The Daily Planet: City Suspend Toure After Positive Test Results

The 29 year old centre-back has been withdrawn from Manchester City’s first team squad after failing a drug test conducted sometime this month. The Ivorian international could be out of action for a long period of time, stretching anywhere from a few months to a year.

Kolo Toure In An Interview

A quote on City’s official website confirmed the reports. “Manchester City confirm that the FA has informed Kolo Toure that an sample provided by him has tested positive for a specified substance. As a result of this, he has been suspended from participating in all first team and non-first team matches pending the outcome of the legal process.”

Kolo Toure Applauds His Teammates

The Manchester City centre-back will miss Saturday’s clash with Wigan, and possibly the rest of the season, should the FA decide to deal out a harsher punishment.

View from the Couch: Outspoken Fergie Needs to Learn to Shut Up

Another week, another Ferguson whinge. It seems like a weekly event where EPL managers (Ferguson one of the biggest culprits) come out and publicly attack and scrutinize the performance of referees. Managers need to keep quiet and simply let officials do their job.

After the Chelsea-Man Utd spectacle on Tuesday evening, Ferguson had to come out and criticize referee Martin Atkinson about a penalty decision that didn’t go his way. Is it a part of Fergie’s flawed personality that means that he has to criticize someone about his team losing? It seems that the easiest person to blame would be the officials right? It’s true. But it’s so wrong.

He's probably thinking about who to blame in the press conference after the draw against Marseille game

That’s it. I’m going to do something you hardly ever see in the media. I’m defending the referees.

Admittedly, EPL referees haven’t made all of the right decisions at the moment. Rooney should have been red carded for his wayward elbow on Cleverley against Wigan on the weekend. But Smaling’s foul on Zhirkov was a definite penalty. Smaling went for the tackle, missed the ball and collected the player. Simple foul, and the correct decision was awarded.

The decision that turned the EPL title race on it's head

Let’s change the scenario. Say Zhirkov had the ball 35 yards out and Smaling collected Zhirkov instead of the ball. A foul was given and Lampard steps up and scores. 2-1. And Ferguson wouldn’t complain. It would have been a foul inside the box and outside the box. Because it’s such a big decision, Ferguson thinks that he actually has something to blame for his side losing. Cue Ferguson fuming about the referee after the game in his post match press conference.

Why can’t Ferguson admit that both teams played well and that his team were simply upstaged by a more resilient Chelsea in the second half? The papers the next morning should have been on what was a fantastic game of football, not on a Scot crying about the refereeing.

Thankfully, Ferguson was later fined for his outburst. He’s been given a 2 week touchline ban against Arsenal in the FA cup tie at Old Trafford next Saturday and the following weekend’s EPL tie against Bolton due to an outburst against referee Alan Wiley last season. He also faces a further ban added onto that if he is suspended for his words against Martin Atkinson.

Chelsea celebrate David Luiz's equaliser

After years of watching EPL, I’ve come to understand who are the good referees and who shouldn’t be anywhere near the pitch. Since I got my refereeing license last season, I’ve come to appreciate some referees even more than ever.

I can honestly say that Martin Atkinson is one of the best referees in the top flight. Fergie has no right to say that he “feared the worst” when he saw Atkinson was appointed for the Chelsea vs Man Utd game. If Atkinson wasn’t a good referee, why has he been an EPL referee since 2005, appointed to many derbies and top 4 games and officiated in some of the biggest profile games including the FA cup final?

Is that Vidic headbutting Atkinson?

Andre Marriner is another referee who must be commended for his work on the pitch. Howard Webb is also one of the best referees in the world at the moment.

Refereeing is the most thankless job in football. Referees have had to give up the enjoyment of playing the game plus are in the middle of a constant barrage of complaining players, coaches, media and fans.

I’ve been belittled, criticized, scrutinized, abused. I can keep going on. And I only referee at a state level. Assistant referees and 4th officials are the ones that must continually face the criticism. Imagine always hearing constant bickering and abuse behind your back as you run down the touchline if you make a tough decision, especially if it’s against the home team. If you make a wrong decision, it feels like scoring an own goal or missing an open goal (Voronin would know all about that)

Managers and players need to understand what referees go through before they complain about them in the post match press conference. Referees have to think in the back of their mind that their decisions will be dissected by millions of people around the world (including me). People also see the actions of spoilt players and arrogant managers and think it’s okay for them to do the same thing at a local level. It passes onto kids who have egos that make them think they have the world at their feet and they think it’s okay to criticize the referee, just because he saw Rooney do it on the weekend. The next time you’re at a game, just think about it before you say something at the referee.

Rooney approaches the referees after the game

 

Wiki(Boot)Leaks: Two adiZero ii/Prime Colourways & Blacked Out Sample!

First off, a huge thanks to Yanis Hammiche for sending these images to us. The images he sent us are of two unreleased adiZero colourways and a really nice blacked out sample. Also, you should know that these are SER exclusive images; ones you can’t find anywhere else!

Purple/Warning/Yellow Leather

We first showed you this colourway back in January, but this is the first time we’ve had pictures of the actual product. As you can probably tell, this is the adiZero II leather. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of this colourway as I think it looks a bit tacky.

In the next image, the boots look a bit awkwardly shaped but this is because Yanis has put a shoe horn into the boots.

Blue/Electricity/White Prime

You may remember these boots from a couple weeks ago when Ben posted about these. This colourway makes the adiZero Prime look almost mermaid-esque.

Blacked Out Sample

We’ve saved the best for last, an incredible looking blacked out sample pair of adiZero Primes. Unfortunately, if the original adiZero black outs are anything to go by, we won’t be seeing an official release of blacked out Primes/IIs for quite some time.

Once again thanks to Yanis Hammiche for these images. If you’ve found something cool that you’d like to share with us use the ‘Contact Us’ form or drop a comment.

Which of these colourways do you like the most? Leave a comment in the section below.

SER Barca Experience

For a week (March 5th to 12th), most of the SER team will be traveling around the world, and James will be heading to Spain to test out the football fever on the Iberian peninsula!

This coming Saturday, I will be at the Nou Camp watching Barcelona play Real Zaragosa. If that isn’t cool enough, the next day I also get a tour of the biggest stadium in Europe, the Nou Camp (Camp Nou). I will be taking pictures of my adventure and checking out the Barca Super Store to see what exclusive products they are selling!

A couple days after I will be heading to Madrid and checking out the Real Madrid Super Store at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and once again checking out the exclusive memorabilia you can get there.

Unfortunately, this means for the upcoming week our posts will not be as frequent, but we will still be writing as much as we possibly can.

Argentina 2011 Adidas Kits

Get ready for the 2011 Copa America to be held in Argentina with the host country’s home jersey! Following a thrashing at the hands of Germany in the World Cup last summer, Argentina will be looking to bounce back on the continental stage and win the Copa America in this brand new kit from Adidas.

The home kit is designed with the traditional “albiceleste” colors and with a wider stripe while the away kit is a navy blue strip with white and cyan detailing.

Designed for the 2011 Copa America, these jerseys have a light blue print that highlights Argentina’s brand new badge. Gold details reflect the news design of the home and away kits.

 

The new jerseys have an embroidered adidas logo on the front center chest and the Argentina national team badge is embroidered on the left. An embossed design around the team badge includes the year 1893, the year in which the Argentina Football Association was founded.

These jerseys have ClimaCool technology for crucial ventilation when the game starts heating up! The jerseys have the Adidas logo embroidered in the center of the chest and the Argentina team badge is embroidered on the left chest.

 

Wiki(Boot)Leaks Exclusive! Kaka to become the new adiPower Representative!

In what we believe is an exclusive to SER, we’ve found further evidence that pretty much ‘condemns’ Kaka to wearing the new adiPowers next season.

Again, Tony Vasilarakis (kudos Tony) has sent in pictures that depict Kaka wearing the new Sharp Blue/Electricity/Black adiPower in a recently released Adidas catalogue. This is a huge tip off that Adidas will make Kaka the new face of the Predator range, a position currently held by Gerrard. With Gerrard in the autumn of his career (or maybe Gerrard contacted them directly and told them he’s retiring next season ;)), they’ll be able to get at least 4 seasons out of a 28 year old Kaka.

One thing that has really stood out to me is that the Predator is traditionally a power boot. With the Powerspine and Gerrard being the main face of the boot, the boots have been a boot for ‘powerful’ players. Kaka is the complete opposite. He’s always seen as producing flair and individual moments of brilliance (well, maybe not this season). Kaka is the wrong sort of player of player to be wearing the current range of players. Here’s a quote directly from the catalogue:

“Players like Kaka own the pitch through an unmatched combination of skill and vision. The all new adiPower Predator is their new weapon of choice to master the ball and control the game…”

Don’t get it? Well Adidas are going to give the Predator series a complete make over. Having seen the success of the CTR 360 range (Ben thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread), Adidas have renovated the Predator to become a control boot. They’ve decided to leave the ‘Power’ football boot silo and have made a boot in complete competition with Nike.

Reading on with the rest of the caption, the boot has been promised to be the lightest Predator ever. In order to become competition to the CTR 360, the adiPower should (theoretically) be around the same weight as the CTR. This could see it being lighter than 300 grams. Add the SprintFrame and TPU bottom that would be found in the adiPower SL and it could be close to 240-250 grams, a great weight for a control boot. The caption also claims the boot has a “new Predator element.” We have absolutely no idea what it is. It’s hard to tell what it is by just looking at pictures, but as the Powerspine is also being kept, I’m fairly sure it has something to do with ball control. We’ll tell you more when we hear new information.

This, of course will have a huge impact on the adiPure. We suppose Lampard will now take over the reigns as the face of the adiPure range. This will also mean Adidas, potentially, won’t have a ‘power’ silo. Adidas won’t leave the T90 and PowerCat as the only main players in the power/accuracy range. I smell a brand new ‘power’ boot release at the end of this year.

Again, a huge thanks for Tony Vasilarakis for giving us the pictures for today’s exclusive Wiki(Boot)Leaks. Meanwhile, what do you think of the Predators becoming a ‘control’ boot.

Wiki(Boot)Leaks: New Adipure IV, Adizero, AdiPower Colourways

Huge Adidas based Wiki(Boot)Leaks for all of you to mull over today (and possibly one of the last few before we move to soccerreviews.com). Let’s get straight into it.

We’ve come across a new Zero Metallic/Zero Silver/Intense Blue (where do they come up with these names?) Adipure colourway that looks pretty stock standard. Expected to be released in June 2011, these boots don’t look too bad. For the men who like this colourway, I have to break it to you that this will be a womens colourway. It won’t be available in men’s sizes. You’ll still probably find some pro who wears them though.

We’ve also found a new Black/Volt Adipure IV colourway. While we’re pretty sure these aren’t a women’s colourway, these boots are expected to be released around August or September of next year.

I don’t know how to describe the colours of these Predators. But I have to admit that this has to be the worst effort I’ve ever seen at someone trying the photoshop a football boot. It seems that they’ve tried to mold two Predator colourways (namely the White/Sharp Blue/Electricity and Sharp Blue/Electricity/Black boots) and try and blend it into one. This also casts doubt on the Black/Volt Adipure colourway above as they are both from the same source. Maybe Adidas have lost their mind or this is the brain child of someone with Photoshop. We’ll tell you more if we see more pictures.

We’ve also come across this Running White/Intense Pink/Slime (Yup. Slime) Adipower colourway that is expected to released in June. When I first saw this, it reminded me of the white/black/pink Adizero colourway we saw earlier this season. In case you haven’t picked it yet, this is also going to be a woman’s colourway (think I just heard a fan of these boots groan) and won’t be released in men’s sizes.

SER readers will remember this Chrome/Intense Blue/Phantom colourway that I showed you earlier this year. I said it wasn’t an overly impressive colourway and I think I was criticised by one of the faithful readers of the site for my opinion. That person would be shattered to learn that this too is going to be released as a women’s colourway. I can’t remember who it was, but they might find it pretty hard to get unless they’ve got a size 7 foot size or something.

But this next colourway is actually real. And I think it is absolutely incredible. It’s gorgeous. This White/Adonized Blue/Slime Adizero colourway is fantastic. Not only is it simple, but it looks classy as well. The slime (God I hate using that word to describe these boots) makes the boot stand out and ensures it isn’t a boring colourway. This will (yes it’s not a joke) in June this year. And I can say I’d love to get my hands on a pair. It will be released as Primes as well as a leather edition.

Lastly, I have to give a huge thank you to Tony Vasilarakis for sending me the photos of the womens boots and also the white Adizero picture above.

That’s it for this issue. Do any of the boots above strike a chord with you?

View from the Couch: February Review, Without Rooney's Glorified Skin Kick

A huge month of football has seen Rooney score a goal, Arsenal screw up a 4-0 lead and some Spaniard moved to London. Welcome to the SER viral review of February.

Monterrey forward Neri Cardozo in the Mexican league gets taught a harsh lesson for not using his left foot to cross, impaling himself on an advertising board.

Kalou has a shot that comes off both uprights without going in. Pretty unlucky, considering the last time I’ve known this to happen was Tim Cahill’s goal against Japan in the ’06 World Cup.

Micah Richards knocks himself out against West Ham.

Ronaldinho shows us he’s still got it while training for Flamengo.

Ecuador U20 striker misses a sitter that my Nan could have scored, with two broken legs. A French player would have missed though. Or someone from Ipswich.

A year after being shot in the head in a Mexican bar, striker Salvador Cabanas has made a miraculous recovery to train with Paraguayan club Libertad with the bullet still lodged in the back of his brain.

I don’t know what to say about this miss.

I believe that you’re meant to kick the ball with a set piece. You know it’s pretty bad when your own fans laugh. No wonder these guys are French.

Barca took London by storm, even though they lost.

US college goalie Lassi Hurskainen has some unbelievable tekkers.

Messi shows us some ‘ball’ control.

Abdul Al Traidi does a throw in that even Rory Delap would be proud of.

Jose Mourinho makes himself a hero amongst the ball kids before the Lyon game.

And finally, the Brazilian Gymnastic Association must be loaning their stars to Brazilian football clubs.

That’s it for this month’s ‘review’. Were there any funny videos we missed from the past month?

View from the Couch: February Review, Without Rooney’s Glorified Skin Kick

A huge month of football has seen Rooney score a goal, Arsenal screw up a 4-0 lead and some Spaniard moved to London. Welcome to the SER viral review of February.

Monterrey forward Neri Cardozo in the Mexican league gets taught a harsh lesson for not using his left foot to cross, impaling himself on an advertising board.

Kalou has a shot that comes off both uprights without going in. Pretty unlucky, considering the last time I’ve known this to happen was Tim Cahill’s goal against Japan in the ’06 World Cup.

Micah Richards knocks himself out against West Ham.

Ronaldinho shows us he’s still got it while training for Flamengo.

Ecuador U20 striker misses a sitter that my Nan could have scored, with two broken legs. A French player would have missed though. Or someone from Ipswich.

A year after being shot in the head in a Mexican bar, striker Salvador Cabanas has made a miraculous recovery to train with Paraguayan club Libertad with the bullet still lodged in the back of his brain.

I don’t know what to say about this miss.

I believe that you’re meant to kick the ball with a set piece. You know it’s pretty bad when your own fans laugh. No wonder these guys are French.

Barca took London by storm, even though they lost.

US college goalie Lassi Hurskainen has some unbelievable tekkers.

Messi shows us some ‘ball’ control.

Abdul Al Traidi does a throw in that even Rory Delap would be proud of.

Jose Mourinho makes himself a hero amongst the ball kids before the Lyon game.

And finally, the Brazilian Gymnastic Association must be loaning their stars to Brazilian football clubs.

That’s it for this month’s ‘review’. Were there any funny videos we missed from the past month?

The Daily Planet: Martins Downs Gunners

Obafemi Martins took advantage of unbelievable confusion between Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny in the final seconds of the Carling Cup final to win Birmingham City the trophy for the first time in 47 years.

Birmingham Win Carling Cup Final

The Gunners, who were clear favourites heading into this fixture, were hoping to win their first piece of silverware in 6 years, but some misfortune at the back left Arsenal going home empty-handed.

Birmingham went ahead after 29 minutes when Nikola Zigic headed home a pass from Roger Johnson. Arsenal had to rely on Robin Van Persie as captain in the absence of Cesc Fabregas, and the Dutchman did well to lead his team back into the game. Robin met a cross from Arshavin with a powerful volley straight past Ben Foster, leveling the scores just before half time.

Van Persie Goal vs Birmingham

Ben Foster continued to keep Birmingham’s chances alive with some excellent saves, denying Samir Nasri a winner on more than one occasion.

Despite the fact that Arsenal maintained possession throughout the second half, the Gunners failed to produce any more goals.

Arsenal continued to press on, testing Foster’s reflexes with a couple of hard shots, but as the 90th minute rolled around, it looked as if the game would be decided in extra time.

But just seconds before the final whistle was blown, a stroke of bad luck in front of the Gunners’ goal gave Birmingham a chance to win the game.

Zigic knocked a weak ball into the box; one which should have easily been caught by Szczesny, but confusion between the keeper and Koscielny led to a free ball in front of the goal. Martins took full advantage of this golden opportunity to hand Birmingham the victory.

The Daily Planet: Ashley Cole Shoots Supporter

Tom Cowan, 21, was working at the Cobham training ground last Sunday when Chelsea defender Ashley Cole shot him in the hip. Ashley, who thought the weapon wasn’t loaded, took out the gun and meddled with it, before pulling the trigger and injuring the boy.

Ashley Cole Disappointed

The intern was attended to immediately by the club’s staff and then sent home on temporary leave.

Neither Cole nor the club have spoken on the matter, though an anonymous source has come out with insider details.

“Ashley pulled the rifle from a box and started larking about with it in the changing room, not realizing it was loaded. The gun went off with a loud pop and Tom screamed as this lead pellet hit him in the side. It went through his clothing and into his flesh.”

Roman Abramovich

At the moment, the police have decided to not press charges, though Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has asked for a thorough probe into the incident. If Tom Cowan does press charges, the defender’s name will be further damaged, after his affair earlier this year tarnished his reputation.

What do you have to say on the matter? Tell us in the section below!

Just Arrived: Two Pairs of Umbro GT Pros!

After my first pair of GT Pros with a SG sole plate broke, partially because of the surface I was wearing them on, Umbro were kind enough to send another pair for review. But instead of receiving one pair like we expected, we received two! One of them HG in black/white/volt and the other SG in black/white/orange. It’s safe to say that both these colourways look better than the original white/gunmetal/orange by a long ways and so far they have been holding up really well. Danny will be reviewing the black/white/orange and I will be reviewing the black/white/volt, so we’ll be getting our first impressions up in the near future. For now however, you’ll have to do with some photos we took of both boots. A big thanks to Aaron over at Umbro for sending us these boots!

New Look Mi Adidas & Adizero II Mi Adidas Problems?

Along with a new look online Mi Adidas website, it seems that there might be some problems with customizing the Adizero 2011’s.

For weeks now, the Adizero 2011 has been on Mi Adidas but with one rather big problem; you can’t really customize them. For some reason, you can’t change any of the colors on the Adizero 2011’s, the only thing you can do is personalize it with your name and flag and also choose your sole plate.

Why would Adidas be doing this?

Adidas are either doing this because, they’re having problems maybe with the website, with the building of the boots in the Mi Adidas factory, or they are making it so you can only customize the color in stores, adding incentive to personally travel down to their retail shops.

What do you think is going on?


New Look Mi Adidas & Adizero II Mi Adidas Problems?

Along with a new look online Mi Adidas website, it seems that there might be some problems with customizing the Adizero 2011’s.

For weeks now, the Adizero 2011 has been on Mi Adidas but with one rather big problem; you can’t really customize them. For some reason, you can’t change any of the colors on the Adizero 2011’s, the only thing you can do is personalize it with your name and flag and also choose your sole plate.

Why would Adidas be doing this?

Adidas are either doing this because, they’re having problems maybe with the website, with the building of the boots in the Mi Adidas factory, or they are making it so you can only customize the color in stores, adding incentive to personally travel down to their retail shops.

What do you think is going on?


Wiki(Boot)Leaks: Yellow Puma PowerCat

Here are the latest pictures surfing around the net of a brand new colorway for the Puma Powercats!

What do you think of this new colorway from Puma?

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