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Monday Kickoff: World mourns Speed, Guardado expected to move and more

Speed - Reuters


The loss of life in the sports world always runs deep within the game, and to lose a player like Gary Speed saw shockwaves sent throughout soccer on Sunday.

The Wales manager was discovered at his home Sunday morning with the news spreading to every corner of the Britain within the hour that he had taken his own life.

Speed had the most outfield appearances out of any player in the Premier League in the 10 years after its inception and was recognized as one of the most recognized soccer personalities across the nation.  In his senior career, Speed notched a hefty 677 appearances and grabbing 103 goals along the way.  The midfielder also tallied up 85 senior international appearances for Wales and finding the back of the net on seven occasions.

Tributes poured in from the likes of Ryan Giggs, Robbie Savage and Fox Soccer's Warren Barton all of whom were former team mates of Speed.  Liverpool's Craig Bellamy pulled out of the team's clash with Manchester City the morning after hearing the news, while Shay Given was visibly distraught prior to Aston Villa's goal-less draw with Swansea on the same day.

Current Wales captain and Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey tweeted: "I was given the tragic news this morning. To say I am devastated is an understatement."

The list of condolences echoing the sentiments of devastation and sadness is overwhelming as the world of soccer (in every country) lost an immense presence.

Here are some other stories to kick off your Monday and keep you rolling:


Mexican international Andres Guardado could soon be out the door at Deportivo La Coruña on a free transfer with his contract wrapping up next June — and Valencia along with Sevilla are waiting in the wings.

Club president Augusto Lendoiro insisted that, if they could convince Guardado to sign, they would do it without question.  However, since Deportivo didn't survive the drop into the second division at the end of last season, Lendoiro has had a harder time trying to convince the side's better players to sign extensions.

Guardado made the rather surprising move to Deportivo (after having been linked with a host of high-profile clubs) in 2007 and has made over a 100 appearances for the team.  This season, Guardado has hit up the Spanish second division for five goals in 11 appearances as a midfielder.


Spanish attacker Juan Mata has lept to the defense of under-fire manager Andre Villa-Boas following what has been, according to the high Chelsea standards, somewhat disappointing thus far in the Premier League.

Following two successive defeats at home for the first time since 2002, pressure was mounting on the young manager, however a convincing 3-0 thumping of Wolves over the weekend lightened the load for Villa-Bos

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has a history of bringing down the axe on the Chelsea hot seat, and the appointment of Villa-Boas — who is even two years younger than back-up goalkeeper Hilario — was expected to pay larger dividends for the Blues.

For now, it seems, Villa-Boas can breathe easily.


It's become a trend that newly-rich clubs suddenly become linked with nearly every big-name player domestic and abroad — Paris Saint-Germain is fitting the bill nicely.

The latest addition to the growing pool of players linked with PSG is Diego Milito of Inter Milan.  Though the club is enduring a sluggish season (15th position and a goal difference of -3), the Argentine striker is enjoying a nice season for the Italian giants with four goals in 12 appearances in all competitions.  

Despite the reported interest, however, Milito definitively squashed the rumors and declaring he is at Inter "for sure" and has a "beautiful relationship" with the club.


How big of a loss was Gary Speed?  What do you make of Guardado's move to a bigger club?  How much pressure is AVB really under?


  1. Amazing how Villas-Boas’ name was spelled two different ways in three paragraphs and neither of them are correct. I hate so sound like a broken record, but would it kill SBI to proofread? Or at least spell check? This site’s content is higher quality than its spelling would lead some to believe.

  2. Andres Guardado should be an example to all USA internationals looking to go abroad… he could have gone to a bigger club but he chose Coruna where he was a lock to get playing time. He has dominated at the international level for years now b/c he is never rusty from lack of playing time.

    The lesson is do not go to the biggest club you get an offer from, otherwise you will just rot on the bench like Jozy at Villareal or for Mexico, Gio Dos Santos at Spurs.

  3. It’s comments like John’s that foster an unfair, unneeded, and unhealthy stigma about mental illness, a stigma that can prevent people with mental illness from talking about it and seeking help. We need less of such comments and the ideas behind them.

  4. Moderators, remove crap like John’s comment now! No place for this garbage here. You have absolutely no idea what medical issues Mr. Speed may or may not have had. Go away John!

  5. Gary was a great guy on and off the field. He was a club house guy….loved watching him play and was behind him as the Welsh boss. I am copmpletely gutted by this news. I wish the best for his his family. He will be missed.

  6. Sad to see someone else afflicted with a mental illness like Gary Speed. John hope you can get some desperately needed help.

    You were better off exercising your right to Shut the F..K UP! Many of us would have appreciated the gesture.

  7. To me the craziest news is the Uruguayan national team’s coach’s wife having acid thrown on her face as she walked through the streets of Montevideo. She is hospitalized with burns on 25% of her body.
    What a messed up world we live in.


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