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Morning Ticker: Blackburn fires Ince, Argentina playoff schedule set and Rooney avoids ban

Paul Ince (Reuters) 

Six straight losses and a firm hold on a relegation place was too much to ignore as Blackburn fired manager Paul Ince just 17 matches into his tenure with the club.

A 3-0 loss to Wigan proved to be the last straw as the former Manchester United star got the boot with Blackburn managing just three wins during his tenure in charge.

The firing comes as Blackburn reaches a stretch of three games against teams in the bottom half of the table, including a home match against Premier League newcomers Stoke City.

No word yet on a permanent replacement but names should start surfacing shortly. Cardiff City manager Dave Jones has already emerged as a candidate.

Here are some other stories to get your day going:

Argentina playoff schedule set

Title underdogs San Lorenzo and Tigre will kick off the three-team mini-tournament to determine the winner of the Argentina Apertura title on Wednesday night. Boca Juniors will face off against San Lorenzo on Saturday before playing Tigre in the final match of the mini-tournament on Tuesday (unless San Lorenzo wins the first two matches).

Fox Soccer Channel will be broadcasting the Boca Juniors-San Lorenzo match on Saturday (11pm). No word yet on where the other two matches will be shown.

UEFA clears Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has avoided a suspension after UEFA ruled that he did nothing wrong during Man Utd's UEFA Champions League match against Aalborg last week. Rooney had been accused of stepping on the chest of Aalborg's Kasper Risgard and was in jeopardy of being suspended for the Champions League Round of 16.

No word on whether Rooney will have his two-program ban lifted from I'm on Setanta Sports.

These are just some stories to get your day going. What do you think about Blackburn's decision? Was it too soon or was it time for Ince to go? Will you be watching the Argentine mini-tournament? Think Boca is the favorite? Did Rooney get away with one?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. A little stepping on a guy never hurts anyone, says the Italian Colombian fan!!! Hey Ives, I am on a real computer instead of my cell, your site is truely awesome…but what gives? Did you change the comments format, as I haven’t been able to blog from my cell. I bet people sure miss me, LOL!!! Happy Holidays all.

  2. Apparently a french website is saying the Gooch to Marseille deal has been completed – $4M. I also didn’t know that Onyewu holds Belgian citizenship (if reports are right).

  3. Well, it might be best for Ince to be fired now if they were going after Whitbred. At least if he still goes, the manager in place will want him. Ask Freddy how much it can suck to have the guy who brought you in fired.

    My favorite bit of news though were the comments from Napoli prez Aurelio De Laurentiis. “We made these players — two years ago nobody knew who they were,” insisted De Laurentiis. “If they want to go to England then in the end they’re going to go, but they need to understand this: the English live badly, eat badly and their women do not wash their genitalia. To them, a bidet is a mystery.” Smack talk quote of the year!

  4. I’m not sure I would call San Lorenzo and Tigre underdogs. Both have arguably played better more consistent soccer than Boca this season. Tigre beat both San Lorenzo AND Boca (what’s more as visitors) this season. Boca beat San Lorenzo at the Chocolate Box 1-0, so in the triangular competition during the regular season Tigre was 2-0, Boca 1-1 and San Lorenzo 0-2. San Lorenzo has been playing well as of late. Players to watch:

    For Tigres, their #10 Martin Morel has 13 goals including a huge one last week in their 1-0 win. Carlos Luna (#7 forward) is a quality dangerous striker.

    For San Lorenzo, Andres Silvera (#7) and Gonzalo Bergessio (#15) have 6 goals each while Pablos Barrientos (#10) and Christian Ledesma (#28) lead the midfield.

    For Boca, of course its Juan Riquelme (#10) who is the leader and cornerstone. Luciano Figueroa (#18)seems to have recovered from his knee injury and is the hitman up front. Rodrigo Palacio (#14) got some minutes last game after out for many weeks with an injury. If he’s back that’s a formidable front line. If not Lucas Viatri (#27) is also dangerous up front. Martin Palerma is still out with his knee injury. Sebastian Battaglia is quality in the midfield.

    All these games should be close, interesting and could be wide open affairs. The crowds are definitely going to be insane. Tune in if you get a chance. It looks like Fox Sports Espanol will also carry some of the games.

  5. If you were more thorough in your research, Ives, I think you’d have found that Rooney has, in fact, been banned two programs for stamping.

  6. although I dislike boca and S Lorenzo..I like independiente boca has the better chance, luciano figueroa is on fire scoring goals and has made a good partnership with riquelme add to that experience from ibarra and battaglia. If I were to choose my winner I go with the small team; Tigre
    vamos Tigre!!

  7. I just hope The Sun, Guardian, Independent, or some other clever British paper busts out the headline “Sackburn Overs”.

  8. I’d wager the overiding difference between this season & last at Blackburn is Brad Friedel isn’t in goal anymore; he won SO many points last season for the team irredgardless of the defenders in front of him. Is it Ince’s fault that the team couldn’t retain Friedel, or is it Ince’s fault that he didn’t bring in a comparable replacement?

  9. It’s a shame to see Ince join Roy Keane as successful Football League managers who come to the Premiership and stumble. It’s hard to imagine they won’t both be back though. There were whisperings of Ince seeking out Zak Whitbread during the January window; I wonder if Blackburn’s interest has faded?

    As for Rooney, we all know ManYoo players seldomly have a call that does not go their way, but in the replay, it really doesn’t look deliberate.


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