Big Phil returns to Stamford Bridge, recalls his quick axe


With his arrival at Stamford Bridge on Monday, Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari claimed that he was not provided enough time at Chelsea to succeed before being sacked in February 2009.

Hmmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it?

During Big Phil’s reign in West London he was cruising through the 2008-09 season with his club fourth in the Premier League table and still in both the FA Cup and Champions League when Roman Abramovich dropped the guillotine and brought in Guus Hiddink (after a 1 match caretaker stint by Ray Wilkins) to finish out the season.

When asked whether he was given sufficient time at Chelsea, Scolari said: “I don’t think so but it was a decision from the management.” He also lamented, “I believe my time at Chelsea was not as bad as people have been talking about.”

Anonymous reports – which Sporting News‘ Brian Krause has given me the nod of journalistic approval to print –  say that as the Brazil boss muttered these words, Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto di Matteo collectively threw their hands in the air and screamed ‘No, no, no, I was the one who wasn’t given enough time at Chelsea!!

Regardless of Abramovich’s lack of appreciation for Scolari, he still has a friend in everyone’s favorite West London geezer, David Luiz. The Chelsea defender, always eager to offer his insightful opinions on topics that he may or may not have first-hand knowledge of, said: “I’m sure [Scolari] is happy to come back here because regardless of what happened here he has very good memories.” He continued, “What I have heard, having asked around, is Scolari had a great time, regardless of what happened.”

The good times at the Bridge continue Monday when Scolari and Luiz look to improve on their country’s unsightly FIFA World Ranking of #18 when they take on Fabio Capello’s Russia.

Contest to crown “Best American Bar” for Premier League fans

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For most of the weekend mornings, bars across the United States of America turn into places filled with jerseys of every color imaginable and either screams of despair or yelps of delight fill the air.

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Fans of the Premier League in the U.S. flock to plenty of pubs and bars across the nation to watch all the action and now NBC Sports wants to crown the “Best Premier League Bar in America” with your help.

Below are the details on how to get involved in the contest, as you can submit a nomination by visiting NBCSports.com/BestPLBarContest.

Oh, and by the way, the winning bar will receive $50,000 and an exclusive viewing party hosted by NBC Sports, plus be featured in a national commercial.

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Also, hit play in the video above to get a flavor of the competition.

STAMFORD, Conn. – October, 2015 – This week, NBC Sports Group introduced a contest searching for the best Premier League bar in America.

From now through December 6, NBC Sports Group is asking fans to “show their pub some love” by submitting nominations  to help their bar take the throne at NBCSports.com/BestPLBarContest. Additionally, fans can support their pub by:

  • Checking in on the NBC Sports Matchmaker App
  • Sharing stories, images and videos by tagging their bar and using #BestPLBarContest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Describing how much their Premier League pub means to them here.

The contest site also features a full list of participating bars, a list of trending bars, a social media feed with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts with the hashtag #BestPLBarContest, and a schedule of upcoming Premier League fixtures.

Following are the 10 bars currently trending:

  • The Londoner, Dallas, TX
  • Maggie McGarrys, San Francisco, CA
  • Irish Channel, Washington, DC
  • Carragher’s, New York, NY
  • Lucky Bar, Washington, DC
  • Boston Beer Garden, Boston, MA
  • 11th Street Bar, New York, NY
  • Beef & Barley, Chicago, Ill.
  • George and Dragon Pub, Seattle, WA
  • The Blind Pig, New York, NY

2015 MLS playoff scenarios heading into penultimate week

Michael Bradley, Toronto FC
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This is it, we have arrived at the penultimate week of the 2015 Major League Soccer season and there is still a lot to be decided.

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Only five teams, the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy and the Vancouver Whitecaps have booked their spot in the postseason so far and the regular season Western and Eastern Conference titles are still up for grabs.

That, coupled with teams on the bubble (Orlando, Houston, Portland and RSL, I’m looking at you) for the playoffs is adding up to an enthralling final few games of the season as teams currently in the playoffs are only separated by a few points here and there.

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Below, courtesy of the league office, are the scenarios for each MLS team to clinch a berth in the playoffs. Study. Worry. Repeat.

We will have an updated list of the scenarios later this week after the next batch of games are played on Wednesday.


Columbus Crew SC will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Columbus Crew SC win or tie vs. Toronto FC on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

New England Revolution will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • New England Revolution win or tie vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

Toronto FC will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Toronto FC win or tie vs. New York Red Bulls on Wednesday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

Montreal Impact will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Montreal Impact win vs. New England Revolution on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

New York Red Bulls will clinch first place in the Eastern Conference IF

  • New York Red Bulls win or tie vs. Toronto FC on Wednesday