Tag Archives: Jose Mourinho

Ray Hudson talks el Clasico, Pep Guardiola, and Jose Mourinho

Ray Hudson is widely known for his amazing color commentary on GolTV, but he first made an impression on American soccer as a player for NASL side Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in the '70's and '80's. (Courtesy Ray Hudson courtesy nasljerseys.com)

 By Kevin Koczwara

Ray Hudson is a legend in the broadcast booth. His passion for soccer is unmeasured. On a scale, his passion rises above Mt. Everest. And right now, his passion runs at it’s peak when Real Madrid and Barcelona face off. Tomorrow (today, depending on when you read this), those two epic clubs in Spain will face-off in round two of their combative Copa del Rey clash, and Ray Hudson will be doing back-flips in the GolTV studio while Phil Scheon tries to wrangle him in (or really let him loose) and provide the play-by-play. I got to talk with ‘Rockin’ Ray Hudson today on the phone about the game, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guidola, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.

[For context, Barcelona leads the two game series, 2-1, and hosts Real Madrid in the second leg tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25, 2012.]

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Leonardo takes over for Benitez at Internazionale

Inter Milan will look to a former rival to turn things around as the team's manager. Leonardo spent 13 years with AC Milan as a player, scout and manager, now he will lead Milan's hated rivals. (Courtesy Wikicommons/????? ????????)

By Kevin Koczwara

Inter Milan sacked Rafa Benitez and hired a manager who use to play, scout and manager its fiercest rival, AC Milan. Leonardo was unveiled last week as Inter’s manager, despite being a feared and hated rival during his playing days with the Rossoneri.

“I thank Milan for 13 years together, and I will never forget them but now I start a new adventure. I am a free man,” Leonardo told The Guardian during his press conference earlier this week.

Leonardo left his post as AC Milan’s manager in May. He was unable to impress Milan’s owners during his first season as the club’s manager. Oddly enough, after 13 years with Milan, the Brazilian takes over an Inter Milan side 13 points behind his former club in the table. Inter does have two games in hand, but the team will have to work hard the second half of the season to claim its seventh straight Serie A title.

“I still believe in the scudetto. I know 13 points is a lot but the championship still has a long way to run,” said Leonardo. The 41-year old wan unable to lead AC Milan to a title last season, but he did secure a third-place with an aging squad and limited resources.

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Barcelona Thrash Real Madrid to Take Top Spot in La Liga

The Catalonians weren't disappointed at the Camp Nou with Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid. (Courtesy Aldas Kirvaitis)

By Kevin Koczwara

El Clasico was billed as the Messi and Ronaldo show, but we (the media) should have known games aren’t decided by two players on opposite sides. Nope. Games are decided by teams and the individuals on those teams. Barcelona’s 11 men were superior, far better, than Real Madrid’s. The 5-0 win for the Catalans was as easy as that.

Madrid couldn’t handle Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the middle of the Barcelona midfield, and most teams can’t. The two World Cup winners control tempo, don’t give up the ball and eliminate opposing teams attacking players by not allowing them to ever touch the ball. Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil were lucky to touch the ball in the first half. The only chances for Madrid came when Angel di Maria smashed a shot directly at Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes and at the end of the half when Ronaldo took one of his two free kicks and missed just wide of Valdes’ post. Other than that, it was a forgettable night for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Mourinho and company came into the Camp Nou with a one point lead over Barcelona in the table, and now, they leave with a two-point deficit and a big time humbling.

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Bundesliga Bringing the Boom

Young German starts Philip Lahm (left), Thomas Mueller and Sami Khedira defend a free kick in the World Cup this summer against Argentina. (Photo Courtesy sdhansay)

By Jonathan Gold

Quick, no thinking allowed: What’s the most entertaining soccer league in Europe? I guarantee you just got that wrong.

The Prem? Overpaid, overexposed, overcapitalized.

La Liga? If you’re not a fan of the endless financial pissing contest between Barca and Real, then you’re out of luck.

Serie A? Corrupt, slow, predictable.

Ligue 1? Sorry, too many racist shithead fans (at some clubs), the national apparatus is in utter disarray and all the talent goes to one of those other three leagues about 0.00145 seconds after it gets discovered.

Why didn’t you say the Bundesliga? Vas ist deine probleme? (Apologies, I’m 99 percent sure that doesn’t mean “What’s your problem?”)

All that aside, you should be watching German soccer. Yes, you. Particularly since the Revs season is over.

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Samuel Eto’o Scores in the Face of Racist Chants

Samuel Eto'o and Zlatan Ibrahimovic swapped teams in the summer of 2009. Eto'o moved to Inter Milan while Ibrahimovic headed to Barcelona, and their paths have been very different since the switch. Courtesy ruprtable flickr

By Kevin Koczwara

Samuel Eto’o scored his sixth goal in seven games for Internazionale on Sunday in the team’s, 1-0, win over Cagliari in front of a hostile crowd that partook in exposing the ugly side of Italian soccer: Racism.

The Italian national team called off a Euro 2012 qualifying match with Serbia after Serbian fans rioted in Genoa. The game had to be called after six minutes of play after Serbs threw flares onto the field and at rival Italian supporters. The riots filtered out into the streets, and the Italians were left wondering why the Serbs acted in the manner they did.

Then the fans in Cagliari showed the world that Italians still have a hard time with keeping up with FIFA’s “Say No to Racism” campaign and FARE (Football Against Racism in Euorpe). The referee of the match suspended play in the third minute because of the chants directed at Eto’o. Serie A officials gave referees the power to suspend play after Mario Balotelli was hounded and smeared by Juventus fans two years ago.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading

ESPN Soccernet – Serbia hits rock bottom

Serbian hooligans force Italy, Serbia Euro 2012 Qualifier to be cancelled. The disturbances and violence lasted throughout the day.

ESPN Soccernet Blogs Do Sparsely Supported Teams Deserve Their Place in the Premier League ?

Interesting question, but a really simple answer – yes.

The Guardian – Which clubs’ fans have unlikely friendships with their rivals?

A list you won’t find Celtic and Rangers on.

The Herald (Scotland) – The absence of Scott Brown raises some big questions for Celtic

With Celtic midfielder and captain, Scott Brown, out for around 10 weeks, questions are aroused about the club’s talent.

Zonal Marking – Ireland 2-3 Russia: Irish outpassed & outclassed

The Boys in Green dropped their Euro 2012 Qualifier to a Russia team that outplayed them for more than 90 minutes.

Zonal Marking – The tall tale of Peter Crouch’s aerial abilities

Pundits and coaches alike say that Crouch is a better player with his feet than his head, but the stats tell a different story.

Sky Sports – Henry – We’re here to win

New England Sports Venture and its chief owner, John Henry, finally completed the takeover of Liverpool, and he has already stated his intentions to win.

The Independent – Robinho: ‘I would never protest against being on the bench’

But do I believe the talented Brazilian forward? No. He knows he is too good of a player to be watching from the sidelines.

The Independent – Mourinho rules out January spending

This can’t be true. Mourinho will be looking to wheel and deal some underachieving players (Karim Benzema for sure) for players that fit his team’s style and mold.

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What The Soccer Guys are Reading — Sept. 22, 2010

Wesley Sneijder was sold by Real Madrid last summer to make way for Kaka and Ronaldo, now he could be on his way back to Spain if Jose Mourinho has his way. Courtesy Paul Blank

The Independent — Serie A strike called off

Good news for Italian soccer fans: The player’s union and Serie A have come to an agreement and there will not be a strike this weekend. Players will play, and this weekend’s round of games will go on as planned. The player’s union and the league came to an agreement on six of the eight points of contention in the talks over a new collective bargaining agreement. The two sides will try and hash out the details for the remaining two issues at hand in the near future.

BBC — Sunderland’s Titus Bramble arrested over rape claim

Steve Bruce hasn’t had much time to celebrate his team’s miraculous, 1-1, draw with Arsenal on Saturday. Today, Bruce had to wake up and open the newspaper and see one of his summer signings topping the headlines. Titus Bramble has been brought into police custody because a woman has charged him and his brother with rape. Bramble moved from Wigan this summer to the Stadium of Light to bolster Sunderland’s defense.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — Sept. 20

Holland international Rafael van der Vaart caught on quick to how important the Tottenham and Arsenal rivalry is to the players and the fans. Courtesy Paul Blank

Sky Sports — Rafael issues Gunners taunt

Tottenham’s new boy Rafael van der Vaart wasted no time in joining in on the Spurs rivalry with Arsenal. The London clubs face off this week in a Carling Cup tie, and van der Vaart already knows the importance of the Spurs and Gunners match. This is for the right to boast about being the better club in the city, something every fan and player wants to be able to do. The Dutchman has issued his warning, calling Spurs “the bigger club,” after Spurs 3-1 win over Wolves on Saturday.

The Guardian — Roma lacking testicular fortitude as press gets under Ranieri’s skin — by Paolo Bandini

Roma was many pundits favorite club to challenge Inter Milan, and even dethrone the five time defending champions. Doesn’t look like Roma will be mounting a surge anytime soon if they continue to play like a bunch of aging stars with no heart. Claudio Ranieri decided to have a temper tantrum this weekend before Roma’s match with Bologne, and it didn’t do him much good because his squad didn’t back up his word. Instead, the team threw away a two goal lead late in the game and is still searching for its first win of the season.

BBC — Berbatov exposes Liverpool decline — by Phil McNulty

The Manchester United and Liverpool rivalry has been well documented, and Sir Alex Fergusson, United’s manager, even went so far as to say that the match-up is the “most important fixture.” Roy Hodgson and Liverpool must not have thought so– except for maybe a few of the players– because the team didn’t really show up until the second half, and even then they just strolled along at a snail’s tempo while United’s Bulgarian hitman, Dimitar Berbatov, was scoring a hat-trick and leading the Red Devils to a 3-2 win over the Reds.

ESPNSoccernet — Back in the big time — by Phil Ball

Xabi Alonso grew up a Real Sociedad fan. He played for the Basque club before being swiped up by Liverpool. He still carries a fan membership card for the club, but now he wears the hated Real Madrid jersey and had to face his old club for the first time this past weekend. Alonso and Madrid got lucky with a 2-1 win. The game should have gone to the hosts and Madrid should have gone home licking their wounds, but Sociedad missed its chances and Madrid made its count. Los Blancos manager Jose Mourinho said this fixture would be Madrid’s toughest of the season as they entered into a hostile stadium against last year’s division two champions, and he was right. It was an impressive performance by the Basque club, but theysquandered too many chances.

Evening Times — No yearning for marquee signings as Anthony Stokes displays his intent… — by Thomas Jordon

Celtic fell behind early to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, but the Hoops latest signing, Anthony Stokes, earned a penalty kick,  Daryl Murphy slotted it home, and scored the game-winning goal as he found himself in the right place at the right time. Stokes wasn’t Neil Lennon’s first choice signing during the transfer window– Lennon was looking to bring in either Robbie Keane or Craig Bellamy, but was unable to. Yet, the Irish International could be a bargain for Celtic and Lennon, and just the type of player the Hoops need to overtake Rangers and claim back the top-spot in the SPL.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — Sept. 1, 2010

Real Madrid had a disappointing start to the season with a 0-0 draw with Real Mollarca over the weekend, but Mourinho is confident that with time he can make the team into Champions. Courtesy Paul Bence

Sky Sports — Jose – I’m not Harry Potter

New Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has had to answer plenty of critics this week after the team’s season opening 0-0 draw with Real Mallorca last weekend, and his answer is classic a from the “Special One.” Despite winning 17 trophies in the past 8 years with three teams, Los Blancos fans are still a little skeptical of Mourinho’s tactics after the opening draw. Madrid need to win almost every game this season because their closest rivals are the defending champions Barcelona, and Barca doesn’t drop many points in any league it is in.

BBC — Uefa bans vuvuzelas from European matches

Remember that buzzing sound that came from your television while watching the World Cup? Well it won’t be coming from it during any Uefa sanctioned games, including Euro 2012 qualifiers and the Champions League. Breathe a sigh of relief, I know we are. There was no bigger story from this past summer’s World Cup in South Africa than those horns that can cause hearing  loss and sound like a hornets nest.

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La Liga Preview: Mourinho leading Real

Jose Mourinho took over as manager of Real Madrid days after leading Inter Milan to victor in the Champions League final. The questions of whether or not anyone can be Barcelona and whether or not Mourinho can win anywhere will be answered about nine months from now. (Photo Courtesy: APasciuto)

By Joe Meloni

Visions of Spain captain Iker Casillas proudly brandishing the nation’s first-ever World Cup trophy two months ago are still fresh in the mind of soccer fans around the globe. Surrounding him on the podium were his teammates, including the likes of Barcelona stars David Villa, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Xavi and Andres Iniesta. While the group celebrated the championship together, it all ends once La Liga begins its season.

The stars of los Galacticos and the leaders of l’equip blaugrana don’t have much to celebrate together in most season. Last year, Barca edged out Real Madrid by three points and hopes to win the league for the third consecutive time.

There are, of course, other clubs in the league. But it always comes down Madrid and Barca when the season’s approaches its conclusion.

Unlike last season, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thierry Henry won’t be able to help Barca to the title. And Jose Mourinho will be calling the shots in the Spanish capital.
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