nickname of “The Baby-Faced Assassin” due to his penchant for scoring killer goals and youthful good looks.
Well, may I introduce his evil step-brother, Wayne Rooney, “The Pug-Faced Assassin”, who’s just driven a stake through the heart of his Manchester United boss, his Manchester United teammates, and Manchester United fans worldwide.
Rooney’s unexpected desire to leave Old Trafford was surprising enough, but his reasons for wanting to quit are truly jaw dropping.
To paraphrase the essence of his statement, Manchester United, the most decorated club in England in the last 20 years, is not ambitious enough, and his teammates, assembled at a cost of millions of dollars and with the help of one of the finest scouting systems and youth academies in the world, are not good enough!
October 19, 2010
Posted: 1956 GMT
The news that Wayne Rooney wants to leave Manchester United could hardly have been a more surprising story. The England striker, who had previously seemed so happy at Old Trafford, has apparently become tired with the team with which he won the European Champions League and numerous English titles and is keen to find pastures new.
The fact that United - one of the world's most famous clubs - are now resigned to losing their most prized asset against the will of the manager is not a situation they are used to.
Alex Ferguson's press conference - in which he told the world of his disappointment - was remarkable for a number of reasons and spoke volumes about his feelings on the matter.
It is rare that one of the most successful managers in British football is anything other than efficient in his dealings with the press; but in front of reporters he was open, candid and loquacious. Fergie even showed an emotional side, which though controlled, is not often seen.
October 18, 2010
Posted: 1200 GMT
The news that two FIFA executive committee members allegedly considered selling their votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup election came as a surprise to many and, if proven true, will be highly corrosive for the game in general.
The game of football generates passion around the world like no other sport and its reputation is rightly guarded by those who are in charge. FIFA president Sepp Blatter's concern over the severity of such accusations was evident by his release of an open letter to the world's media, where he sought to quell anxiety over the legitimacy of the current voting process.
It is a crucial time for world football’s governing body, with the announcement of the winning bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup scheduled for 2 December. Consequently the sport will be keen to show that it is not subject to the same sort of corruption that has blighted other areas of sporting competition.
October 14, 2010
Posted: 1428 GMT
Despite having never won a major title, Caroline Wozniacki is the new top-ranked player in women’s tennis.
The young Dane’s rise to the summit has once again started the debate: Is she a worthy number one, or are the WTA rankings flawed?
You’ll remember the same topic came up when Dinara Safina became world number one last year, and Jelena Jankovic before her. Neither player had won a major then, and they still haven’t.
I think we all agree that if Serena Williams was fit, it would be her that would sit atop the rankings rather than Wozniacki.
October 13, 2010
Posted: 1932 GMT
I've covered World Cup and European Champions League finals and witnessed some of the most niggly and bad-tempered Manchester and Merseyside derbies in the English Premier League, but nothing quite prepared me for my trip to the University of Alamaba where the Crimson Tide faced Florida last weekend.
I was curious as to just what to expect. I know from nearly seven years of living in the States that College Football is a big deal, especially here in the South. But was there really going to be 101,000 fans showing up for what, at the end of the day, was a meeting between a pair of rival universities?