As the group stages of the World Cup draw to a close, all the glorious football has been overshadowed by an act of madness. Yet again Luis Suarez has found himself at the centre of a media storm and, yet again, it’s not because of his undoubtedly brilliant talent. With both Italy and Uruguay facing each other in a sudden death match to qualify for the Last 16 round, the stakes were high. At 0-0 entering the 80th minute with Uruguay attacking, Suarez reacted to a tussle in the box with Giorgio Chiellini by intentionally biting the defenders left shoulder. The Italian understandably responded by flinging his arm out which hit Suarez, sending him to floor. The PFA player of the year then comically held his teeth in pain. No action was taken. Marco Rodriguez, the Mexican referee in charge, failed to see the incident. Astonished, Chiellini showed the mark… Continue reading →
EXPECTATIONS in Holland are slowly starting to rise after that extraordinary win over Spain last Friday. That 5-1 demolition over the current World and European Champions sent shock waves throughout world football. The Dutch will be looking to avoid complacency this afternoon as they meet Australia in Porto Alegre.
Louis Van Gaal has warned his side not to get too carried away and team captain Robin Van Persie agrees: “This is my fifth (major) tournament and I know how these things work,” he said. “The euphoria vanishes just as quickly as it appears.”
The Oranje are favourites to win and know that three points will put them on the brink of qualification. A defeat for Australia will almost certainly see them go out of the tournament however they will take confidence from their impressive showing against Chile last time out.
Despite conceding two early goals and eventually succumbing 3-1 the… Continue reading →
As we get underway with this nostalgic glance across seven days from years gone by we’re travelling back to 1994. By late November, visions of Roberto Baggio’s skied penalty from the summer’s World Cup final had just about stopped flashing before football fans’ eyes. The echoes of Whigfield’s ‘Saturday Night’ had still not faded on the other hand and were much harder to escape.
Rovers on the rise
December was drawing immediately closer and the Premier League title race was making intriguing viewing. Blackburn Rovers had garnered a great deal of attention for their pursuit of glory, backed by the millions of Jack Walker. A 4-0 home win over Queens Park Rangers saw them re-take top spot as Alan Shearer’s hat-trick and one from Chris Sutton delighted the Ewood Park faithful.
Rovers’ closest challengers, champions Manchester United, played out a fiercely contested goalless draw with Arsenal at Highbury as Reds… Continue reading →