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Morning Ticker: Villa out for Euro final, Adebayor staying at Arsenal and Asian WC draw set


                                                     Photo by ISI Photos

Good morning folks. It is the end of an unforgettable week of soccer action and while today may not have any games to look forward to, there is still plenty of news to go over.

Let’s start the day with a few stories from last night and this morning to get your Friday going:

Villa set to miss Euro final

Spain striker and Euro 2008 goal-scoring leader David Villa looks set to miss Sunday’s final against Germany with a leg injury. Villa injured himself during Spain’s 3-0 win against Russia and looks very unlikely to add to his tournament-best four goals.

With Villa out, Spain will likely turn to Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas, who came on for Villa against Russia and promptly set up two goals.

Adebayor to stay at Arsenal

Despite constant links to both AC Milan and Barcelona, Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor has stated that he will stay with Arsenal. Part of Adebayor’s decision may have had to do with the fact that Milan is focused on buying Ronaldinho while Barcelona has set its sights on Andrei Arshavin, which may have removed his two best options for a transfer.

The news is good for an Arsenal squad that would have been hard-pressed to replace the lanky striker. It will be interesting to see if Arsenal still goes after Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. With Eduardo still on the road to recovery, and Robin van Persie unable to stay healthy, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Arsene Wenger to land the Ajax striker.

Asian World Cup qualifying draw set

If you are a fan of rivalries then this morning’s draw for the final stage of Asian World Cup qualifying is right up your alley. North Korea and South Korea were drawn into the same group while newly-minted rivals Australia and Japan are in the other group for World Cup 2010 qualifying.

Here are the Groups:

Group A: Australia, Japan, Bahrain, Uzbekistan and Qatar

Group B: South Korea, North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

The top two teams in each group qualify for the 2010 World Cup while the third-place teams meet, with the winner facing the winner of the Oceania region for a place in the World Cup.

Tottenham lands Gomes

You can scratch goalkeeper from the list of needs for Tottenham after the London club landed highly-regarded PSV goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes. Adding Gomes to a list of new acquisitions that includes Luka Modric and Giovani Dos Santos makes Tottenham the big off-season winners in the EPL transfer race.

Gomes’ arrival means that, as expected, Paul Robinson will soon be looking for work. I’m not sure where he might end up but I have to say it’s a pretty shocking tumble that Robinson’s career has taken. That’ll teach him to take an American goalkeeper’s job (okay, I’m kidding).


Please feel free to share your thoughts on these stories, or any other stories from the morning or last night, in the comments section below.


  1. After further examination it appears the Solomon Islands are already out it appears to be a two horse race with New Zealand and New Caledonia in stage two of Oceania qualifying. New Zealand the highest ranked OCEANIA participate is ranked 88th by FIFA right in between Guatemala at 89th and T&T at 87th (the foes for the US in round 3). Probably a very good decision for Australia to get out of OCEANIA.

    I just find OCEANIA qualifying to be so quaint.

  2. Keep us posted on the Oceania qualifiers. I am hoping for the Solomon Islands to advance from Oceania and play Japan to decides who goes to the World Cup.

  3. If Spain go back to 1 striker with just Torres, against the big German center halfs, they will lose. Keep Cesc on the bench or put him in for Iniesta and move Xavi out wide and replace Villa with Dani Guiza. Whenever a team tries to use a different startegy than the one that has worked for them getting to the final, they always lose. Spain is not setup to run the 1 striker system Torres is comfortable with at Liverpool. They dont have they wingplay to serve Torres. What they do have is enough tto beat Germeny, but not if they play one striker

  4. @Collin – I did now…thanks for the heads up…I guess Ives technically does have another three days to make some sort of official announcement…

  5. “Part of Adebayor’s decision may have had to do with the fact that Milan is focused on buying Ronaldinho while Barcelona has set its sights on Andrei Arshavin, which may have removed his two best options for a transfer.”

    Either that or the rumors were completely false. Adebayor has said at least three times this summer that he was staying. The rest was typical media speculation.

  6. Wow, Ives, I know you’ve admitted you don’t follow S. American soccer, but to not mention the Copa Libertadores Finals at all in any post while talking about the Asian qualifiers???

  7. Gomes is no joke. The fact that he only has 17 caps for Brazil IS a joke.

    Don’t apologize Ives, Robinson had a couple of GREAT seasons. But at the time he took over as a starter he wasn’t fit to lick Keller’s boots. This is just karma.

  8. Group A in Asia the tougher group to me. Watch out for Uzbekistan. Before their last, meaningless game in the last phase, in which they were beaten badly in Saudi Arabia, they had the largest goal differential in Asia.

    And though they lost that meaningless last game away, they hammered Saudi Arabia at home in the match that actually mattered.

  9. @Betinho – Germany was second in the following World Cups: ’66, ’82, ’86, ’02

    Won World Cup: ’54, ’74, ’90

    Germany second at Euros: ’76, ’92

    Won Euro’s in ’72, ’80, ’96

    I think that makes the 6-6. But they were also very deep into a lot the other tourneys (several 3rd place finishes).

  10. Betinho- the announcers stated on Germany’s game against Poland that Germany has won a major event every decade since the 70’s (i believe)…. Euro 08 is their last chance this decade, with 2010 being the start of the next decade….

    altho im guessing they are ignoring CONFED’s but i guess that may not be deemed as a “major” event….

  11. Just looked it up…Germans are 5-6 in WC and Euro finals combined. My first thought is…whoa…I was wrong. The second is…whoa..11 finals…daaaang! Anyway, Spain will choke and Germany will win 🙂

  12. Sad for Villa, good for Cesc. Torres better find some form quickly. He has been Spain’s Luca Toni in the last couple games.

    Unless Germany finds some clarity in these next two days, I am predicting a Spanish victory in the final.

  13. Oh…and must nice to be able to replace Villa with Fabregas. In any case I think the Germans win. I’m nnot going to take the time to look it up but how many major finals have the Germans gone to and finished 2nd? I’m guessing it’s a little lopsided in favor of wins.

  14. I agree with mig. Africa, Asia and even our CONCACAF are up and coming (with Africa way out in the other two). Those qualifiers will be fun to keep track of – with Ives help of course.

    The Japan-Australia rivalry is interesting in the same way the Germany-Turkey rivalry is. If you are German or Australian, or have spent anytime in either country, you know what I mean. I will always pull for Japan and Turkey!

  15. Ives! Great that you’re covering (even mentioning) the Asian quals. Little by little that region is getting better and better. Most of the euro-based sites tend to ignore ALL the other WCQs and the coverage is lacking. For my own tastes, keep up on the other regions (besides Europe and SA), especially Africa.

    The North/South Korea matches are SO fraught with a lot of stuff outside of the game that it is truly exciting that they are in the same group.



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