November 29th, 2012
03:35 PM ET

Did the Beckham project succeed in the U.S.?

Other stars such as Thierry Henry followed Beckham to America. (Getty Images)
Other stars such as Thierry Henry followed Beckham to America. (Getty Images)

So did the "Beckham experiment" work?

In my book it was always going to be unfair to charge him with the near impossible burden of becoming America's soccer saviour.

It was simply never going to happen in a land where the beautiful game is routinely forced to play second fiddle to its more established alternatives - and I'm sure deep down Beckham himself knew this.

Realistically- his inner goal when he signed for the Galaxy would have been to make an impact and there's no question he's certainly achieved that.

Strikers Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane were both likely influenced by Beckham's move to the U.S. Other stars will follow too, with Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard already being linked with a high-profile move to LA. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
November 28th, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Time for football to get tough on racist abuse?

England under-21 midfielder Danny Rose claimed he was racially abused by Serbian fans in October. (Getty Images)
England under-21 midfielder Danny Rose claimed he was racially abused by Serbian fans in October. (Getty Images)

When UEFA president Michel Platini declared any footballer who left the pitch as a result of racial abuse would be yellow carded, he set a dangerous precedent.

Platini, head of European football’s governing body and speaking ahead of June’s Euro 2012 tournament, was placing the emphasis on soccer’s referees to tackle an issue which has plagued the sport over the last 12 months.

The Frenchman declared match officials had the authority to halt a match and they would decide when discriminatory chants or behavior had reached unacceptable levels. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
November 22nd, 2012
12:45 PM ET

Can Benitez banish Chelsea's blues?

Rafael Benitez has the chance to rebuild his reputation at Chelsea. (Getty Images)
Rafael Benitez has the chance to rebuild his reputation at Chelsea. (Getty Images)

Why Rafael Benitez? A question asked by many upon learning Liverpool’s former manager would replace the axed Roberto Di Matteo as interim Chelsea manager.

But when the Spaniard’s haul of titles across Europe is examined it begs the question, why not? And when a list of viable and available candidates is also surveyed, who else?

Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich may dream of luring Josep Guardiola, the architect of Barcelona’s recent dominance of European football, to Stamford Bridge, but the Catalan is intent on completing his year-long soccer sabbatical. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
November 21st, 2012
04:42 PM ET

Was Di Matteo the architect of his own downfall?

Roberto di Matteo first took over from Andre-Villas Boas in March. (Getty Images)
Roberto di Matteo first took over from Andre-Villas Boas in March. (Getty Images)

So here we go again. Another manager bites the dust at Stamford Bridge. Even considering Roman Abramovich’s record when it comes to sacking managers, I have to say I was very surprised he dropped the axe on Roberto Di Matteo.

I am aware of the numbers: two wins in eight games. I am also aware that Chelsea are close to becoming the first European Champions League winner to be knocked out in the group stages of the competition the next season.

However, I am not convinced changing managers at this point in the season is going to accomplish much, especially when whoever comes in will only have until the end of the season to work with these players. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
November 21st, 2012
01:47 PM ET

Have Lakers dropped the ball with coach appointment?

Mike D'Antoni replaced Mike Brown as Lakers coach. (Getty Images)
Mike D'Antoni replaced Mike Brown as Lakers coach. (Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers' management baffled their own fans when they decided to look past former coach Phil Jackson and instead hire Mike D’Antoni as the new team coach.

After all, Jackson has won a record eleven titles as coach (five with the Lakers) while D’Antoni has reached the playoffs just five times in his 10 seasons as a head coach.

The argument should be over here. Jackson wins over D’Antoni 11-0. Period.

But for argument’s sake, let’s see what possibly would have led Jerry and son Jim Buss to go with the latter. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  U.S. Sport
November 19th, 2012
11:19 AM ET

Vettel, Alonso driving towards F1 greatness?

Sebastian Vettel (left) or Fernando Alonso (right) will join an elite band of drivers. (Getty Images)
Sebastian Vettel (left) or Fernando Alonso (right) will join an elite band of drivers. (Getty Images)

The 2012 Formula One season may yet have delivered the new drivers' champion, but even before the world's fastest racing cars finish their cylinder-driven samba around the Interlagos Circuit in Sao Paulo next week we can be certain of one fact ... the new champion will be crowned an all-time great along with this year's best.

Both Germany's Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso of Spain are used to superlatives from motor racing commentators: they are both exceptionally talented and boast back-to-back double-champion pedigree.

And as the two sole pilots left in the hunt to finish top of this year's grid, they also both stand on the edge of joining an elite members' club. FULL POST

November 15th, 2012
02:58 PM ET

Will the real Zlatan Ibrahimovic please stand up?

Underachiever or genius? What do you make of the mercurial Zlatan Ibrahimovic? (Getty Images)
Underachiever or genius? What do you make of the mercurial Zlatan Ibrahimovic? (Getty Images)

Wow. WOW. Wow.

That word was on repeat in my head as I watched Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s spectacular bicycle kick sail past Joe Hart on Wednesday.

That goal against England in Stockholm epitomized everything the Swedish striker stands for. It was audacious, outrageous and even a bit cheeky to boot.

I won’t enter into debate on whether it was the best goal of all time, because I definitely don’t think it was, what I will discuss is Zlatan’s standing in the game and his legacy. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
November 8th, 2012
01:08 PM ET

Does Ronaldo need to revamp his image?

Should the free-scoring Cristiano Ronaldo smile more often? (Getty Images)
Should the free-scoring Cristiano Ronaldo smile more often? (Getty Images)

I hear it all the time.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player, it’s a shame he is so arrogant.”

Yes, the 27 year-old Portuguese superstar has an image problem. His serious, distant and sometimes petulant behavior on the field of play means many, if not most fans, have quite a negative impression of him.

So who is the real Cristiano? Well, I have known him for nearly a decade and I can tell you he is nothing like that. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football