Fabio Capello the England manager secures an away win in Germany and finishes his first year on a very high note indeed. He has won seven out of nine matches including four games in the World Cup Qualifiers to top their group. Players want to play for the national team, the fans are behind the team again and even the media are supporting Capello’s regime. Good times for the English national team.
Good for Maradona, Argentina and Javier Mascherano on Wednesday as the South Americans beat Scotland 1-0 at Hampden Park. All eyes have been on Maradona since his appointment as Argentina’s coach and he’ll be satisfied with a comfortable win in his first match. It is also good for Mascherano, the Liverpool midfielder, who has been made captain by Maradona. The former River Plate player, bitter rivals of Boca, who Maradona used to play for (see some golden moments here), will be glad that the scandal surrounding his contract with West Ham seems to have past and he has now settled in at Liverpool and been awarded this honour.
However, bad for one of the England stars, Arsenal winger Theo Walcott injured his shoulder in training with the national side and will be out for up to three months. His club boss Wenger will not be pleased at all and we may see a club versus country row brewing.
Referees have a pretty hard job at the best of times, and save from the odd howler, they do a very good job at the top level. It’s a shame then that Swedish referee, Martin Hansson, no relation to the famed Liverpool defender Alan Hansen of the 70s and 80s, has received death threats after awarding a penalty for Liverpool in their Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid. The decision cost the Spanish side an automatic place in the last 16. Give the man a break! Even on replay it wasn’t an easy decision to make – then again, I would say that being a Reds fan…
China’s Super League games have been taken off air because the TV station believes the players are behaving so badly and projecting a negative image. China’s main TV station, China Central TV, is fed up of a series of players’ attitudes and actions, most recently a fight between the players and staff of Beijing and Tianjin. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that China won’t be going to the next World Cup having already failed to progress to the final stages of qualification.
More violence in South America, this time between Uruguayan rivals Danubio and Nacional. A full-blown riot ensued after the match and the league has been suspended. You can check out the riot here.