Mid-Day Ticker: Pepe faces discipline, Shangai pursuing Drogba and more

Pepe reuters

It's no wonder why Pepe is nicknamed "The Butcher."

The Real Madrid defender, who is either known for physical play or malicious attacks on his opponents depending on who you talk to, could face disciplinary action for deliberately stomping on Lionel Messi's hand during yesterday's Clasico. The Portuguese international had already been booked in the first half of the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.

Neither Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola or Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho said they saw the incident but Mourinho is willing to discipline Pepe if he deems the stamp intentional.

Pepe was sent off in last season's Champions League semifinal against Barcelona and could be in danger of missing the return leg of the quarterfinal, which kicks off next Wednesday. Yesterday's defeat was the ninth loss in 13 matches for Madrid against their bitter rivals.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Thursday.

SHANGHAI CONFIDENT OF DROBA DEAL

The clearance sale at Chelsea could continue this January as reports out of China suggest Shanghai Shenhua are in serious talks to sign Didier Drogba. Shenhua and Chelsea have already done business during the winter transfer window when Nicolas Anelka left to become the highest-paid player in the Chinese Super League.

Drogba is in the final year of his contract and his future at Stamford Bridge has been uncertain since talks to extend his deal broke down a few weeks ago. Drogba, who is currently playing in the African Cup of Nations, has had to share playing time with striker Fernando Torres and has scored only six goals in all competitions this season. A deal could be in place as early as Monday.

SIMPSON JOINS YOUNG BOYS

Canadian midfielder Josh Simpson has signed with Swiss club Young Boys on a free transfer and is already training with the club. The 28-year-old terminated his contract with Turkish club Manisaspor after they failed to pay his wages. Simpson has appeared in three Gold Cups for Canada.

COLEMAN APPOINTED WALES MANAGER

Chris Coleman has officially taken over as Wales manager, the Welsh FA announced Thursday. The former Fulham manager replaces the late Gary Speed after his untimely death in November. Coleman said the appointment was bittersweet and he will hope to carry on Wales recent resurgence. The appointment has been met with some resistence as captain Aaron Ramsey expressed concern that the players were not consulted on the appointment.

LEVERKUSEN DENY BERBATOV INTEREST

Bayer Leverkusen have dismissed rumors they are interested in signing Dimitar Berbatov during the January transfer window. The Manchester United striker had been heavily linked with a move to the Bundesliga with Leverkusen and Bayern Munich the most likely targets.  Berbatov's agent, Emil Danchev, has said no transfer is likely during the next two weeks.

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What do you think of today's news? Should Pepe be punished? Can you see Drogba leaving Chelsea so suddenly? Still expect Berbatov to leave despite the dismissal?

Share your thoughts below.

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31 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Pepe faces discipline, Shangai pursuing Drogba and more

  1. Steve says:

    Bummer. Would have loved to see Drogba play in MLS.

  2. NE Matt says:

    AZ beat Ajax 3-2 to advance in the Dutch cup (this was the replay from the match that was abandoned after a fan attached AZ’s GK). I think that’s worthy of mentioning.

  3. marco says:

    Pepe had much harsher and injury threatening assaults during the match. Focusing on the hand stamp, changes the dialogue and gives Jose an escape from using brusing tactics once again in failure.

  4. tjones says:

    Personally I think Pepe is a great defender. However his temper and flat ot mean streak often cross the line between tough but legal play and flat out illegal play. I hope he get a suspension at least as long as the one jermaine Jones got cause his behavior in last nights game was ridiculous and crossed about every fair play line imaginable.

  5. Andy in Chicago says:

    It’s a real shame that garbage like this keeps happening in every Clasico.

    It’s gotten so bad that I can hardly watch the two teams play each other anymore. There are multiple players on each team that I just despise.

    I wish they’d just play and quit the BS.

  6. jim b says:

    Sorry, but you can’t be a ‘tough guy’ when you are one of the worst divers in the pro game. All you are at that point is a pathetic cheat

  7. Neruda says:

    Pepe can play but always looks like a hack against Barca. He gets frustrated and starts resorting to dirty tactics.

  8. Joamiq says:

    Drogba is in for fun times in China: link to economist.com

  9. BBB says:

    True dat. Divers ruin the game and should be chastised and/or shunned at every turn.

  10. Neruda says:

    I take that back because I just watched the highlight and I forgot that it was Pepe that got picking his nose on Puyols header. What shoddy defending.

  11. Neruda says:

    Drogba and Anelka will never be heard of again in world football but at least they’ll be super rich.

  12. evan says:

    i bet his suspension is nowhere near as long as Jones’…

  13. evan says:

    haha China sux… i bet Anelka and Drogba don’t last six months there…

  14. ex_sweeper says:

    OT, but it seems that our boy DaMarcus Beasley is making news of the wrong kind on a weekly basis. First, he tweets pics of the Mexican feds confiscating Puebla’s stadium down to the last soccer ball. Then he tweets that he has been shook down for bribes by Mexican cops and exactly how much he paid them off for.
    He’s all over the Mexican media. How naive is he about the impact of these tweets on Mexico’s reputation and his own career in the FMF? Not to mention his own safety.

  15. MidWest Ref says:

    wait a second, you are condemning Beasley for going public about being shaken down for a bribe? Shouldn’t we be applauding his courage?

  16. Ryan in NY from NC says:

    +1

  17. bryan says:

    As a Madrid fan, I was embarrassed for Pepe after his dive and then fuming after he stomped on Messi’s hand. I’m over him. I don’t care if he is a good defender.

  18. Rafa Flores says:

    For those of you who say big name players will never go to teams like Columbus Crew or Sporting Kansas City, I give you exhibits A and B: Anelka and Drogba. If they can go to China, they can go anywhere (no offense to China). It’s all about the money, as we all already know, and MLS teams just need to be willing to cough up the big bucks.

  19. Mig22 says:

    +a bunch

    Good on Beasley although shortly he need to RunDMB. As much as I like the country of Mexico, they got some serious safety and corruption problems right now.

  20. ex_sweeper says:

    No, I’m not condemning him, but I don’t think he realizes the position it puts him in. There are serious safety issues for futbol players there and to post those things right after a pic of a sparkly diamond ring from the DaMarcus jewelry collection is like putting a giant bulls-eye on his back.

  21. Gnarls says:

    The idea that Mourinho will discipline Pepe is kind of hilarious. Pot, meet kettle.

    I can just imagine Pepe looking at Jose, teary-eyed, saying, “I learned it from you, dad. I learned it from you.”

  22. Jemaine Jones says:

    wonder if he’ll get an 8 week suspension…

  23. biff says:

    This video shows in graphic detail from several angles and in slow-motion Pepe “stomping” on Messi’s hand, using sort of the same technique that Jermaine Jones uses. Also shows Coentrao whacking Messi in the back of the head. Crazy, and, I think, a reflection of Mourhino.

    link to youtube.com

  24. Hood Rich says:

    They’ll need to bank that money to pay for the cancer treatments from eating/living in China.

  25. Dimidri says:


    Or these people want to go to China…Shanghai is a super modern, great-night life city. Very few of China’s issues apply to the uber-wealthy, and, if anything, China is one of the best countries in the world to be able to play with your money in.

  26. Hood Rich says:

    Beasley is a guest in Mexico. It’s not the USA so you can’t do or say as you please or else, suffer the consequences.

    You cannot have the American mentality when you are in foreign lands, as their cultural and social/political infrastructures are different.

    Why do you think many of them want to migrate to the good’ol USA?

  27. Helium-3 says:

    Right now? These issues have always persisted.

    It’s just the war on drugs has giving more visibility to the issues and put Mexico in the spotlight.

  28. Mig22 says:

    Well, there has been corruption and violence but I think it’s safe to say that the last 3 years have brought a whole new level of danger to broader areas of the country. But I do get your point.

  29. rondo says:

    Shanghai > Columbus + KC combined

  30. AK says:

    Shanghai is an incredible and massive city, KC and Columbus would be its slums.

  31. tim says:

    nice one, i laughed