Tuesday Kickoff: Wilshere ruled out of Bayern match, Pique issues ultimatum to supporters, and more

JackWilshere2 (Getty)

BY DAN KARELL

Arsenal’s slim chance of moving on in the Champions League just got slimmer.

News broke on Monday night that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is facing a three-week stay on the sidelines, after discovering he had ankle inflammation during a training session. Lukas Podolski is also a doubt, and starting right back Bacary Sagna will also the match in Munich with injury.

Wilshere missed the entire 2011-2012 season with multiple ankle and hip injuries, and only returned at the end of October in this season. Arsenal, who have seen their exit from the League Cup and FA Cup within just a few weeks, now could be sent home from the Champions League by Bayern Munich.

The German side lead 3-1 on aggregate, following their win in the Emirates in mid-February.

Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:

PIQUE CALLS ON FANS TO KEEP THE FAITH

Defender Gerard Pique has called on Barcelona fans and his teammates alike to not give up hope, as his side head into their challenge on Tuesday against AC Milan.

Trailing 2-0 in the tie, the Catalonians need at least a three goal advantage over their Italian counterparts to ensure passage to the quarterfinals. Pique has made a stunning ultimatum, challenging supporters of the club to support their team, or hand in their membership cards.

Barcelona have been notably given a boost ahead of the all-important second leg, with Xavi Hernandez returning to the fold, while Milan have suffered a blow, losing Giampaolo Pazzini for the trip to the Spanish league leaders.

SPANISH BANK BANKIA NOW OWNS VALENCIA

After defaulting on loans, and being unable to pay not only their wage bill, but the continued construction of a new stadium, Spanish football club Valencia has been taken over by Bankia, a bank that has recently been bailed out by the Spanish government.

Valencia, knocked out of the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain last week, has been in a financial crisis for the last few years, forcing them to sell off many of their big name players, including David Silva and David Villa. The move for Bankia to take control of the club is embroiled in controversy. Because the bank has been nationalized, it looks like taxpayers in Spain, and to a larger extent, the European Union, are aiding the survival of soccer teams.

Valencia is not the only club in the area to be mired in debt issues, as nearby Hercules and Elche are suffering from multimillion euro deficits.

QUICK KICKS

Clarence Seedorf has won his first silverware in Brazil with his club Botafogo, beating Vasco de Gama to win the Guanabara Cup. (REPORT)

According to reports out of Italy, Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine is interested in hiring Massimo Allegri from AC Milan to be their next manager. (REPORT)

Cellar dwellers Palermo have fired their forth manager of the season, and replaced him with one they fired once already this season. (REPORT)

U.S. attorney Michael Garcia will deliver a report on alleged FIFA bribes in the ISL scandal from 10 years ago on March 20, when the executive committee next meets. (REPORT)

Former Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo has been approached for the open Reading job. (REPORT)

Lanus are back on top of the Argentine Primera Division table, after defeating Velez Sarsfield on Monday night. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you give Arsenal any chance to win now? Do you think Pique is right to call out the fans? See Valencia and other clubs in Spain going bankrupt?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Wilshere ruled out of Bayern match, Pique issues ultimatum to supporters, and more

  1. mad max says:

    A Dutchman in Brazil? Interesting.

    Question why is it that most Yanks play or have played in England/Germany as opposed to France/Italy/Spain. England requires extreme work permit regulations which is not so different than say the restrictions that those Latin nations have on how many foreigners they can field in any given match. Just curious

    • RK says:

      For Germany, it’s the military connection.

      England is obvious (language, American ownership, relations with US, etc), and I think that the lower leagues aren’t as stringent.

      IMO I don’t think that those other countries or leagues respect American soccer as much, and since they have limited resources and less of an attachment, they look elsewhere. France can look to its colonies, I believe Spain has an agreement with Latin America on player permits (it’s been a while since I’ve looked) and there’s the language.

      • mad max says:

        great point. Loads of African players in France. Seems loads of Latin Americans in Spain. Loads of Brazilian and Argentinians in Italy.

    • Old School says:

      “A Dutchman in Brazil? Interesting”

      I believe his wife is Brazilian.

  2. mad max says:

    what is it with the Spanish and financial problems?

    • A says:

      Uh, American corruption and financial shenanigans coupled with a lesser overextension of capital in real estate investment?

      We caused Europe’s remaining financial problems.

      • 357 says:

        This is not the place for this but the banks in Europe pulling the shenanigans were mostly European – also the massive government waste that goes on in southern Europe = not caused by Americans.

      • WG says:

        While American, um, erm, financial innovations were at the heart of it, the boom was mainly financed by German institutions. Spain was not Greece, they ran(on paper) balanced budgets until the s**t hit the fan. Not that Spanish bankers and developers were without blame; they were entirely happy to be complicit in the whole mess.

        • A says:

          Haha that’s language working at its finest.

          Packaged derivative messes that destabilized the EU economy, which spiraled out of control and revealed a propped up overextended Spanish real estate market.

    • fischy says:

      If you are relying on soccer sites for your financial news, you might be left a bit in the dark.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        +1, see A’s comment above…

        • A says:

          My comment is right, so educate yourself.

          • EasyE says:

            right or wrong, most don’t come here for that stuff

          • standard says:

            no, its not. while our financial crisis surely didnt help europe what has really been hurting Europe is there over reliance on socialism. When you over tax the rich and over tax businesses they dont invest in your country. This leads to unemployment and more and more people taking welfare and not paying into it. Our financial crisis only revealed the cracks in europes system and accelerated what was already happening.

  3. RK says:

    That’s big news on Valencia. They’ve been in trouble financially for years after the failed stadium build and the selling of the old one.

    What’s the difference between this and Rangers?

    • RK says:

      As for Nou Mestalla, Valencia had to sell the old Mestalla to Bankia in Dec 2011, so Bankia is also on the hook for that. I don’t see any indication that Nou Mestalla construction has continued. And it looks like Bankia drop financing for it in Sept 2012.

    • Sly says:

      How much does Valencia owe? Considering their reputation for putting out great talent through the academy, its amazing to me that someone (whichever sheik doesnt own a team yet) wouldnt snap them up for 50 million and assume all the debts.

  4. mad max says:

    BTW Brad Friedel completed his UEFA Pro License B and is expected to finish the A in a year. I wonder when might we see him as a manager? Perhaps of a League 1 club in a few years or maybe he gets involved at Blackburn and becomes their manager within a few years

  5. A says:

    “Cellar dwellers Palermo have fired their forth manager of the season, and replaced him with one they fired once already this season.”

    That is just crazy.

    -Roman Abramovich

  6. Gnarls says:

    Reading is almost certainly going down again. If ‘Arry can’t save QPR, I highly doubt di Matteo will be able to save Reading. The damage is already done.

    • Old School says:

      I like di Matteo. I hope he doesn’t captain that sinking ship.

    • Strider257 says:

      Reading also appear to have the hardest remaining schedule for the relegation battlers with matches against Manchesters Utd. and City, Arsenal, and Liverpool, as well as Fulham and West Ham. It really seems foolish to change now. Any time for settling in loses any chance of redemption.

  7. ARN says:

    perfect time for Bob Bradley to put his hat in the ring for Reading or maybe wait til once they’re relegated

    • Old School says:

      Eh, for the same reason I don’t want to see di Matteo taking the reigns applies to Bradley. That ship is sinking.

      • WG says:

        And their owner is notoriously tight-fisted. It’s too late to buy any players this season, but their line-up is virtually unchanged from the Championship squad.

  8. John says:

    So no comment about Bayern missing Ribery, Schweinsteiger, and Boetang, or Robben being held out on the weekend due to injury?

    There are plenty of injury issues for both teams tomorrow.

    • Raymon says:

      Without Wilshere and Podolski, Arsenal will have to rely on the nonthreatening ways of Diaby and Rosicky. Plus Sagna is the most consistent back for Arsenal, so there’s a major hole in the back line. The Bayern injuries are irrelevant other than perhaps in terms of GD: it’s all but over for Arsenal other for than anyone delusional enough to think otherwise. This from a Gooner.