The Lead

It’s an even(ish) split in the English-language papers’ headlines this morning on the Eden Hazard-to-Chelsea story (for £32 million or 40 depending on whom you read, and with additional plans to add a £30 million Hulk), and Roy Hodgson’s revealing number selection for the England squad. Reports the Guardian:

Though reporters have been warned that little should be read into the list, the players selected to wear numbers one to 11 represent a possible first XI. Gary Cahill will wear the No5 shirt, suggesting that he may play in central defence alongside his Chelsea team-mate John Terry instead of Joleon Lescott, who wears No15.

Elsewhere only Scott Parker – given No17 – and possibly Stewart Downing – No19 – are pushing for selection in the starting lineup ahead of the first 11 names. Phil Jagielka, called up on Monday as a replacement for the injured Gareth Barry, wears No18.

Meanwhile the more tabloidy Telegraph and Daily Mail are fixated on Andy Carroll as a number 9 as Hodgson’s “favourite to start in the suspended Wayne Rooney’s stead against France and Sweden.” Except Rooney wears a 10 normally, so…won’t Defoe or Welbeck fill in the second striker role in a 4-4-2 in the meantime? Whatever.


The Whitecaps could make the playoffs.

Cheers and jeers for the Impact so far this season. Okay.

All time Canada XI, and top ten moments in Canadian soccer. I’m going to say five of them happened up to and including 1904.

This is…embarrassing. Nick Dasovic mixes up Edmonton UK with Edmonton AB.


Shinji Kagawa’s move to Manchester United still in progress.

The Telegraph reports Brendan Rodgers is in talks with Swansea.

Mark Lawrenson goes the boring anti-American route on Fenway Sports Group’s tenure at Liverpool FC.

Great, another transfer grid to help sort out the mess.


The Italy v Luxembourg friendly has been cancelled because of another earthquake.

Christian Vieri (!!!) dragged into match-fixing probe.

Meanwhile the Italy camp remains in turmoil.


Raul speaks out on the dominance of the Big Two in La Liga.

Apparently both Barca and Real Madrid would like to sign Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

Bits and bobs

Jack Warner, CONCACAF and FIFA are liars.

WSC reprints a great piece on the anniversary of Heysel.

Jonathan Wilson asks: do footballers know what they’re doing?

Grant Wahl previews the USA’s friendly against Brazil.

Everyone is the “new Messi.”

Yesterday’s vodcast preview of Netherlands.

And that, give or take, is the story so far…