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Mid-Day Ticker: Anelka sent home, Pecnik breaks ankle and more



Just when you think it can't get any worse for France, it does. Head Coach Raymond Domench has sent home forward Nicolas Anelka. The forward launched an expletive ridden tirade against his coach at halftime of France's 2-0 loss to Mexico on Thursday.  Anelka was removed at the half in a match where he was mostly ineffective against El Tri.

France has suffered in South Africa after reaching the Final in 2006. Over the first two matches in Group A, the talented French offense has been anemic failing to score a goal in its first two matches and faces a uphill climb to make the knock out stages. France's final group game is against the hosts South Africa.


Slovenia forward Nejc Pecnik is reportedly out for the World Cup according to the Solvenian Press Agency. The forward was injured after a collision with Clint Dempsey in Slovenia's 2-2 draw against the United States. Pecnik came on as a sub in the 77th minute and will not be available for Slovenia's final Group C match against England. 


Yaya Toure looks set to make his long awaited switch to Manchester City after the World Cup according to the Barcelona midfielder's agent. The fee is believed to be in the range of 22 and 25 million pounds for the Ivory Coast International. Toure has been highly sought after by several Premiership sides including City and Chelsea.

The Ivory Coast International midfielder will team up with his brother Kolo at the Eastlands.


Steve Cotterill, the former boss at Notts County has been named the manager of Portsmouth. The 42-year-old manager led Notts County to promotion and the League Two title last season and will now try to launch cash-strapped Portsmouth back to the Premiership.

Portsmouth was relegated from the Premiership last season after financial issues that put the club into administration. The club announced Thursday that they hope to exit administration by this Summer after reaching an agreement with creditors to repay Portsmouth's massive debt.


Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has hinted that he may be open to a move to Inter Milan to join his former manager Rafa Benitez. The midfielder's agent has admitted that he has had preliminary contact with Inter Milan's sporting director. It is widely believed that Benitez would like the midfielder to join him as he prepares for life in Italy. The Argentine was brought to Anfield by Benitez and has been a key cog in Liverpool's midfield for several years. 


  1. I suggest you dedicate more close attention to your Club, Stevie, and less to the World Cup.

    Your opinions on such matters get in the way of facts and the fact is, our club only has 11 points.

    Run along.

  2. Dempsey elbowed a Slovenian player in like the first second of the match. He could have been red carded for it. Instead the ref let him get away and the match went downhill, in terms of chippyness, from there. So it’s a little ironic for Dempsey to ask for fouls.

  3. After awhile, the teams will start to level out. Especially if Europe continues to get the best of the best from everywhere and don’t nurture their own.

  4. Why not? That clown ended up giving Findley a yellow for getting hit in the face as a handball offense.

    And don’t forget the goal.

    As for the injury. It was accidental since I don’t know anyone that would completely trip over the ball to injure an opposing player.

  5. I think it’s very tough to think of France as anything but a European powerhouse, but their struggles in South African are not new. France needed the Hand of Henry to qualify for South Africa (in a playoff, no less), and they only mustered one point out of three matches to finish in the basement of Group C in Euro 2008 (scoring a grand total of one goal in the process). Between that and the current relationship between Domenech and players, France is a mess.

  6. I thought it was pretty funny how Dempsey asked for a foul and card during the play where Pecnik was injured.

    As the yanks say, “classless”.

  7. I think Liverpool should be concerned with their ownership and manager catastrophes before they worry about which star this week wants to bolt the sinking ship.

    Torres and Mascherano want out and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Liverpool’s prodical son, Gerrad, follow suit this summer.

    Liverpool are rapidly moving from a state of relevance to become a relic.

    [Disclaimer: Obviously I don’t like Liverpool]

  8. Anelka definitely could have handled things differently, this much is true.

    However, when the FFF decided to replace Domench before the World Cup had even started; they undermined the last ounce of respect/authority that man maintained.

    Anelka didn’t act like a professional but when you take a step back, it’s not exclusive to him within the FFF and this is yet another result of poor leadership and infrastructure within a federation.

    Maybe Domench read Anelka’s astrology wrong, so perhaps Domench is to blame, right?

  9. It was wrong for Anelka to do this. The coach has been poor though. Swearing and cussing out is not the answer. The coach did leave out Benzema, Viera and Nasri I know they were not in form in the Euro’s, but this season they were in great form.

  10. Re: Pecnik. You’d think we’d be the ones with broken bones they way they were beating on us.

    England is unraveling (Rooney lashing out at the fans, fan gets into the dressing room to vent, James hinting at discontent in England squad, Capello acting all jive headed and sh-t).

    Not so EASY now, is it?

    Can’t wait until Wednesday!

  11. I actually would be kind of happy if Mascherano were to go to Inter because Michael Bradley, who is having a wonderful tournament so far, could replace him, although I don’t really know if they’re the same kind of central midfielder. It’s totally possible and Liverpool could really use a spark in the midfield. I could see Bradley and Gerrard as the box-to-box midfielders with Lucas right behind them and Kuyt, Babel and Torres in front of them in a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1.

  12. Anelka played very poorly, but he’s not the problem. It would be unprecedented, but really, Domenech should be the one on a plane back to France. Ben Lyttleton has a great column on Crazy Ray’s incompetence over on He never should have been made head-coach, and after his disastrous performance at Euro 08, the FFF was afraid to drop him because they’d have to buy his huge contract out.

    No excuse for the players being a bunch of spoiled brats, but still, a better coach would have helped corral that behavior as well.

  13. I agree, but the futures of Gerrard and Torres are not certain either. I’m wondering if this is a watershed moment for Liverpool.

  14. Do the French players understand that the World Cup only comes around every 4 years? They are acting like every stereotype of a French person: Whining, Complaining, and Giving up Easily

  15. “. . . and will not be unavailable . . .”

    Don’t think this is what you mean.

    Anelka has always been mercurial, so this is not much of a surprise.

  16. I can’t envision a scenario in which Masch leaving is going to lead to anything good. No matter who we get to replace him.

  17. Anelka’s always had a reputation for petulance – hence the nickname, “Le Sulk” – but I love the idea of him cussing out Domenech. I’m sure he only said what the rest of the team was thinking!


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