Archive for October 11th, 2007

Early trials for Italy-Georgia: Donadoni spearheads 4-3-3 formation

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

donadoni_practice.jpgItaly’s latest practice session just finished earlier today at Coverciano, before the Azzurri squad is set to depart for Genova. The traditional “yellow pinnie”, which is used to tag the likely starters for Italy’s next game, has been worn today by Buffon in goal, Oddo, Bonera, Barzagli, Chiellini in defense; Gattuso, De Rossi and Ambrosini in midfield; and Quagliarella, Toni, and Di Natale in attack.

While the tactical scheme leaves little doubt of what kind of formation will step onto the field Saturday, the starting players is another matter. The most likely changes will be Panucci for Bonera in the center, Grosso for Chiellini, Pirlo instead of De Rossi, and Iaquinta for Quagliarella (assuming the Juve man has recovered from his thigh injury).

Very close to what I predicted earlier this week. Here’s my new guess for Saturday:

Dida theatrics earn the Milan keeper a 2-match ban

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

dida_celtic.jpgUEFA’s control and disciplinary body’s decision just came this morning: AC Milan goalkeeper Nelson Dida has been suspended for 2 matches following his late-match theatrics at Celtic Park last week. Dida collapsed dramatically after a fan appeared to strike him near the end of AC Milan’s 2-1 defeat on October 3rd.

Celtic Glasgow on their part, have been fined 60,000 Swiss Francs (€35,760) after being found guilty of a “lack of organisation and improper conduct of supporters” (articles 6 and 11c of UEFA disciplinary regulations).

AC Milan’s lawyer, Leandro Cantamessa, described the sanctions against Dida as ‘disproportionate and illogical’. “The penalty inflicted to Dida is absolutely excessive, so we will most certainly appeal the decision” said Cantamessa. “The verdict is very very disproportionate (…) it’s as though Dida was judged to be the protagonist of that episode, when the protagonist was someone else… this isn’t right from a logical point of view. In addition, AC Milan was cleared of any charges because Dida told our doctor that he felt dizzy, and needed to be substituted. So he must have had something.”

Yep, something along the lines “Let’s try to get a default win out of this match, so hopefully everyone’ll forget avout my crappy performance tonight”. Tough noogies, Nelson.

Enzo Maresca Speaks Up on the Current FC Sevilla Crisis

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

FC Sevilla logo7 matchdays have passed in La Liga. While Real Madrid is perched at 1st spot with 19 points, the two Seville teams (Real Betis and FC Sevilla) have 12… if you add their totals together, that is.

While the fact Betis is underperforming doesn’t make much of a headline anymore, seeing the team of Juande Ramos with 6 points out of a possible 18 (Sevilla have one game at hand) is another matter. The team that won the last two editions of the UEFA Cup is undergoing one of their darkest periods of past years: 4 consecutive defeats in the Spanish league, and the apparent loss of the beautiful quick playing style that everyone fell in love with. (…)

Enzo Maresca, age 27, two-time winner of the UEFA Cup with SevillaItalian midfielder Enzo Maresca (who is suffering a bit of a dry spell lately in the Rojiblancos, often relegated to a benchwarming role), gave his impressions on the current Sevilla situation to the Spanish press and Gazzetta dello Sport. “People that think we may be able to repeat our last two extraordinary years would be dead wrong. No team is capable of winning so much and give a repeat performance so quickly” said Maresca. “People can comment what they see, and that’s good, but they mustn’t forget that in football, some things aren’t as easy as they appear. It doesn’t mean that our roster has decreased in quality: many clubs have a team full of stars, but they still struggle when they step onto the pitch.” argued the Italian player. “All we need to do is work our hardest, because that’s the only way we’ll ever see the light at the end of the tunnel”.

Maresca is currently out injured due to a muscular problem, but should be back to active duty in a couple of weeks, for the match against Levante. If there’s a team undergoing an even bigger crisis than Sevilla it’s precisely the ‘Granotes’: 1 point in the standings, only 3 goals scored and 17 conceded. A good ooportunity for Juande Ramos and his men to turn their season around… or get sucked into the quicksand for good.

To read my full article about Sevilla’s situation on Soccerlens.com, click here

Foreplay: $20. BJ: $50. Reverse DP: $200. Knowing that you’re funding your favorite soccer team: Priceless

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Here’s a funny story I found over at TheOffside.

Trentino 1921 logoOne thing you can say about Italian soccer is that it attracts a wide range of investors — everything from saints to sinners. We learn today that the Italian fourth division club Trentino 1921 have reached a unique sponsorship agreement with an Austrian escort agency.

From Sky news:

Trentino 1921 have received 10,000 euros (about £7,000) in the agreement which sees the name of the escort agency, Casa Bianca or White House, posted on the club’s official website.

The agency is based over the Austrian border in Innsbruck and describes itself as the “home of pleasure”, adding that Casa Bianca is a “sensuous place to get everything you want”.

According to the website – which by mid morning yesterday had crashed due to overuse – the girls charge 180 euros (£130) an hour – and all major credit cards are accepted.

Doing some further research into the matter, I discovered this bit on the Casa Bianca website:

Casa BiancaHe is sitting in his car. Very tired from a hard days work. His head hurts and also being in the rushhour is too much for him.

Todays work he was doing in his firm was very hard and also boring. Everyone wants something, everyone asks him something, he is very stressed.

When did he have a continuous sleep without thinking about his problems.
He has no more energy… but suddenly he has a flash of genius.Today is the day to make dreams come true. Casa Bianca. Being in paradise for some hours ……

Doh, it ends there. What happens to him after he is in paradise for some hours? Does he find true love? Does he walk away with more energy and less stress? Does he come home to find his wife pissed that he spent 180 euros an hour to pick up a venereal disease? Does he go back to his team Trentino 1921 with a new ability to score?

This could be an idea for the next Master Card ad…

Foreplay: $20. BJ: $50. Reverse DP: $200. Knowing that you’re funding your favorite soccer team: Priceless.