27 October 2006

News and Notes 10.27.06

• It’s rumor at best, and the sources are sketchy, but supposedly Jurgen Klinsmann has begun talks to become the US National Team manager after months of speculation. The far superior MLS blogs around the internet will have more I’m sure, but let me just say I’m skeptical, and I don’t know if Klinsi really is the best man for the job.

Chris Kirkland signs 3-year deal with Wigan. Well, that’s one goalkeeper off the books. Both Kirkland and Dudek signed on the same day in 2001, and despite Jerzy’s excellent first season, it seemed only a matter of time before Kirkland was the number one keeper for both Liverpool and England. However, he had the absolute worst luck with fitness, with successive injuries to his back, finger, ankle, wrist, and a host of other body parts. He had a decent season out on loan at West Brom last year despite their relegation, and hopefully he’ll remain healthy and first choice for Wigan. It still amuses me that his father and other family bet on him to eventually earn an England cap (at 100/1 odds) when Chris was 11. It was paid off last year, to the tune of £10,000 per bet. Nice move, Kirkland family.

Wisla Krakow defender Nikola Mijailovic was suspended five games by UEFA for racially abusing Blackburn’s Benni McCarthy during last week’s UEFA Cup tie. Nice to see UEFA finally get serious about punishing racism in soccer. Kick it out.

• This weekend’s PL schedule:
Saturday, 28 October 2006
Sheffield Utd v Chelsea, 7:45am (live on Setanta Sports)
Arsenal v Everton 10am (live on Setanta Xtra)
Bolton v Manchester Utd 10am (live on Setanta Sports)
Fulham v Wigan, 10am
Liverpool v Aston Villa, 10am (live on Fox Soccer Channel)
Portsmouth v Reading, 10am
Watford v Tottenham, 10am
Newcastle v Charlton, 12:15pm (live on Fox Soccer Channel)

Sunday, 29 October 2006
West Ham v Blackburn, 11am (live on Fox Soccer Channel)

Monday, 30 October 2006
Man City v Middlesbrough 3pm (live on Fox Soccer Channel)

If you’re not reading Ian Holloway’s weekly column for the BBC yet, you should be.

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