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So Long Sam (And other European nuggets)

Good afternoon folks. Apologies for the slowdown in posts but I’m working on a few stories and also preparing for SBI’s trip to Florida for the MLS Combine.

Here are some European soccer news tidbits for those of you who have been busy doing things like working and studying:

Newcastle sacks Allardyce. Yes bell finally tolled for Sam Allardyce, who went from one of the best young English managers in the game to the breadline in just a half season. Newcastle fired him on Wednesday. This gave me an idea for a good game. How many English managers will lose their jobs before the Chicago Fire finally hires a head coach? Also, how long before Bruce Arena throws his hat in for this job?

Man City wants Mancini. From the world where tampering doesn’t exist, we bring you word that Manchester City manager Sven Goran Erikkson desperately wants to add Roma winger Mancini during the transfer window.

Anelka sweepstakes continue. Chelsea has let it be known that Nicholas Anelka is its primary target, bu that doesn’t mean Bolton is going to make things easy. How long can the Wanderers hold on to the surly Frenchman? I say two days.

Benzema wants a bigger club. Young French striker Karim Benzema is one of the best young strikers in Europe and the Lyon star has expressed his desire to join a marquee squad like Man U or AC Milan. It’s nice to have dreams but he probably shouldn’t have expressed his love for Manchester United a month before Lyon is to face Man U in the Champions League. Ah, the young.

That’s all for now. Share your thoughts on these and any other transfer talk below.

I have stories brewing on Columbus and Real Salt Lake and hopefully word on the Chicago coaching search, so stay tuned for those later today, tomorrow the latest.


  1. Big Sam got a little hosed with ownership changing immediately after he took the job. He wasn’t their man, and never was going to be. How about Benzema to Man City? I’m sure Thaksin can swing both of them, and while it isn’t the “elite club” he’s looking for, money does tend to talk… Regardless, if City does add Mancini and another striker, one might have to take a little more seriously their chances of finishing high enough for Europe next year.

  2. Big Sam probably didn’t get enough time, but that’s the way it goes in football. I’ve always hated the hire and fire mentality in all of professional sports. It always struck me that he must have been a helluva manager considering how high up in the standings he had Bolton. I spent the last half of last season wishing that Reading could paste Boltan and pass them in the standings, but it never happened.

    Or maybe he got fired because he’s nothing special to look at…nevermind, plenty of managers in the Premiership have managed to keep their jobs despite their looks.

  3. Will be interesting to see what Big Sam and his staff got for pay-outs of their contracts. Heard it was a big nut for the club. Perhaps the last vestige of the infamous Sheppard era.

    Now he has more time to do the things that he loves best, drink and help his son deliver bungs (I’m assuming that his son will restart his agency business).

  4. As a newcastle fan, to not even give the manager the year seems way too rash a decision. That being said, I wouldn’t be terribly upset if any of those names in the article got the job.

    To be honest, Alan Shearer might be a good choice only because the fans might stay off his back for awhile, though he’s not exactly my first choice for next manager.

  5. Benzema won’t be leaving Lyon any time soon. 0% chance in this window, and probably not even this summer. He doesn’t want to, and Aulas wouldn’t allow it anyway. He’s a starter at Lyon, both league and in the Champions League, and also for the France NT based on his performance for Lyon. He would be a benchwarmer at most larger clubs.

    He’s a smart kid. All he has to do is look at Yoann Gourcuff to see what the future would hold if he left now.

  6. Benzema wants out just months after saying he wont leave Lyon until they win the Champions League(NEVER).
    If Mancini went to Man City Watch out! We would have possibly the best wings in the Prem and we all we would need is someone who can tap in slighty better than Bianchi (Dempsey)and we would be headed for the top.

  7. Lyon might be in some trouble. I read that Fred isn’t too happy about losing minutes and that several teams are trying to acquire him.

    Now if Benzema wants out, him and Fred may BOTH leave. That can’t be good for the club.

  8. Interesting article I found on the River Plate site. The International Federation for Football History and Statistics (?) made a ranking on all the football teams of the world in terms of their success over the last 16 years. Here was their rankings of the top 10 teams (they ranked many more teams). I have no idea what system they used to make their rankings.

    ..1) Barcelona (España) 670
    ..2) Juventus (Italia) 584
    ..3) Manchester United (Inglaterra) 579
    ..4) Real Madrid (España) 570
    ..5) Milan (Italia) 547
    ..6) Bayern Munich (Alemania) 509
    ..7) Inter (Italia) 488
    ..8) River Plate (ARGENTINA) 475
    ..9) Arsenal (Inglaterra) 472
    .10) Porto (Portugal) 405
    .17) Boca Juniors 329

    The River Plate site is below:

  9. That’s a good point on tampering. I know the leagues in the US are setup differently, but if a coach said they were looking to sign player x in season, there would be tampering charges filed so fast it’d make your head spin. But in Europe, these guys talk to the press and just ramble about this guy and that guy and how much they’d love them on their team. And then the other manager issues a hands-off warning and then the player talks about how flattered he is to be mentioned by club X. So different, but it is fun. Sort of like a giant soap opera for men.

    One another note, I recently replaced Allardyce on Soccer Manager(Sega) at Bolton. Made the FA Cup final, but I think I’m going to miss out on a European spot as my team tanked to finish the season due to about a dozen injuries. Hopefully the board will have more patience with me than the Newcastle board had with Big Sam.


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