Didier Drogba's brother Joel goes on trial at Leyton Orient

Joel_drogbaLike Frank Lampard if that punch had connected last night, residents of London could soon be seeing two Drogbas. Didier's little brother, Joel, is on trial at Leyton Orient and is hoping to secure a permanent deal. The younger Drogba had an unsuccessful trial at Queen's Park Rangers last year.

The ex-Metz striker - pictured here with a rodent of some description wrapped around his neck - played in an afternoon reserve game against Norwich this afternoon, but was unable to make much of an impact in a goalless draw. [Rob Parker, Via BBC]

March 20, 2007 in Rumours & gossip | Permalink | Comments (5)

Football League to scrap draws?


The Football League board is to consider a proposal to scrap draws and decide matches by penalty shoot-outs according to the BBC. Obviously they've gone completely mental. The idea will be discussed by Football League chairmen and chief executives at a board meeting on Thursday. There is no indication as to when this could happen if it ever gets the green light. Gunners gaffer Arsene Wenger said: "I saw this in my first year managing in Japan - it did not have spectacular results." He added: "In extra-time they played a sudden death goal and if no-one scored they had penalties. The draw is part of the culture of the game and I would not like that to disappear."

The idea was originally put forward in the recent Football League Fans Survey. There are currently two proposals to be considered - a traditional penalty shoot-out or where a player would have eight seconds to try and score after receiving the ball on the half-way line... a bit like the penalty shoot outs in Ice Hockey. Bournemouth boss Kevin Bond told the Daily Echo newspaper said: "Why can't we just have a draw? I don't agree with it because I think it's too much of a radical change. I'm very open-minded and I think certain laws of the game need to move with the times but that would be too much of a drastic measure."

What do you think? Brilliant idea or complete guff? [Mof Gimmers]

March 14, 2007 in League One, League Two, News balls, Rumours & gossip, The Championship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Jose Mourinho off to Real Madrid, with Frank Lampard in his luggage?

3659399030 As reported in The Sun, Jose Mourinho will join Real Madrid as head coach this summer, but only if Frank Lampard comes too. The paper claims The Special One is resigned to leaving Chelsea this summer - he has already declared an interest in managing Madrid some day – and wants to build a Real side (Galacticos 2.0?) around the 28-year-old England midfielder, who has yet to agree a contract extension at Stamford Bridge.

If Mourinho & Lampard leave, John Terry may go too. Could the Chelsea machine be losing its three most important cogs this summer? OK, it is The Sun, but the unrest at Chelsea is there for all to see, and Mourinho would love nothing more than to pit his wits against ex-employer Barcelona, where he is still belittled as nothing more than a translator who got lucky.

March 14, 2007 in Chelsea, Rumours & gossip | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stuart McCall back to Bantams?

Rumour has it that Bradford are keen on taking Stuart McCall back to the Bantams in a managerial role. Let's hope he performs better on the touchline than he does when he's seen wobbling around and falling off cars. Still, not a drop spilled. A legend.

March 12, 2007 in Classic Moments, Cult Heroes, Rumours & gossip, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)

FOR SALE: Football team, East London area, buyer to collect. Contact Curbs for more details

Curbs_3Any Championship side looking for a half-decent team, or any budding entrepreneur looking to set up his own football club, might like to have a browse around the West Ham sales. Alan Curbishley is apparently preparing for summer clearout (aka "we're already resigned to relegation") and wants to move on 16 players.

If you believe the rumours this starting XI is up for grabs:

GK Roy Carroll
DR Lucas Neill
DL Paul Konchesky
DC Matthew Upson
DC Anton Ferdinand
MR Luis Boa Morte
MC Nigel Reo-Coker
ML Matthew Etherington
ST Carlos Tevez
ST Marlon Harewood
ST Dean Ashton

You might think signing an entire (probably) relegated team would be a bit of a gamble, but apparently a fondness for a flutter is the reason Curbs wants to move on some of these players. A gambling culture at Upton Park - which has seen players lose tens of thousands of pounds to each other in card games - has been highlighted by the West Ham boss as one reason for lack of team spirit at the club.

As for the 'For Sale XI', I don't think too many sides would turn their noses up at Neill, Boa Morte or Tevez. What do you reckon?

[Rob Parker] 

March 6, 2007 in Rumours & gossip, West Ham United | Permalink | Comments (2)

Robbie Fowler to line-up a move to USA (just as soon as he's got his ducks in a row)

Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler is rumoured to be heading to the USA in the summer to join former team-mate Steve Nicol at New England Revolution. And former Liverpool centre-back Nicol - coach of the MLS side - is so excited at the prospect he has been throwing idioms around like he is Ian Holloway.

Nicol said: "He's really just dipping his foot in the water here. It's something he's thinking about. He's getting his ducks in a row. Whether he gets a contract at Liverpool or whether he moves on, he's dipping his foot in the water." Meanwhile, Fowler's agent has been angling for a more lucrative move to Dubai or Qatar.


[Rob Parker]

March 1, 2007 in Liverpool, Rumours & gossip | Permalink | Comments (0)

Glenn Roeder's Championship creche to open for business later this year

Glenn_roeder_1 Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder is not content with his second career as a policeman and is offering his childminding services to various Championship managers. Roeder is scouring England's second-tier and hoping to snap up any half-decent youngsters he comes across.

The Magpies boss is reportedly stepping up his interest in Southampton's 17-year-old full back Gareth Bale. Roeder also watched 21-year-old West Brom defender Curtis Davies at the weekend and is also interested in highly-rated 18-year-old Derby midfielder Giles Barnes. [Rob Parker]

February 21, 2007 in Newcastle United, Rumours & gossip | Permalink | Comments (0)

One to watch: Emile Mpenza

103895100_13Manchester City have taken Belgian striker Emile Mpenza on trial. The 28-year-old scored in a practice match against Blackpool last night. The former Schalke and Hamburg player most recently played in Qatar but has now ended his contact with Al Rayyan.

Mpenza was once a much sought after player, with Newcastle reportedly eager to bring him to the Premiership a few seasons back. It will interesting to see if he has the motivation to get back to his best, but he is certainly talking the talk. He said: "I am not finished and I will prove it in Manchester. I  make this move as revenge with respect to all those who criticised my decision to play in Qatar."

Click below to see a video of Mpenza in action.

One to watch: Emile Mpenza continued

[Rob Parker]

February 16, 2007 in Manchester City, Players to watch, Rumours & gossip | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scott Carson to be the new Jens Lehmann?

274333_mediumsquare The Daily Telegraph has reported that Arsenal are set to make a £5m summer bid for Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson, who is currently on loan at Charlton.

'[Rafa] Benitez's unswerving backing for [Pepe] Reina, plus the January loan signing of young Italian goalkeeper Daniele Padelli from Sampdoria - a move which is expected to be made permanent in the summer - has left Carson facing a difficult route into the first team at Anfield, and he is likely to be interested by the prospect of a move to Arsenal in the hope that it might enhance his chances of claiming the England No 1 spot before Euro 2008,' says the Telegraph.

I don't rate Carson that highly – he's a big lad and a decent shot-stopper, but is prone to lapses in concentration – and would be surprised if Arsene Wenger rated him as a credible successor to Mad Jens Lehmann. Manuel Almunia is just as good as Carson, in my opinion.

February 14, 2007 in Arsenal, Charlton Athletic, Liverpool, Rumours & gossip | Permalink | Comments (3)

One to watch: Dan Gosling

GoslingYoung Plymouth Argyle right-back Dan Gosling has made the papers this morning amid rumours that Jose Mourinho is staring longingly towards Home Park and wishing he could sneak the transfer window back open.

Gosling signed his first professional contract earlier this month when he turned 17, which - as the mathematicians among you will have worked out - means he is a professional footballer born in the 1990s. Scary!

One to watch: Dan Gosling continued

His boss at Plymouth, Ian Holloway, is trying to keep his young charge's feet on the ground. In a relatively sober quote, he said: "It's the first rung on the ladder that we hope he will climb all the way to the top. If he keeps working hard, he has got a real chance of being a Premiership player. I am really looking forward to working with him and helping him get there - but he's done nothing yet."

Gosling fancies himself as a midfielder in the style of Roy Keane, although I don't suppose he would mind the opportunity to play at right-back for the Premier League champions! [Rob Parker]

February 13, 2007 in HolloWatch, Players to watch, Rumours & gossip, The Championship | Permalink | Comments (3)