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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Arsenal beat Inter Milan 2-1 to claim Emirates Cup

Arsenal came back from a goal down to beat Inter Milan 2-1 on Sunday and claim the inaugrual Emirates Cup.

Of course it's still only pre-season, and Inter Milan are obviously still in summer mode as they have qualified directly for the Champinos League group stage - while Arsenal have important games in a fortnight.

Still - you can only beat the teams that you play against - and Arsen Wenger will consider this weekend to be a good 48 hours work.

Below is Robin Van Persie's winning goal taken off "" (a YouTube clone). It takes a while to load - but it does work !!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Preseason results : Arsenal, Spurs, Barca win - Chelsea slump

A busy Saturday afternoon for European clubs as the pre-season takes on a more serious turn - especially for those clubs who are building to qualifying matches in the Champions League.

In North London, Arsenal beat PSG 2-1 with goals from Mathieu Flamini and Niklas Bendtner in the Emirates Cup, while Valencia beat Inter Milan 2-0 perhaps showing their more advanced focus on results.

In Scotland, English clubs found it tough to get a result as Rangers upset Chelsea 2-0 with two late goals to Nacho Novo (86) and Filip Sebo (87) - which will be a great boost to the Glasgow club as they face a Champions League 2nd round match against FK Zeta this week.

And Hiberian beat Middlesbrough 1-0 thanks to a last minute winner from Ross Campbell - as Hibs added another scalp to the 3-0 win over Bolton on Wednesday.

Spanish giants Barcelona had no such problems, with Barca beating Hearts 3-1 in front6 of over 57,000 fans at Murrayfield with Ronaldinho scoring twice in the first half.

In Belgium, Charleroi beat Manchester City 2-0 as Sven found it harder to win outside Sweden, although in truth City bossed much of the match but lacked sharpness in front of goal.

Other games saw Premier league clubs stroll to wins against lowly opposition with Sunderland beating Bohemians 1-0, West Ham winning 3-1 at Southend, Birmingham scoring a 2-0 win over Walsall and Spurs beat Orlando Pirates 3-0 somewhere in Africa.

Pre-season football : Arsenal host Emirates Cup

Emirates Cup hosted by ArsenalArsenal have their own "Emirates" Cup tournament to host this weekend - with Paris St Germain, Inter Milan, and Valenica taking part.

The pre-season starts to get a little more serious now with a few higher profile games being scheduled - and we will not see wholesale team changes being made (Arsenal have played 23 players in a recent match in Austria) - with the rules limiting changes to six.

Saturday's fixtures :
14:00 Inter Milan v Valencia ----- 2.10 - 3.30 - 3.60
16:00 Arsenal v Paris St Germain -- 1.70 - 3.75 - 6.00

I was thinking about a bet on Arsenal here but will need a bit more research as Wengers notoroius pre-season conditioning camp means that a few players will not be playing :

(Taken from

Emmanuel Adebayor, Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott are all suffering the effects of the Club's recent nine-day training camp in Austria and will miss the Emirates Cup tournament at the weekend. However the injuries are not long term.

"At the moment, not everybody's match fit," said Arsene Wenger at Friday's press conference. "We worked very hard in Austria and there was such heat that we have lost Emmanuel Adebayor, Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott for the tournament.

"The good news is that it is a question of days not weeks. They will be OK for Ajax and everybody will be ready for the start of the season."

Look for a couple of Emirates Cup match previews on the main site soon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

From United to Liverpool with Love? Not Likely!

Heinze is not going to Anfield according to Alex Ferguson
The non-transfer of Gabriel Heinze from Manchester United to Liverpool looks like it finally rumbling to a conclusion ... no sale !!

Manchester United are prepared to sell the want-away Argentine player to anyone - anyone except their domestic rivals in England - specifically Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

I know that Man United hardly need the money and Heinze will still be a potentally useful squad player - although how useful a player really is when he doesn't want to even be there is up for debate.

As an old time gooner, I can remember a few transfers from Arsenal to other major English clubs
- Frank Stapleton to Manchester United
(that hurt Frank was a fan favourite),
- Michael Thomas to Liverpool
(a financial insult to Liverpools Championship defeat?)
- and of course Cashley Cole
(who was tapped up by Chelsea - and good riddance!)

We also picked up a few former Spurs players in the legendary Pat Jennings (how that happened I'll never know) and Sol Campbell.

But they did happen, both clubs accepted the inevitiability of the tranfer once the player had madeup their minds - and eventually people forgot about it and got on their lives - except for every season when the player returned with his new side.

What I don't recall is ever hearing the NOT TO YOU LOT being shouted so strongly - and it's probably no surprise that it's the aging Sir Alex Ferguson doing the ranting.

Is it simply being petty? Is it restrain of trade? Or are United just a little bit scared of what is going on at Anfield?

How would United react if every club in England said "Not to You" to the defending champions - justifying it with the reasoning that as the current top side in England then they must be the biggest rivals?

Whatever the cause - whatever the reason - it's a new development and something that is going to add a bit more spice to their clashes this season ...

(mental note : BUY BOOKINGS when UNITED and LIVERPOOL clash)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Takeover at Arsenal? Pure summer bollocks !!

Herbert Chapman says don't sell
It's incredible - the magical creation of mystic worlds and suspension of disbelief almost makes it beleivable ... almost. No - I'm not talking about the latest Harry Potter book - but the daily Arsenal takeover saga in the papers.

I know it's summertime - so we know that journos will make plenty of stuff up - but the daily rumour mill surrounding possbile takeovers at Arsenal are getting weirder and weirder.

Today it's eccentric F1 owner Bernie Ecclestone who is quoted as saying "he interested in anything as long as its CHEAP enough" and "I do go to Chelsea when there is nothing else to do".

There you go - a casual newbie Chelsea fan who'll buy anything cheap - that obviously proof positive that he's on the inside track to buying Arsenal eh? NOT!

Elsewhere we read that the reclusive American Stan Kroenke has been accumulating shares to add to his 12%-14% holding - oh except for the facts being that only about 24 Arsenal shares have been bought/sold on the PLUS exchange in total during JULY !!

TWENTY FOUR !! There are 62,219 total shares on offer (making Arsenal a £450m company) and my calculations show that if ALL 24 were sold to Kroenke then it will take the American a further 77 years to reach a 50% shareholding at that rate.

Throw in the fact that you have a report that Arsenal board not keen to sell because they beleive that an overseas invester will want to take more money out than they put in - financial investors are likely to be treating the club as a business.

Of course the prime mover, motivator and PR spinner in all this is former vice-chairman David Dein who simply could not take the boards decision last March and resigned in a fit of pique - and has been desperately aggitating ever since.

But, Arsenal don't need the money. The club is financially stronger now than at any stage in their history. There are other clubs with more cash of course - Chelsea, Man United, Liverpool, Barcelona - but that's always been the case.

But with the new 60,000 seat stadium functioning, and a major property development in London coming on stream, the Arsenal Football Club is in sound health and is not "cash strapped" - it's soundly managed to spend within it's operating budget.

The current board are running things for AFC's benefit - not to line their own pockets (they have not taken a dividend on their shares for over TWENTY years) - and they've carefully plotted and manouvered Arsenal to take best advantage of the current financial climate - upgrading the ground while not risking the clubs future.

The Emirates Stadium - GBP 360m of kit.

IF Arsenal can find an investor who wants to be part of creating positive conditions for the continuation of the football club - ahead of returning profits back to their own pockets - then I'm sure that he/she will be welcomed with open arms.

But it NOT be a hostile takeover because the shares are tightly held, and so Arsenal Football Club is not a pretty bauble to be plucked or a financial opportunity to be exploited. Rather it is a football club whose main purpose is to play football at the highest levels - not to chase profits for American, Russian or English fatcat (and suntanned) pockets.

With Arsenal taking a prudent financial approach that protects them if and when the TV rights bubble bursts - you can be sure that the club that was created in 1888 in a pub across the road from the Royal Arsenal factory will be around for many more years to come.

To write anything else is journolistic bollocks - a cheap headline because the transfer market is not moving - and simply published in order to sell a few more papers or get a few more hits for their website.

Pre-season English football results

It's only pre-season, and these are bearly more than extended kickabouts - but the various English Premier League clubs have been playing games and it's worth taking a look.

Arsenal 3-0 Genclerbirligi
Arsenal beat the 6th placed Turkish side with Robin Van Persie (2) and THeo Walcott getting amoingst the goals in a run out in Austria - but Arsenal fielded a total of 23 players - so hardly a competitive match.

Sunderland 1-0 Scunthorpe
A bit of surprise here as Sunderland have been splashing the cash to attempt to stay in the Premier League a bit longer this time - manager Roy Keane has things to think about.

Lyon 1-0 Bolton
A "Peace cup final" in South Korea - and no surprise to see the French Champions come out on top - just how will Bolton fare without "Big Sam" at the helm? There will be a lot of interested punters watching Bolton's pre-season efforts.

Tottenham 2-1 Kaizer Chiefs
Goals for Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov mean that Spurs win in an easy run out -where the hardest opposition was probably the pitch.

Carlisle 1-1 Newcastle
Big things are expected from Newcastle this seasonm - well in Newcastle anyway - but they needed a 90th minute goal from Nolberto Solano to save pride.

Carlstead Utd 0-4 Manchester City
Sven's no mug - he starts his team off on an easy holiday of Sweden with a some big wins to ensure some good press. Rolando Bianchi scored twice to show that the £8.8m price tag bought a player with some good touches.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sheffield United fan gets news of relegation

This was posted on the forum by a Blades fan - and he thought it was funny - so I reckon that this is safe for all football fans to view.

A very well done YouTube Parody done by BethnalGreenE2.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Prepare to win when betting on Sports

It's that time of the year again when football talk is starting to get a bit more serious - major transfer moves are made - and the smart punter starts looking around for a couple of reliable internet bookmakers to join up to.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

2007-08 Champions League Begins ...

2007-08 UEFA Champions LeagueIt's only been seven weeks since AC Milan were crowned champions of Europe with a 2-1 win against Liverpool in Athens, but the road to the 2008 season's UEFA Champions League final begins on Tuesday.

Of course, in all likelihood NONE of the 28 sides are involved in the the first qualifying round, will even make it to the group stages, but the money in being invovled in this stage means a lot to the little clubs.

(see our Champion League section for the blog post.)

For the first time the champions of Andorra, San Marino and Montenegro will be invoved in the competition and the inflow of money is an important step in raiing the standards of football for the small nations.

Kaunas likely to progress
FK Zeta will represent Montenegro, lining up against FBK Kaunas who are veterans of this stage as they prepare for their seventh first qualifying round fixture in eight seasons. Only twice have Kaunas failed to reach the second stage and though they have never progressed beyond that, Angel Cervenkov's team approach the tie in high spirits after claiming a maiden Lithuanian Super Cup triumph last month.

Sheriff a tough task for Andorran side
Andorran champions FC Ranger's travel to FC Sheriff for the right to meet Besiktas JK in the next round.

Sheriff saw their UEFA Champions League hopes ended by FC Spartak Moskva 12 months ago but pushed the Russian team all the way before missing out on goal difference and have been busy strengthening ahead of this campaign.

Striker Sasa Kajkut and midfielder George Daniel Negrut have both arrived in Tiraspol, raising hopes the Moldovan champions can go further this term.

Top sides await the winners
Red Star Belgrade who were European champions in 1991 will meet either FK Pobeda or FC Levadia Tallinn while Scottish side Glasgow Rangers FC will face the victors of the Zeta tie.

UEFA Champions League Live Scores
UEFA Champions League Betting Previews

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Chelsea : So long Sheva ?

Shevchenko back to AC Milan?
AC Milan look to be forcing a decision from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich on Andriy Shevchenko with the European Champions offering £15m for their former player.

Shevchenko has struggled at Stamford Bridge since arriving for £30million last summer, scoring just 4 goals in 30 league appearances and seemingly out of favour with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho who never really wanted him.

But Abramovich is a personal friend of Shevchenko, and is keen to give the striker more time to impress although time is running short with the player turning 31 in August.

However if the Ukraine international wants to return to Milan, then Abramovich could let him go despite the huge £15m loss on the fee.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sheffield Utd lose again - Beckham media mania

Two things catch my eye in the news today - and unfortunately both are probably things that I'd rather didn't get so much coverage.

I see that yet another Sheffield United legal appeal has failed today with the High Court not allowing the Blades "leave to appeal".

I know relegation was hard on Sheffield Utd, but I really don't have much sympathy for the case for compensation - or the original appeal.

Why not? Because despite the convoluted transfer wranglings going on at West Ham - all that really happened is the West Ham got access to a couple of players and then had to go out and win games on the pitch.

Frankly I don't see any difference between these transfers and the usual loan player scheme that has hit the Premier League and Football league over the last two seasons.

There was no rigging of players or fixing of games - and Sheffield United had plenty of time during the season to win enough points so as not to finish 18th and get relegated. They knew what the decision was and the only reason they're appealing now is that they finished 18th.

If the Premier League had announced that they were deducting points from West Ham - so that Sheffield United thought they were safe - and then later on changed their minds then I'd understand the appeal.

But this is bollocks - give it up guys.

Victoria and David Beckham arrive in the USThe other "big event" was the hype around David Beckham's arrival in the United States.

Screaming fans, over-hyped publicity, it's a "made for reality TV" situation that unfortunately has almost no chance of living up to the hysteria and so will inevitiably result is disappointment and more negative headlines in the US.

Victoria seems to love the idea of being a US media queen though - and there seems little doubt that her wants and needs were a big part of his decision to play football in the US - which probably says it all - BRAND BECKHAM HYPE - here we come.

It is good to see that ticket sales for his games are huge - I understand the first league opponents the "New York Red Bulls" (has advertising in the US gone mad?) have sold triple their normal number of tickets ...

... but really what are these people expecting to see and will they be happy if he plays a solid game in midfield holding the ball with a couple of good touches - as you might expect in a new player arriving at a side? Don't you beleive it !!

Still - I guess it's one way to make money out of football - and football is a business these days - but you know it's going to be a huge "SO WHAT?!" inside a month.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Arsenal : Swapping Freddie for Bakary ?

It looks like we might have seen the last of one of the old guard as Freddie Ljundburg's possible move to Fiorentina looks more likely every day.

The BBC Sports site is now reporting on Freddie's talks with the Italian club and I've gotta say that it would probably be a good bit of business if the Arsenal could flog him off to Fiorentina for £5m or more.

Freddie is 30 now, and although we might all want to remember him in his flash red mohawk haircut (BEFORE Beckham copie it) when he was scoring goals for fun, the truth is that he's knackered and injured a lot these days.

He's paid around 80-90K per week, and managed to get on the pitch for just 27 games last season managing 2 goals - neither of them in the league.

He's been a great servant for Arsenal Football Club, and a superb pruchase for £3m from Halmstads in 1998 - but his time with us is done - remember I told you how mercenary football can be ...

Thanks for the good times Freddie - but you are done lad.


Bakary SagnaAnd it looks like in comes Auxerre player Bakary Sagna, a 24yo who has represented France at U21 level for a pricetag of £7m.

I know that you might be thinking - not another bloody outside back - but Arsenal concede too many weird goals last season from crosses out wde - and if Arsene Wenger thinks that this man might help turn those frustraing 1-1 draws into 1-0 wins then I'm more than happy to see it.

Perhaps it might allow us to play Eboue a little more further orward in midfield - he's at his best going forward anyway - and it will be interesting to see quite how Arsene will sort this all out.


Anyway at least we are seeing some action in the market - but I still want to see some significant experience injected into midfield and upfront ...

However I'm sure that Mr Wenger will react after reading the blog ...

Catch ya later ..

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

UEFA Champions League Money Pot

UEFA Financial News - Champions League payouts
The latest issue of the online publication UEFA Direct makes very interesting reading.

Page 6 outlines exactly how much each club got for participating - and why - and it just shows how important the Champions League is to the budgets of the clubs.

The top payouts went to the sides that progressed furtherest, as you might expect, with AC Milan getting €38.5m and Liverpool €34.6m.

But even group easy-beats like Levski Sofia received €5.5m just for making the group stage - even though they lost all 6 group games.

Another big factor was the size of the TV market - with Arsenal receiving €19.2m compared to FC Porto's €11.5m despite having very similar records and both going out in the second round - due to the lucrative UK TV market.

And what about the UEFA Cup? How does it compare?

Well it really is a second teir competition with winners Sevilla earning just €6.2m for winning the whole thing (barely more than Levski Sofia) while if you were eliminated before the UEFA Cup group stage you made less than €0.5m for your efforts.

As you can see participation in the Champions League is all important for the financial future of football clubs - and it's no wonder that the pursuit of 4th place is considered more important than a Carling Cup or FA Cup in England.

Without the regular flow of money - the big clubs turn into "sleeping giants" ... like Newcastle or Tottenham

The UEFA main website
The UEFA club football betting previews.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

English Transfer Round-up : Babel, Bellamy, Tevez

So the transfer merry-go-round continues to spin, and Liverpool are certainly flexing their newly acquired financial muscles.

Liverpool are very intersted in Dutch U21 star Ryan Babel - but after acquiring Torres for £25m the size of their American bankroll is no secret now and the Reds have been told by Ajax it's going to cost them a further £13m (€20m).

There does seem to be some question about how much Babel will play at Liverpool - with strikers seeming to be joining from everywhere - and his agent Ms Winnie Haatrecht muttered words about ensuring playing time which will go down like a lead ballon with Rafa Benitez.

Liverpool have sold Craig Bellamy to West Ham for £7.5m, and Djibril Cisse to Marseille for £6m, but to balance the books a bit.

They have also gone for a couple of squad level players in acquiring a couple of makeweights in Yossi Benayoun (£4m from West Ham) and Ukraine striker Andriy Voronin on a free transfer from Beyer Leverkusen.

They look like Carling Cup material to me.

Carlos Tevez scaring the childrenMANCHESTER UNITED
Up at Old Trafford, it appears that Sir Alex Ferguson reads the blog as there are now calls for the FA and even FIFA to step in and try and sort out the tangled mess that is the Carlos Tevez financial dealings.

He's a real "ugly bug" in this latest picture - but a potential match winner. I know why Man United want him - but if he does play then I think the whole Sheffield United / West Ham debate is gonig to blow up again.

21-team Premier League anyone?

Robben mouths off againCHELSEA
Over at Chelsea - Arjen Robben does what he does best - mouths off a bit and plays the primadona - as he complains that he's not getting a 5-year deal for squillions of dollars.

One day soon Jose Mourinho is goingg to cut him loose but in the meantime the Blues have been busy getting French international Florent Malouda from Lyon for a £13.5m price tag.

That's the only spending Chelsea have done so far this season with Claudio Pizarro, Steve Sidwell and Tal Ben Haim all arriving on free transfers.

No sorry - it's just a bit of a runing joke for Gooners - Arsenal have not gone out and bought anyone to fill the gapping experience hole that they have. Sorry.

On the selling side there are rumours of Freddie Ljundberg being sold to Fiorentina (we'd be so lucky), and the new Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster praises Cesc Fabregas as a player he admires, saying: "He is one of the few players in his position that can carry a team."

Look but don't touch Bernd

Speaking of Schuster, I give him about 6 months in the role - as they'll surely finish well behind Barcelona next season - and that's enough to get the chop at the Bernabeu - they've gone through EIGHT coaches in 4 years now.

Schuster has got Argentine striker Javier Saviola on a free transfer after he was released by Barcelona - but the fact that Barca were happy to let him go to Madrid speaks volumes for their appraisal of the player.

OK that it. We'll there are plenty of minor transfers going on around - but you'll need to check out BBC Sport or SportingLife if you want all the details.

(I'll try and do a beer blog everyday over the summer)

WSOP Main Event Begins - A real test of stamina

The 2007 World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event has started ... and we are stuck in the middle of "Day One" as the organisers take a "ground-hog day" approach to handling the 6,000+ players who have entered this year.

They will be hosting FOUR separate "Day Ones" each with over 1,500 entrants beginning and expect to whittle the field down to a more manageable 2,400 to 2,500 for "Day Two"

The effect of which is to have the "main event" tournament last over 12 days duration (including a rest day before the final table) - with 11 different playing days - and the last nine players expected to compete in 8 days of cards.

Event 55 - $10,000 World Championship No Limit Holdem
- The Schedule

Day 1a - Fri 6 Jul, 12:00 pm /$10,000 ($10,000+$0)
Day 1b - Sat 7 Jul, 12:00 pm /$10,000 ($10,000+$0)
Day 1c - Sun 8 Jul, 12:00 pm /$10,000 ($10,000+$0)
Day 1d - Mon 9 Jul, 12:00 pm /$10,000 ($10,000+$0)
Day 2 -- Tue 10 Jul, 12:00 pm / -
Day 3 -- Wed 11 Jul, 12:00 pm / -
Day 4 -- Thu 12 Jul, 12:00 pm / -
Day 5 -- Fri 13 Jul, 12:00 pm / -
Day 6 -- Sat 14 Jul, 12:00 pm / -
Day 7 -- Sun 15 Jul, 12:00 pm / -
Day 8 -- Tue 17 Jul, 12:00 pm / -

Casino/Location: Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas

You can get the latest news on your favourits players at the WSOP
over that the WSOP stream on the Poker Labrat blog.

Today's entry is Day 1D and Phil Hellmuths grand entrance.

I think that I've got some way to go before having the discipline to enter these vast real-world multi-table events.

For most of us "internet only" players the idea of sitting down at a multi-table tournament online and playing means putting aside a short chunk of time of a few hours.

We can regularly get though 8,000+ players in a Microgaming Prima poker event at Bet365 Poker or 32Red Poker in about 3.5 hours. Many players last less than 10 minutes.

(oops - I just busted out to aces - while writing this blog post)

Play poker at CanbetAnd if you've got an hour or less then you can play a 200 person TURBO tournament at Canbet Poker with a fast rising blind structure and often you'll get done in under 60 minutes.

Check out our World Poker Room Guide for online poker site reviews covering three licensing jurisdictions

Monday, July 09, 2007

Gamebookers Announce EUR 50 Join Bonus

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Copa America - Quarter Final Results

The preliminaries are over - and the big guns bared their teeth over the weekend in the Copa America Quarter-Finals.

On Saturday :

Uruguay 4-1 Venezuela (HT 1-1)
Uruguay were too strong for hosts Venezuela, taking an early lead in the first half although the home side did peg it back just before halftime.

However, in the second half Uruguay showed their class with a well taken second goal and then a pair of goals late on inflated the score to a lopsided 4-1 margin.

Brazil 6-1 Chile (HT 3-0)
In the second game Brazil demonstrated some great power and precision to defeat Chile for the second time in the tournament - but more than that they managed to send a warning that the "Samba Swagger" was back.

Brazil took the lead after 14 minutes when Bayer Leverkusen defender Juan took advantage of a static Chilean defence to head home Maicon's corner.

Six minutes later, Maicon won the ball in the midfield and fed Vagner Love, who in turn found Julio Batista and the forward made no mistake from inside the box.

Robinho then made it 3-0 after some good individual work resulted in a measured finish from the edge of area.

Robinho grabbed his second of the game on 51 minutes as the Real Madrid forward applied the finish to Gilberto Silva's cross after the Chilean defence had once again gone missing.

It was 5-0 after 68 minutes when Chile keeper Claudio Bravo parried Afonso's shot but was powerless to stop Josue converting the rebound.

Chile did bag a consolation goal eight minutes later when striker Humberto Suazo cleverly lobbed the ball over but Vagner Love completed the rout right at the death after good approach work from Elano.


On Sunday :

Mexico 6-0 Paraguay (HT 3-0)
Mexico made a huge impact on the Copa America with this 6-0 thrashing of Paraguay, although their task was made easier by the 2nd minute dismissal of Paraguayian keeper Aldo Bobadilla when a woeful back-pass from Julio Cesar Caceres allowed Nery Castillo to get a clear run on goal which was crudely halted by Bobadilla.

Bobadilla was shown the red card and Castillo slotted home the spot-kick past replacement custodian Joel Zayas.

The second goal came in the 26th minute when Juan Carlos Cacho burst through midfield without a challenge before laying the ball off to Gerardo Torrado and his rising drive flew past the helpless Zayas.

Twelve minutes later, Castillo proved why he has been one of the Copa America's outstanding performers with his fourth goal of the tournament - a fine volley from the edge of the area.

A late flurry of goals in the final 11 minutes blew out the score - but this match was dead and buried by halftime.

Argentina 4-0 Peru (HT 0-0)
Argentina showed some real steel in the second half of the final Copa America quarter-final with their big players getting on the scoreboard.

Goals from Riquelme (47, 85), Messi (62) and Mascherano (75) meant that the Argentine side fired back their own warning message - as they completed the set of four big victories.


Semi-final matches :

Brazil now face Uruguay in Maracaibo on Tuesday for a place in the Copa America final while Argentina will play Mexico.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Carlos Tevez - just too much trouble ?

CArlos Tevez to Manchester United ?
So just what do you think of this Carlos Tevez then?

He seems an extremely useful player, certainly international class, and his performances at the end of last season were probably the single biggest factor in West Ham staying up.

But ... and it's a big but ... he's got himself tied into a weird financial tangle with his agent Kia Joorabchian and a couple of dodgy looking South American companies over his playing rights - and frankly I'm pleased that ARSENAL are having nothing to do with him.

I note that in this article over at SportingLife he says that he's already completed agreements and given his personal word to "Mr Ferguson" that he will move to Manchester United and he never goes back on his word.

However it seems that West Ham don't know too much about it - saying that there was no agreement for the move and claiming that Tevez is contracted to them until June 2010 !!

With Sheffield United watching this from the relative poverty of the Championship - and the Premier League organsiations just wishing that this would all go away - I can see BIG trouble for any English club that touches this outstanding player unless eveerything is done exactly right.

Tevez and Joorabchin just seem to have a very loose handle on how to handle a business deal - and I am starting to wonder whether the player is simply damaged goods - and he'd be better off trying to ply his trade somewhere else - where his every financial move is not so carefully watched.

Back to Argentina for a season perhaps?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Betting Action Coming up This Week

This week is going to be full of sports excitement: you just need to pick your event from The Wimbledon Final, Copa America, Wonders of the World!


From this Friday onwards, the grass courts will be on fire at Wimbledon as players edge towards the final. You could be a winner if you tick the right boxes with Paddy Power betting on the hottest clashes - and get automatic insurance againt a 5-set loss.


Also this week the Copa America Quarter and Semi Finals. South America is hotting up with the action So are we! The Quarter Finals are on 7 and 8 July and the Semi Finals are on 10 and 11 July.

Check out our daily Copa America betting previews on the main site.


You still have the chance to bet on the New Wonders of the World - and European bookmaker Globet have set up a special book for this event.

Millions of voters will select the New 7 Wonders of the World. The winners will be announced in Lisbon, Portugal on 7 July - surely there are some easy winners !!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Wimbledon : One Williams Out - One Williams through

The ladies took centre stage on Wednesday at Wimbledon with the Williams sisters featuring in two clashes.

Younger sister Serena Willams showed little sign of the calf injury she sustained on Monday but in the end had to bow to top seed Justine Henin, who won an exciting quarter-final 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Serena was graceless in post match interviews however - claiming to be only 40-50% fit and saying that she definately would have won if not injured - a total lack of class demonstrated once again.

However, her older sister Venus did her talking on the court thrashing Maria Sharapova 6-1 6-3 with an impressive performance in the last 16.

In the day's other ladies' singles match, French 18th seed Marion Bartoli came from a set down against Michaella Krajicek to set up a semi-final meeting with Henin. The surprise package of the ladies' draw followed up her victory over third seed Jelena Jankovic with a 3-6 6-3 6-2 win on Court Two.

Justine Henin .... 1.44 @ PinnacleSports
Venus Williams ... 5.09 @ PinnacleSports
Nicole Vaidisova . 17.00 @ SportingOdds
Svetlana Kuznetsova 24.95 @ PinnacleSports
Ana Ivanovic ... 25.45 @ PinnacleSports
Marion Bartoli ... 67.00 @ Gamebookers

Check out the latest Ladies Open odds for outrights and match betting at

Online Poker

Online Poker

Todays online poker blog entry is nothing more than a cynical attmept to get Google to rank this blog entry on online poker high in the blogsearch rankings for online poker.

I searched google for the key phrase "online poker" and saw all the big online poker rooms where listed there.

#1 Online Poker listing was Full Tilt Poker which was good to see as they are one or our favourites.

Then there were the spammy entries for 888.con and Pacific Poker (bad online poker places in my opinion) before entry #4 was a Wikipedia entry for Online Poker.

Rounding out #5 was top online poker room Bodog Poker which was then followed by lessor online poker sites like Pokerroom, Pokerstars, PokerPlex and such like.

For a list of our preferred online poker sites - by licensing jurisdiction visit the main site online poker site guide.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Copa America : Argentina 4-2 Columbia

Argentina thrashed Colombia 4-2 and Paraguay overcame the United States 3-1 to claim berths in their Copa America quarterfinals on Monday.

The results were also good news for host Venezuela, who advanced to the last eight for the first time ever as, at worst, one of the two best third-place finishers.

Argentina were led by Juan Roman Riquelme’s two first-half goals — one off a header in the 33rd minute and then a curving free kick over a Colombian wall just before halftime — Argentina resumed the dominant offensive play that allowed it to breeze past the United States in their opening match.

For Colombia, Edixon Perea scored the game’s opening goal off a penalty, and Jaime Castrillon closed the gap to 2-3 but Argentina looked in control throughout.


In the other Group C game - the United States played far better than their first match and competed well - but Paraguay were sharper in and around the box and took their chances well.

Oscar Cardozo set up Edgar Barreto’s goal in the 30th with a sharp pass between two defenders, before US equalised with their first goal from open play in the tournament when Taylor Twellman knocked down a deep ball to Ricardo Clark, who buried a shot past a diving Justo Villar just inside the near post.

With the Americans threatening, Cardozo then put Paraguay ahead at the start of the second-half and substitute Salvador Cabanas scored off the bench with a free kick in injury time.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Paddy Power Wimbldedon Sets Appeal - Pays Out 17 times so far ..

Remember when we told you about the latest cashback offer from the mad Irish bookmaker PaddyPower ?

Sure you do !! Well it turns out that it's already paid out on 17 seperate occassions already including refunds on Henman, Gonzalez and Moya.

17 times already! And as the tournament progress the games should get even closer! You'd be mad to be betting anywhere else.

Here's a reminder of what you can get simply by using PaddyPower for your Wimbledon betting.

Paddy Power have Sets Appeal for Wimbledon betting

Men's Wimbledon 2007 - Free Bet Special - Exclusively at Paddy Power

If you place a losing match bet on any match that is decided over 5 sets then Paddy Power will give you a Free Bet to the same stake on any other Wimbledon match.

Here's the full list of conditions :
* Applies to singles placed before match starts only (not in running bets).
* Applies to match betting only.
* Applies to Singles matches only.
* Only applies to bets placed online or by phone.
* Max Free Bet €300/£200 per customer.
* Free Bets can only be used on Wimbledon matches.
* Does not apply to the 2007 Mens Wimbledon Final.

So don't be a 5-set loser - bet on Wimbledon with Paddy Power

Copa America Results : Brazil and Mexico win

Copa America results from VenezuelaBrazil beat Chile 3-0 at the unfinished Monumental stadium on Sunday with Robinho scoring a hat-trick.

Despite the scoreline, Brazil were far from convincing for most of the game and spared by poor Chilean finishing in the second half.

Brazil struggled to find a way through Chile's packed defence early on and Robinho, apart from a couple of trademark stepovers, saw little of the ball.

But they were gifted a chance in the 36th minute when Gilberto's cross from the left was comfortably held by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo but the referee gave a penalty, apparently for pushing.

Robinho calmly scored with a low shot which just eluded Bravo's outstretched hand.

Chile came out fighting after halftime and striker Humberto Suazo was close from a free kick. Shortly afterwards, the shaven-headed Suazo was put clean through but delayed and, by the time he shot, there were three Brazilian defenders on the line to clear the ball.

Jorge Valdivia wasted another chance when he shot straight at a defender from close range. Robinho finished the Chileans off in the 84th minute when he latched onto Vanger Love's pass and chipped over Bravo.

Three minutes later, he collected the ball 40 metres from goal, dribbled past two defenders and scored with a shot into the corner.

Group B : Brazil 3-0 Chile
Scorers :
- Brazil - Robinho 36 (p), 84, 87;

Haltime 1-0


In other Group B news, Mexico reached the quarter-finals of the Copa America with a 2-1 victory over Ecuador. The result leaves the Mexicans on top of the group with the maximum six points. Rivals Brazil and Chile have three points each.

Group B : Mexico 2-1 Ecuador
Scorers :
- Mexico - N.A.Castillo 22, O.Bravo 80;
- Ecuador - E.Mendez 85;

Haltime 1-0

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Copa America : Venezuela and Uruguay win

San Cristobal, Venezuela :

Copa America hosts Venezuela beat Peru, 2-0, on Saturday to win for just the second time in the tournament's history and move into first place in Group A.

Defender Alejandro Cichero and substitute Daniel Arismendi scored in the second half for Venezuela, which had a man advantage for nearly the entire game.

Peru's Pedro Garcia was given a red card in the 14th minute, giving Venezuela an advantage until the 77th minute when Ricardo Paez was sent off for getting a second yellow card.

The heated game included scuffles near the end. Venezuela moved ahead of Peru into the top spot in the group. Venezuela has four points and Peru three.

Venezuela's only other Copa America win was against Bolivia in 1967.

Group A : Venezuela 2-0 Peru
Scorers :
- Venezuela - A.Cichero 49, D. Arismendi 79;

Halftime 0-0


In Saturday's other Group A game, Vicente Sanchez scored the lone goal to give Uruguay a 1-0 win over Bolivia.

Group A : Uruguay 1-0 Bolivia
Scorers :
- Uruguay - Y.M.Sanchez 58;

Halftime 0-0