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Keane as mustard

Roy Keane is set to be named the new coach of Turkish Super Lig outfit Kasımpaşa within the next 24 hours.

The news comes as a bit of a shock, not least to previous coach, Metin Diyadin, who was fired after leading the side to promotion last season and who this, has presided over the Istanbul club’s rise to second in the standings. Obviously, Saturday’s 2-0 win over Fenerbahce was the final straw for the demanding, and possibly unrealistic Kasımpaşa bosses.

Kasımpaşa have received a lot of investment recently. Several Beşiktaş board members defected and joined the club, including multi-billionaire Mubariz Mansimov Gurbanoglu.

“We reached an agreement with Keane,” Hasan Hilmi Oksuz, the club’s vice president told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency. “He will be in Istanbul tomorrow [Monday] if nothing extraordinary happens. We will benefit from his experiences right into our vision. We believe he can lead this club to the glorious results.”

The former Manchester United midfielder has been working as a pundit for ITV, since he was sacked by Ipswich Town nearly two years ago. The lack of offers coming his way in that period, speaks volumes for his current reputation in England.

Ex factor

World Soccer’s Brian Glanville coined the term, ‘the immutable law of the ex’ to highlight the inevitability of a player scoring against his former club.

The term came to mind after Marco Reus masterminded a 5-0 thrashing of his former club, Borussia Monchengladbach, with his current side Borussia Dortmund. Two goals and assist were painful enough for the visitors, but the patronising way he spoke of his former employers was really rubbing salt into the wound.

“This was, of course, a special match for me. I had three wonderful years in Monchengladbach that shaped me,” Reus said, also revealing that he had gone to speak to his former team-mates in their dressing-room after the game.

“It’s not the easiest time for them. I know them, know how they feel. But it’s their job to solve it.”

Zlat attack

PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been speaking about his former club in less-than-flattering terms.

The Sweden international left the Rossoneri for the nouveau riche Parisian outfit in the summer transfer window, and he believes his new side are already better than the Italian outfit. How could they be not oh modest one? What with you in their ranks.

“I think that Paris Saint-Germain are already a better team than AC Milan,” Ibrahimovic told Eurosport.

“That is also the reason why I decided to come here. PSG have acquired a lot of quality with the signing of Thiago Silva, myself and some other great players.

“AC Milan on the other hand have lost a lot of quality.

“I totally believe in PSG’s ambition to become one of the best teams in the world. But to achieve this, we will have to win things.”

Goal of the day

Right said Fred! Fluminense’s Fred scores with a stunning acrobatic effort against Flamengo.

Quote of the day

”We have no pressure, no obligation on the result, no risk. A draw would be a good result. Our aim is to be less ridiculous in this tournament, less ridiculous than two weeks ago against Borisov. I expect my team to be dignified.”

After a shock home defeat to BATE Borisov in their opening Champions League game, Lille president Michel Seydoux is hoping that his players leave Valencia, scene of their next game, with their dignity intact.

The beautiful game?

A Scottish tourist at a game in Brazil was forced to hide his Celtic shirt because it shared the colours of a rival club.

In Sao Paulo, fans of Corinthians threatened the Scot because of his green and white Celtic jersey, the colors of city rival Palmeiras, and forced him to hide it. This despite him evidently being on holiday.

Meanwhile, in an other unseemly episode, police escorted a teenage girl to safety at the end of a Brazilian league match after she angered fans by asking for an opposing player for his shirt.

Popular Brazilian international, Lucas Moura, tried to give his shirt to the girl after Sao Paulo’s match against Coritiba on Sunday. He said other Coritiba fans ”tried to attack the girl and her father”. Fortunately, as you can see below, there was a happy ending.

Dancing the night away

Sepp Blatter has accused South Africa of being too busy dancing to properly organise the 2010 World Cup.

Attending the unveiling of the 12 host stadiums for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the FIFA president was speaking about the past failings of countries who have held the tournament,

“When we came to Africa, the Africans – they got the World Cup in May 2004 – they were dancing during one year,” he told reporters. “They were just dancing because they got the World Cup.

“Then we had to call them and say, ‘Please, start to work!’ and we had to push a little bit to start to work.”

South Korea and Japan co-hosted the 2002 finals, but according to Blatter the pair, determined to outdo each other in terms of constructing prestige venues, merely succeeded in building a number of stadiums which have turned out to be white elephants.

He added: “In South Korea and Japan they were so eager to organise the World Cup that they could have done two!

“Because they were ready with so many stadiums in Korea and the same number in Japan, in my opinion it was overdone.

“And now, in one of the countries at least, they have some stadiums which are white elephants – this is not the aim of the World Cup.”

Russian roulette

The aforementioned stadiums to be used at the 2018 finals will be condensed in 11 different cities, with two in the capital Moscow and the remainder spread across three geographical areas: St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad (Northern region); Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Saransk and Volgograd (Volga region); Rostov-on-Don and Sochi (Southern region) as well as Yekaterinburg.

Krasnodar and Yaroslavl were the cities cut from the list of 13 candidate cities, although both may breathe hugh sighs of relief when they see the projected final cost of the finals.

The 600 billion roubles (£11.7billion) budget for building and renovating stadia and upgrading transport and hotel infrastructure revealed by sports minister and Russia 2018 leader Vitaly Mutko, is double the original estimate.

Despite the additional costs expected to be incurred, Sepp Blatter was delighted to reveal that the plans for 2018 were already one year ahead of schedule.

“This is a new approach on how we organise World Cups,” he said. “We can realise two things: firstly the total support from the government and the president of the country, this is a cornerstone to organising a World Cup,” he said in what could be construed as a pointed dig at the 2014 hosts Brazil.

It is indeed amazing what you can get done when you don’t let those pesky irritants like democracy and debate get in the way of your World Cup preparations.

There’s certainly not much chance of that happening in 2018 and 2022.

Reality bites

There’s a scene in the 1990s slacker film Reality Bites when the character played by Winona Ryder is asked to define irony. She replies, rather unconvincingly, “Well, I can’t really define irony … but I know it when I see it.”

The correct definition of course – though arguably not the dictionary definition –  is when Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson complains about the number of minutes added on at the end of a football match.

“The biggest insult is the wasted time,” wailed Ferguson after United’s 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham on Saturday. “They gave four minutes. It’s an insult to the game. It’s an insult. Four minutes. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Stats obsessives will be interested to learn that last season, United matches lasted 74 seconds longer on average when they were losing compared with when they were winning.

One rule for some…

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero believes English players get better treatment from referees than their foreign counterparts.

Aguero was unhappy seeing fellow Argentines Pablo Zabaleta and Carlos Tevez have penalty appeals turned down during City’s 2-1 win over Fulham on Saturday.

Asked if he thought referees treated foreign players differently, Aguero said: “Maybe, yes. It can happen, but I don’t think it does here.

“If it does, it’s not good for anyone.

“Here in England, there are almost as many foreign players as English players and it’s not right that some have a privilege that others don’t.”

Have you seen the English players play Sergio? They need all the help they can get.

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