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Morning Ticker: Fabregas out 3-4 months, Almeria hires Hugo and Spain/Portugal in for 2018

CescFabregas (Reuters) 

Arsenal's worst fears became reality on Tuesday when word emerged that playmaker Cesc Fabregas will be sidelined for between three to four months with a knee injury suffered in the Gunners' 1-1 tie vs. Liverpool on Sunday.

Fabregas suffered the injury on a hard, but relatively tame, challenge from Spain teammate Xabi Alonso just before halftime of the match.

The injury puts a major dent in Arsenal's already slim EPL title chances and also increases the likelihood that Arsene Wenger will go shopping in the January transfer window, with Andrei Arshavin among the top targets.

Here are some other stories to get your day going:

Sanchez named Almeria manager

Hugo Sanchez (AP)

It took a while, but former Mexican national team manager Hugo Sanchez has found a new job, landing the head coaching gig with Spanish side Almeria.

Fired as Mexico manager on March 31 after he failed to lead the Mexico Under-23 national team to the Olympics, Sanchez is returning to Spain as a coach for the first time after starring in La Liga as a player for Real Madrid during the 80s and early 90s.

Spain to join forces with Portugal on 2018 bid

U.S. Soccer's quest to host the 2018 World Cup just got some tougher competition after word surfaced that Spain was hoping to put together a joint bid with Portugal for the tournament.

A Spain/Portugal bid would join other 2018 candidates such as the United States, England, China, Australia and Russia, among others.

Uruguay suspends season amid fan violence

The Uruguayan Football Association has suspended its league's season with one week to go because of on-going fan violence. The federation suspended play last Friday and has yet to announce when the final week of the season would be played.

What do you think of the above stories? Can Arsenal still salvage its season? Do you see Andrei Arshavin as a capable replacement for Fabregas? Interested to see how Ivan Gazidis handles his first transfer window with Arsenal? Surprised to see Sanchez land a job in Spain? Do you think a Spain/Portugal bid for World Cup 2018 can win?

Share your thoughts below


  1. Spain/Portugal and England will both have good bids for 2018. No way is that one not going to Europe. The US is a good bet for 2022.

  2. I still don’t see what Arsenal would want with Arshavin. Don’t get me wrong; he’s a great player. He just doesn’t fill a need for them, of which they have several.

    As great as Cesc is, that’s not even that team’s biggest hole. They have players who can do what Fabregas does (Denilson and Ramsey, though obviously neither are ready to carry a team the way Cesc can) and who can do the Arshavin thing (van Persie, Nasri and Walcott). What they don’t have is the tough, experienced and skilled holding player who can provide a platform for those creative riches.

    They could also use one more wide player (with Rosicky probably not coming back this year and Walcott a question mark) and a physical center half. A goalkeeper would be nice, too, but I wouldn’t overspend or go after a real stud until I shored up those other positions.

    Personally, I’d go hard after Anatoliy Tymoschuk (who is also on the block at Zenit) for the holding role, Raul Albiol (who could probably be pried away from Valencia considering their financial trouble) at center half (or Neven Subotic or even Oguchi Onyewu, given his availability and low cost), and somebody like Charles N’Zogbia (who could play anywhere in midfield, backup Gael Clichy at fullback, and could even play withdrawn forward in a pinch).

  3. England hasn’t hosted the World Cup for half a century. They deserve it.

    Also, 2010 and 2014 will be the first time ever that back-to-back World Cups will be staged outside of Europe. If they don’t go back to Europe for 2018, I will be absolutely shocked.

    I agree with those who say USA should wait to bid on 2022.

  4. I imagine England, Spain/Portugal are the sure frontrunners for 2018. The USA and Australia should pull out to focus on 2022. That way we are assured of it.

    I very much doubt Mexico, Belgium/Netherlands or Russia have much chance of holding 2018. So England or Spain/Portugal will hold it. USA can take 2022 or Australia can.

  5. I’m sure FIFA won’t have much of a problem accepting as many bids, er cash, as it can. It has to be one of the most corrupt organizations, er corporations, in existence. I’d love for some of those shmucks to be held accountable for something for once. Oh wait. . . any outside/gov’t involvement means your dropped from all competitions. What a perfect scam.

  6. The possibility of a Spain/Portugal joint bid has been around for months. Their bid has 8 UEFA 5-star stadiums already at this moment, and with new stadiums being built in Valencia and Zaragoza they would have 10 by 2010.

  7. England won’t like this, not only are they going to face stiff competition from the US, Australia, and China, but they are going to have a very strong bid in their own back yard, while already having Russia likely to bid from UEFA as well (though my money is on UEFA pushing for no more than two bid-and preferably one-in the confederation).

    Frankly, I think the US should withdraw from 2018 (as it seems destined to end up in Europe) and pursue 2022, which would be devoid of a Euro bid and with the toughest competition likely coming in the form of Mexico, Austraila/New Zealand, and China…

  8. I think the choice Arsenal will have to make is this:

    Do we spend 10 million plus on ONE player, that will most likely not increase our chances of winning the EPL (because of other injuries, team issues) OR do we just continue to use what we have, save money, and fight for Champions League contention.

    I think the better business decision would be to hold and buy in the off-season. January transfers are always inflated, and in this current financial climate it is not good for a business to spend money they don’t have to.

  9. wow fabregas gone now…arsenal has an all star team of injured players….hopefully they wont get 10th place at this point. 🙁

  10. I thought FIFA said they wouldn’t allow bids from multi-nations anymore? After the Japan/SKorea experiment.

    Didn’t Tunisia/Libya try something like that for 2010 and FIFA wasn’t having it? Am I getting my countries wrong?


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