I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day Weekend even though we have no Premier League football. In America, we had the start of the college football season, but it just does not compare to the excitement of the EPL. With the England vs. Wales match upon us and the league back in just 5 days (we can make it!), today’s Daily Ticker takes a spin around the Euro 2012 qualifiers to look at the performances of players from the league, as well as the day’s news.
Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher struck for Scotland in the 83rd minute of their controversial 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic. The Czechs equalized on a 90th minute penalty by Michal Kadlec, though video replays suggest the official got it terribly wrong.
Aaron Hughes scored for Northern Ireland in their 4-0 demolition of the Faroe Islands. The Craven Cottage man scored the winner in the 5th minute. However, Northern Ireland were defeated by a Serbian team with Aleksandar Kolarov and Branislav Ivanovic, 1-0, at the weekend.
Nani and Raul Meireles starred in Portugal’s 4-0 win over Cyprus. Former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice.
Norwich City’s Steve Morison and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey struck for the Welsh in a crucial 2-1 win over Montenegro. EPL stars Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy also featured for Wales.
Bolton’s Ivan Klasnic and Spurs’ Vedran Corluka featured for Croatia in their 3-1 victory over Malta. Luka Modric was placed on the bench for this one and never graced the pitch.
Yossi Benayoun started in Israel’s defeat to Greece.
Robin van Persie struck four times in the Netherlands’ 11-0 demolition of San Marino. Everton’s John Heitinga and Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt netted for Holland as well.
Patrice Evra, Florent Malouda, Samir Nasri and Younes Kaboul suited up for France in their 2-1 win against Albania.
Edin Dzeko featured for Bosnia-Herzegovnia, as they beat Belarus 2-0.
Alberto Aquilani and Mario Balotelli appeared as substitutes in Italy’s 1-0 win over the Faroe Islands.
Shay Given, John O’Shea, Richard Dunne, Stephen Ward, Glenn Whelan, Damien Duff, and Kevin Doyle featured for Ireland in their 0-0 draw with Martin Skrtel’s Slovakia.
Premier League attackers Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko played in Russia’s 1-0 win against Macedonia.
Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet let one past him in Belgium’s 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan.
Of course, Wayne Rooney scored twice for England after Gary Cahill’s goal, in the Three Lions’ 3-0 defeat of Bulgaria.
Scotland: Charlie Adam was pulled off the pitch with 10 minutes to play against the Czechs. The new Liverpool midfielder will not play against Lithuania. Blackburn’s Grant Hanley has been called up to the first team. Alan Hutton and Darren Fletcher are both questionable for the Lithuania match.
Ireland: Sunderland’s John O’Shea has not traveled to Moscow for Ireland’s game against Russia. The defender is suffering from calf and hip strains. Shay Given is questionable for the match due to a back strain.
England: Sky Sports is reporting that Leighton Baines will not be in the squad for the match against Wales. The Everton defender reportedly picked up a hamstring injury in training. The FA says that Baines won’t be replaced. Darren Bent has not recovered from his groin injury and will not be available for the game against Wales. Manchester City’s Micah Richards has a hamstring injury and will not play either. Jack Wilshere will be out for two more months. The Arsenal youngster is fighting off a ankle injury. He did further damage to the ankle at the Emirates Cup against New York Red Bulls.
Garry Cook is in hot water. Manchester City’s chief executive has been accused of sending a vicious e-mail to Nedum Onuoha’s mother/agent. Dr Anthonia Onuoha’s told Brian Marwood that she has been, “ravaged with cancer.” In a e-mail sent to Onuoha from Cook, meant for Marwood, Cook wrote, “Ravaged with it!!…… I don’t know how you sleep at night. You used to be such a nice man…” Nedum’s mother sarcastically thanked Cook for the e-mail, though the City administrator denies sending it, saying his account was hacked, last October, while he was vacationing in South Africa.
Despite claims by Manchester United’s first team coach, Rene Meulensteen, that Chelsea’s team, “is too old,” his boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, believes the Blues can still contend for the title, making comparisons between his squad and the Stamford Bridge one. Sir Alex said of Chelsea, “They’ll still be a big threat and we expect them to challenge.”
Liverpool’s Andy Carroll has got off to a rocky start at Anfield this season, struggling to find a place in the starting XI. It seems he is having the same problem with the England team. Fabio Capello told the press that, “Andy didn’t play the last game with Liverpool and probably he is not at the top. Also, he is big. He needs to play games, games, games.” The England manager went on to say that once Carroll is fit he will become a “important” piece of the Three Lions’ squad.
Tottenham’s Gareth Bale said, “We’re always going to be massive underdogs whoever we’re playing at the moment. But it’s something that we are relishing.” Bale also told the press he feels the team has made improvements since their last go around against England and that the squad shows great promise for the future.
Raul Meireles claims his move to Chelsea was not about the money and said, “I will explain it [why he made the move] later.”
Gary Cahill told the press, “My head is fine and I’m doing what I love doing, playing football,” after a wild week for the Bolton man, who nearly moved to a London club and then scored for his country against Bulgaria.
Theo Walcott said, “Frank’s got plenty to offer still,” despite rumors that Lampard’s future in the England team is over. England boss, Fabio Capello, says the Chelsea midfielder will have to fight for his place in the squad. Walcott also praised Arsene Wenger’s new signings.
Article of the Day:
Alex Dimond takes at look at the turnaround at Anfield.
Video of the Day:
John Carew was born on this day in 1979. The Norwegian has provided a great amount of entertainment to those at Villa Park over the years.
Question of the Day:
What have you done to get your football fix without the EPL?