Kenny Dalglish's name is synonymous with Liverpool, one of England's most successful football teams, but after a disappointing second spell in charge as manager he has been sacked by the club's American owners.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has told CNN that football must eradicate all forms of racism, following recent high-profile incidents in England which have brought the matter back into sharp focus.
England soccer captain John Terry, who is accused of racially abusing another player during a match, will go on trial July 9 after his lawyers entered a plea of not guilty in a London Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
The head of a football anti-racism group has called for the English Football Association to charge Liverpool with bringing the game into disrepute over the club's response to Luis Suarez's eight-match ban for using racist language at Patrice Evra.
Liverpool's Uruguay international striker Luis Suarez has been accused of giving "unreliable" and "inconsistent" evidence to the disciplinary panel which banned him for eight-games for alleged racial abuse of Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick as Manchester United thrashed 10-man Wigan Athletic 5-0 at Old Trafford to draw level with rivals Manchester City at the top of the English Premier League.
When the U.S. meets France in a high-profile friendly on Friday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2, ESPN3.com, Univisión), it's probably a good thing that it'll take place in the Stade de France, the futuristic spaceship of a stadium outside Paris, instead of at the venerable Parc des Princes on the west side of town. U.S. fans have enough bad memories from the latter stadium, where Germany spanked the U.S. 2-0 in World Cup '98 and the final goal was scored by none other than current U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
France coach Laurent Blanc declared at his Tuesday news conference that he plans to field two different sides for this week¹s friendly matches against USA (Friday) and Belgium (Tuesday). "It will be a young team against USA and a stronger one against Belgium," he said.
The joke in Manchester is that Patrice Evra is passionate, but not as passionate as his father, because the Manchester United defender has 24 brothers and sisters. Evra's passion was seen in three separate incidents during last week's 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield, none of which covered United's captain for the day in glory, and the last of which could have long-lasting consequences.
It is usually best to be tentative in one's assessment of the preseason [unless of course the subject is Mario Balotelli, in which case a casual backheel is definitely the end of his Manchester City career, if not the end of soccer as we know it]. Remember Tottenham Hotspur's abysmal start to the 2008-09 season? In the summer weeks before they lost to Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Hull and virtually everyone else on their way to the bottom of the table, Juande Ramos' side had gone unbeaten and racked up a plus-28 goal difference.
Samir Nasri has always known his own value, and that sense will be keener now than ever before. The midfielder, voted France's Player of the Year for 2010, has one more year left on his Arsenal contract, and is the subject of serious interest from Premier League champions Manchester United and, reportedly, Manchester City. His dilemma: should he stay or go?
Last season, Lionel Messi faced Osasuna having scored hat tricks in each of his previous two games. All the buildup was about whether he could become the first player since the War to score three trebles in successive La Liga matches. Osasuna, understandably, double-marked him and, in a tetchy game, Messi was booked for kicking the ball away in frustration. With 18 minutes to go, though, Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally broke through for Barca; the first player over to congratulate him was Messi, his face relaxed into smiles. For him, the most important thing was not his personal record, but the team, winning the game.
The tradition of French players at Barcelona is not a strong one. Ludovic Giuly (2006) and Thierry Henry (2009) may have won the Champions League with the club, but more often the story is one of high hopes and failed expectations: Richard Dutruel, Philippe Christanval, Christophe Dugarry and Emmanuel Petit.
Wayne Rooney's goal at Stamford Bridge last week gives Manchester United the advantage going in to the second leg at Old Trafford, but Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has been thumbing through Jose's Big Book of Managerial Mind Games in an attempt to level the playing field.
Any conversation about left backs that does not begin with Giacinto Facchetti has already taken a wrong turn. At Internazionale under Helenio Herrera in the 1960s, Facchetti defined the European imagining of an attacking fullback: When Inter crushed Liverpool's hopes of a first European Cup final (on its way to a second successive title) in 1965, the Guardian's David Lacey reported that the break for Facchetti's winning goal "was carried out at top speed and took Liverpool's defense almost completely unawares .. Facchetti burst through and beat Lawrence with a splendid low shot." The innovation was Herrera's, Facchetti, as immaculate playing the ball as winning it, the perfect manifestation.
The unpleasant memories of France's World Cup fiasco were called to mind in recent weeks when two Ligue 1 players went on strike to force moves from their clubs. The first was Stephane Sessegnon, who had fallen out with Antoine Kombouare, his coach at Paris Saint-Germain, and missed training for three weeks as he agitated for a move to Sunderland. It was only after he returned to the fold that PSG agreed a deal with the Premier League side.
Laurent Blanc claimed to have had no second thoughts about taking the job as France coach after its embarrassing World Cup campaign, and in his five months in charge, he has led the team to the top of its Euro 2012 qualifying group. France was in London this week for a friendly against England at Wembley, which it deservedly won, with the 2-1 score line greatly flattering the hosts. This week provided a good opportunity to look back at Blanc's comments from his first news conference as France coach, and see how much progress has been made.
Manchester United has had a very strange start to the season. The club has not lost in 11 games, which, in terms of games unbeaten, is its best start to a Premier League season. And yet, nobody could pretend United has been playing well, and it seems implausible that Sir Alex Ferguson's squad is only two points behind first-place Chelsea. The fixture list, of course, has much to do with it, and although United has beaten both Liverpool and Tottenham (it has six victories and five draws overall), Wednesday's clash with Manchester City will be its biggest test of the season by far.
It's been over two months since France's players went on strike during the World Cup in protest of the French football federation's decision to send home striker Nicolas Anelka, but it might as well have been yesterday given the mess the team faces as its Euro 2012 qualifying campaign gets under way.
Not that Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced; he clearly fancies Rooney to net the away goal that would take some nerves out of the return encounter at Old Trafford. "He's had an unbelievable season," he said -- and the United boss is also smiling about having Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand back in the center of his back line: "Strong in the back and strong as a team, and we look very strong now."
ROME -- The Eternal City was the most appropriate of backdrops for what we witnessed on Wednesday. It was supposed to be a case of the true believers: Barcelona and its quasi-fundamentalist, possession-oriented credo thrown to the lions of Manchester United's top-to-bottom combination of strength, athleticism and quality. It was dogmatism versus pragmatism.