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Morning Ticker: Drogba in hot water, Maradona threatening to quit, Ruud out for season and Nery’s nightmare goes on


Pop quiz. What’s the only thing dumber than a coin-throwing soccer fan? A coin-throwing soccer player.

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba responded to having a coin thrown at him during Chelsea’s Carling Cup loss against Burnley by firing the coin right back at the crowd. Now while it doesn’t sound as if any fans have stepped forward and claimed injury (yet), Drogba is still facing some heat for his less than intelligent decision.

The ugly scene spoiled what wound up being a better than anticipated Carling Cup upset by Burnley, which went on to beat Chelsea in penalty kicks.

Here are some other stories from this morning and Wednesday to get your day going:

Maradona set to leave already?

While many observers expect Diego Maradona’s stint as Argentina head coach to end badly, few could picture it ending before it even got started. That is apparently a possibility as Maradona is unhappy about not being able to hire former teammate and Argentine national team player Oscar Ruggeri as an assistant coach.

There seems to be a personal issue between Argentine federation president Julio Grondona and Ruggeri and Grondona is essentially blocking Maradona from hiring Ruggeri. The federation has come out and stated that Maradona won’t quit over the matter but you can’t really rule out the situation turning into a fiasco.

Van Nistelrooy out for season with knee injury

As if things weren’t already a bit shaky at Real Madrid, now comes word that star striker Ruud van Nistelrooy will miss the remainder of the La Liga season with a knee injury that will require major surgery. Van Nistelrooy is set to miss six to nine months.

The terrible news puts even more pressure on the Spanish champions to make a big splash in the winter transfer market, with Russian playmaker/striker Andrei Arshavin looking like a good possibility to join Real Madrid.

Castillo’s nightmare continues

There are few soccer players having worse years than Mexican national team striker Nery Castillo.

You may recall his big money move from Olympiakos to Shakhtar Donetsk last year. Well, it’s been all downhill since that move. Castillo struggled to get playing time at Donetsk, so he moved to Manchester City on loan. He struggled for playing time at City and this summer when it became clear he wouldn’t be in the plans of new manager Mark Hughes, Castillo prepared for a loan or transfer to Spain. The only problem was no loan or transfer was completed before the summer window, leaving Castillo in limbo.

Castillo looked to be set for some freedom, and playing time, when rumors began to surface about a loan to Chivas de Guadalajara, but now it appears that even that option has fallen through. Shakhtar Donetsk balked at the loan move, leaving Castillo to continuing ruing the day he ever signed with the Ukrainian club.

These are just some of the stories making the rounds this morning. What do you think? Do you think Drogba deserves a long suspension? Would Maradona quitting surprise you? Do you see Real Madrid salvaging the season? Does reading about Nery Castillo’s woes bring a smile to your face?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. With the world economics the way it is presently, he should have pocketed that coin, lol! Maradona, 2nd best player of all time after Pele, love him… but he is the orginal drama queen. Too bad Ruud, heck of a player. The almost 24/7/365 really gets to these guys, and they suffer an injury from that. Umm… on Mexico naturalizing other countries! We have w/ Adu, I think, Edu maybe? and way back w/ F. Clavijo, Preki, P. Maestroani *Fusion shoutouts* and others I cant spell, lol.

  2. Whats funny is all the naturalized players that mexico has, the funnier thing is how they want to always say MEXICANS rule, sure they do if they are born in brazil, argentina, uruguay. Makes me realize that they feel that real mexicans can’t get the job done, especialy agianst the US

  3. I was really hoping to see Maradona stay longer – so I could see him implode on the bigger stage. A Maradona melt down at the World Cup…… THAT would be priceless.

  4. I seem to recall a guy posting here from BA after Maradona was hired, defending him from most of us. I wonder what he has to say about Argentina’s mentally unstable manager now? Argentina should be the overwhelming favorites to win SA2010, but if they continue to have the human soap opera as their manager, they don’t have a prayer.

  5. Those enjoying the Nery situation are just small minded. Do you have to sink that low just so that you can feel better about yourself or your team?

    Will it reasonable that you won’t cry foul when Mexico fans start rejoicing at the setbacks of USMNT players?

  6. Players need to be protected, and Burnley should be punished. But that doesn’t excuse Drogba for doing something dumb.

    I feel badly for Castillo. Never want to see talent wasted on the bench, but perhaps his lack of PT will have an adverse affect on El-Tri which would be the silver lining.

    Hopefully Maradona won’t quit before he has a chance to actually coach some games. I’m looking forward to that too much to have him quit over a squabble about his staff.

  7. First Benny Feilhaber then Nery Castillo, two young dynamic CONCACAF players that jumped at the money instead of what was the best situation for their prospective careers. Hopefully these guys can turn things around, but hopefully this will go as a warning to other young players to make decisions based solely on compensation.

  8. Well, Nery did play last night for Mexico vs. Ecuador and he played fairly well for not getting action lately. He will probably get the callup for the Honduras game. I think he will transfer to Betis this winter and all will be fine. In the end this will help Nery mature into a better player.

  9. I’m not really happy about the Castillo situation. I understand the attitude, but it sucks for a player to end up stuck like that.

    On a related note, I wonder how many Mexican fans are having a laugh about Feilhaber and Johnson’s career woes.

  10. Bummed about Ruud. They have strikers, but they’ll miss him. What a turn around, I thought the last news was that the knee was fine and he’d miss 3 weeks, not 2 months. But now it’s 6 – 9.

    Mexico is the best competition the US regularly faces. I want them to be at their best, I’d be disappointed if we didn’t have one legit, dangerous rival. But Vela is the Mexican player that I want to see more of, he’s the real deal and Bendtner does not impress me.

  11. Why would Nery Castillo’s woes bring a smile to my face??? As a Mexican/American, and a fan of the sport I always want to see the BEST players play for the US and Mexican National team and I want to be able to witness the best futbol possible. That being said I want all the US and Mexico national players to get enough playing time and to be able to play for the best club possible and then Bring it ALL to the table in all National Competitions and witness The Worlds Best Sport.

  12. I feel bad for Nery Castillo, he’s a great player. I’m a big US fan, but I do remember being really impressed by how he played in the Gold Cup. Gave our defenders fits.

  13. LOL!! Poor Nery. He thought he was going to me the next Hugo Sanchez. Wait…he might be. Hugo did as well as a coach as Nery is playing in Europe.

    Thanks for the smile on a rainy day!

  14. Its nice to see Castillo not playing, Dos Santos not playing, and Vela having freakin’ Nicklas Bentner playing in front of him. Makes me feel better about Jozy and Freddy riding the bench.

  15. hahaha Castillo stuck in limbo is classic. His move to Shakhtar was all about the money, not becoming a better player. Hopefully he is learning a lot and maturing, but as a US fan, I prefer he just hang in limbo.

    On another angle, sounds like he is getting about the same amount of playing time as Adu, no?

  16. Drogba…can’t say I blame him. No player should have to worry about ANYTHING being thrown at him. They should protect him not punish him.

    Castillo…if Shakhtar want to sit on his contract that’s their money to spend. Would love to see him in MLS.

  17. what’s Castillo’s contract like? Is Donestk blocking the transfer because they think he will stay in Mexico or because Chivas won’t pay enough? Is there a reliable source on the net that has player salaries? I know the MLS union puts out MLS salaries, do other leagues have unions that publish salaries?

  18. sean m,

    While a coin does not strike me as reason for outrage, I disagree with your logic. The fans didn’t through the coin, one fan did. And even if Drogba correctly identified the individual who through it, there was no way he could respond without likely hitting a fan or fans who were completely innocent. Would you be so sympathetic if a player threw something in the stands and hit you because some guy a few seats down was being beligerent?

  19. I cant stand castillo with a passion so Im glad about that. I dont think drogba did much wrong to be honest,the amount of stuff fans do and players just sit there and take it annoys me sometimes.

    If I was was playing for Celtic and scored vs rangers,i would be the first one going to where the rangers fans were to celebrate in from of them

  20. Castillo was never struggling for playing time with Shakhtar. He just had a huge falling out with the coach and management and after their Champions League campaign failed they didn’t want to deal with his attitude or his contract.

  21. Long suspension for Drogba? Hell no. Will the Prem or Police review CCTV footage and try to punish the idiot that threw it in the first place? No.

    While I don’t care for the player at all, I can’t hate on him for returning the favor in the heat of the moment.

  22. The knee injury couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Maybe Saviola will rise from the dead, but Higuin and Raul are doing just fine. It is the defense they have to worry about.


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