Hi Guys, Shaka will be here in just a few minutes. Feel free to get your questions in now.
Shaka is here a bit early, catching the end of the Zenit-Juve game. Let's get started....Here he is!
Shaka, Who will be the first American (non-goalkeeper) to make it "big time" in European club football? Is he alive and playing today? Is he not born yet? Thanks.
Patrick, I had to take this one first before we get in to the Champions League...Giuseppe Rossi comes to mind but we won't count him because he will play for Italy...I would like to think he is already born but I can't think of anyone playing right now that is going to star at a truly big club.
I'm a big fan of your insight Shaka! What are your thoughts on Danny, the star from Zenit? He's really impressed me and he set a record in Russia with his transfer fee earlier this year...is he in line for a move to a big club in one of the big leagues in europe? Man U, Real, Inter? what do you think
I don't think he will move to a big club because he is happy at Zenit making big money and he looks to be happy and enjoying his football unlike Arshavin who wants out. Now hopefully they will score a goal here in the next 10 minutes. I picked them to go through!
Just had a look at the lineups for the other games. Evans will start for Vidic vs Villarreal. Vela and Ramsey are starting for Arsenal, could this be the start of the Young Gunners? Saviola is starting up top for Real Madrid. Should be an interesting day.
Shaka...could you give us a quick thought on the differences with playing in europe and the usa? You've had first-hand experience...thanks and have a happy thanksgiving
Lucas, playing in Europe you have better players around you who have a better understanding of the game. Players who have played in Europe take this for granted when they come to the US. Often you see players from Europe struggle when they first arrive in MLS.
Zenit is putting all kinds of pressure on Juventus!
what are your thoughts on the chemsitry at arsenal and their chances of winning epl or champ. league? thanks.
Vik, there is no way they will win the EPL. They are better suited to the Champions League but I do not think they will win that either. They are a young and talented team but lack the experience and mettle to win either tournament. Let's see how they respond after the Man City debacle. I will be interested to see how Vela does as I am not at all convinced that Bendtner is good enough.
Zenit running out of time.
Shaka, what's the last minute word on Ronaldo's leg injury? Did he look OK in practice and how much influence could he have on today's match?
TJ, I was not at training but I can tell you that he is in the starting lineup.
There's the final whistle. Zenit only have themselves to blame. They dominated posession and had some good chances late despite surviving several scares from Juve but this has been the story of their Champions League so far. I am disappointed as they are good enough to go through. Maybe Real Madrid will lose.
I'll be back when the games kick off.
Hello, I'm back. Gallas in the lineup- I am surprised to see him back so quickly as I thought Wenger would leave him out for a few weeks but defensively they struggle without him.
SHAKA, WHAT WAS ASPRILLA LIKE ON THE TRAINING GROUND?WHAT DO REMEMBER FROM THAT TOONS VS BARCA CLASSIC IN 1997?
Asprilla was CRAZY but he was fun. The game against Barca was one of the best in the history of St. James' park. I was sitting in the stands for that one.
hey shaka who do you think will be the rising star of the champions league this matchday?
If I had to pick one star for today I would say Adrian Mutu of Fiorentina...
Shaka if you were Arsene Wenger with about half an hour to go in the game what are you thinking if your team are losing 1-0 and yout ake a look at your bench and all you see is Sir Miss-a-lot Nick Bentner or if are winning at that point you have the services of Justin Hoytes little brother.
Cornell, looking at the Arsenal bench you have to say they better hope nobody gets hurt. Someone should go up to the media booth and call Ian Wright.
Shaka - Do you believe giving Fabregas the captains armband will help arsenal overcome their rocky start? Should Arsene Wenger break out the checkbook in January to bring in some fresh new talent to the club?
I think Fabregas should be the captain but I don't think that will put an end to Arsenal's troubles but they do need some stability in that respect. I don't think they will break out the check book, it is not Wenger's style. I think they will make changes in the summer.
Arsenal needs to finish their season strong, if they dont, could this be Wegner's last season?
I hope not, I am a big Wenger fan
Shaka, do you see any upsets or surprises happening in today's games? Or will the usual suspects win?
I don't think there will be any upsets.
Here are my picks on all the games: Aalborg- Celtic Draw Villarreal- Man Utd. Draw Fenerbahce- Porto Draw Arsenal- Kyiv Draw Bayern will beat Steau Fiorentina to beat Lyon even though Lyon just scored Real Madrid to beat Bate
who does united have to fear more, manchester city or there opponents today
Their opponents today, Villarreal. Still a huge gap between the Red Devils and City.
shaka,trini from texas here ,how far u think tnt will go
Had to answer this one! If we win our opening game away at El Salvador we can at least finish 4th.
great to have followed your career . Saw you play a amatuer game in Virginia . Why didn't you play on the field in the UK ?
Ron, I kept trying to tell everyone I was a good striker but they would not listen to me!
Villarreal has been holding up pretty well in these first twenty minutes of the game. Do you think they can pinch a goal and hold on for the win?
They are good enough to but these teams usually play to a draw and I think they will again today.
Hi Shaka how long more do you think Roy Keane will stay at Sunderland??
Middle of next season.
Shaka, having made the journey from college soccer in the US to the premier league in england, what advice would you have for others hoping to follow your footsteps? Also, you have played at the very top level of football, how much time do players spend in the gym in season and off season? Thanks, have a great thanksgiving.
Happy thanksgiving! I did not spend any time in the gym in the offseason because it is such a long season and so hard on your body but during the season I spent at least a half hour a day after practice. Hard work is the only way to make it. Sometimes starting at a smaller club like I did with Reading is the best route.
Evening Shaka! Who in your opinion is currently the best goalkeeper out of: David James Paul Robinson Scott Carson Ben Foster
David James. That is easy.
And would you consider coming out of retirement and play in the MLS again?
No. I am now playing co-ed indoor as a striker!
Can I change my Fiorentina-Lyon prediction? Nice goal from Benzema
Shaka Your possible last four teams in Champions League?
Manchester United, Chelsea, Barca and Juve...The draw will decide it though.
Shaka, who would you say is the best goalkeeper in the world of the past year?
Gigi Buffon is the best goalkeeper. I give Casillas 2nd.
Since Buffon is hurt, Casillas is number one for now. His defense has not been doing him many favors.
My Porto pick is looking pretty good!
Is Oliver Kahn the best goal-keeper ever?
No. Schmeichel is the best in the modern game...
How would you rate Shay Given, surely without him Newcastle would be a lost cause?
Great shot stopper. Maybe the best I have ever seen. too bad he is playing on such a bad team. If he was a bit taller and on a better team he would be regarded as one of the greats.
Arsenal continue to struggle after their week of woes and Wenger does not have anyone to turn to...
Do you think it was a mistake by Sir Alex Ferguson to play Rooney up front on his own? He looks out of place tonight at the El Madrigal.
I never question Sir Alex any more. I think over the years he has just gotten better and better as a manager.
rossi is impressive, do u think united will buy him back if he continues to perform like this?
I don't think so. Do they really need him?
Shaka, as an Ex-Newcastle player, what do you think about their current demise? You think they have the right Manager or should it be someone else?
Joe Kinnear is not the right man for the job. I would like to see Alan Shearer get it.
Kyiv just hit the post! Bad play by Gallas.
Mutu header off the crossbar. Gilardino goal!
Arsenal struggling. Fiorentina v Lyon is the best game so far.
It's halftime, time for a snack. Be back in a minute.
hey shaka! greetings and big up from your home country... what do you think about liverpool's chances in the premier league and champions league?
I can't see them getting past the quarters in the Champions League. In the Premier League they are impressing me more and more, not sure if they have enough to get the better of Man U and Chelsea but they will be in the top 3.
Shaka,how imprtant is the communication between the defenders and a Goalkeeper in a match??Specially the centerbacks.
Karan, it is absolutely vital. It is the most important communication between anyone on the team.
shaka... wat's takin place in the arsenal game?
Nothing good for Arsenal yet.
Do you think Ronaldo is an unreliable player in big games?
Absolutely not Eugene. He scored in the UCL final!
Hey Shaka. Do you think Anderson will break his duck with ManU? And why don't you think ManU can handle Villareal?
At some point but not tonight. Villarreal is actually a good team and match up well with them.
I can't believe it, Celtic scored on the road!
Kose scored a junk goal...
By the way guys, make sure you tune in to ESPNSoccernet Press Pass every Monday and Friday to see me square off with Tommy Smyth!
do you think Arsenal can win tonight's game looking at their performance so far?
No, it is going to be a draw
Bate just had a great chance on goal. I want them to win.
Great Bayern goal by Luca Toni!
Hi Shaka - with Dynamo playing such a high line, why aren't Arsenal sending a couple balls over the top for Vela to run for? I know it's not their normal attack but the Dynamo back line look too slow to play so high.
Without Walcott they are not anywhere near as dangerous as usual. If he were there I bet Dynamo would be more careful.
Do you ever want Liverpool to win or do you still hold a grudge?
I do want to see Liverpool win. I am not a Chelsea or Man U fan. If I had to pick a team besides the ones I played for it would be Arsenal but Liverpool would be second.
Here comes Bendtner, Kyiv fans are celebrating
Firoentina just hit the post!
Are Toni and Klose the best strike partnership in Europe?
No. Despite Luca Toni's season last year I am not a big fan. Best partnership for me is Mutu and Gilardino but I still think Ibrahimavic is the best striker in Europe.
Shaka, how do you see the rest of the United-Villareal game panning out?
Still a draw
This Fiorentina-Lyon match is pretty entertaining...I have to say it again.
another goal for Bayern
Hey Shaka, Do you think Tevez is getting the short end of the stick since Berbatov joined Man U?
Yes he is. It is tough because I do not think he should fit in ahead of either Rooney or Berbatov but he is a great player.
Heartbreak for Celtic. Aalborg just scored. Deflected goal
Hey Shaka, quick question: I know that you graduated from Howard with honors with a degree in ME, I was just wondering how did you balance football with studies?
I have no idea. It was not easy. I did graduate with a 3.49 in Mechanical Engineering!
Almunia just bailed out Arsenal
Is Ribery one of the 5 best players in the world at the moment? Seems to me he is...
Brett, if not in the top five he is not far off it. My top three right now is: 1) Messi 2) Ronaldo 3) Kaka
When do you see Van der Sar retiering, and do you think Kuszczak or Foster gets the number one?
Van der Sar has no more than one more year left in him and I don't expect either of those guys could take his place.
Capdevilla earned his red card, didn't he?
what do you tink about arsenal's current form? do you tink that this is the effects of having such a young team?
Bendtner scores a huge goal, I knew he would do it!!!!
Celtic gives up a comical own goal!
Hey Shaka, just for the record, who is the best referee in modern day football?
My colleague here at ESPN Dave Roberts fancies himself to be in the top 3!
Hoping for some late magic from Fiorentina
Arsenal pulls it off.
Ok guys, thanks for all your questions. Hope you enjoyed it. Make sure you check us out on ESPNSoccernet Press Pass on Mondays and Fridays at 7pm on Classic