SoccerLens Archives for January 2007

Maradona vs Pele - who was better?

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Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele as he would later be known around the world) was often rated as the best player in the world. Only he and fellow legend Diego Armando Maradona, have received the honours by FIFA with the awards of officially being dubbed the greatest players in the history of the game.

What Now For England?

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It has gone all horribly, horribly wrong. What was supposed to be a new and better era has turned out to be a farce and worse than its predecessor; what was expected to be the turnaround of fortune has translated into a deepening wound; what ought to have been the start of an Empire has [...]

Champions League Matchday 5 Review: Big victories for Sevilla, Inter, and Roma, spots still up for grabs in Groups E and G

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While things are a little muddled in Groups A-D, the outlook in the other four groups in the UEFA Champions League is a little more defined, for the most part. Group E Barcelona were in pole position to qualify, and with their 2-2 draw away to Lyon, not only seal a place in the round [...]

FIFA World Player of the Year 2007: Kaka, Ronaldo or Messi?

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Lionel Messi are all up for the FIFA World Player of the year. The three players have been shortlisted for the award which is announced at FIFA's world player gala in Zurich on December 17. It's the first time any of the three have been up for the honour. Kaka, who pretty [.

Transfer Roundup: Newcastle United, Manchester City and Chelsea

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So tomorrow is the 1st December meaning the January transfer window is exactly one month away from being opened to allow in the fresh deals for players during the mid-season re-boosting Newcastle United want to bolster their fragile defence in the New Year by bringing in Bruno Alves from Porto. The Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce was [.

Interview with Ruben Olthuis, Creator of Best Players Directory and Brazilian Football Websites

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Soccerlens is very pleased to welcome Mr. Ruben Olthuis, who is the creator of one of the largest football player databases in the world, Bestplayersdirectory.com, along with a site dedicated to Brazilian football. The player database, as of today, contains 899 players from 75 different countries. It has links to 1230 web sites, blogs, official [.

Short and fat, with a Terry on the top

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Sigmund Freud was nothing but a hairy quack. My cantankerous nature is not the result of a repressed Oedipus complex; I only feel hostility towards my father because he's really annoying. Before senility kicked in, the old fellow would try in vain to act cool around my friends. I genuinely sympathise with anyone who has had [.

Champions League Matchday 5 Review: Chelsea and Milan through, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Celtic, Olympiakos, Schalke and Porto expected to join them

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Matchday 5 in the Champions League group stage saw a number of clubs give their qualification hopes a serious boost, while for some, things were thrown into serious doubt. So, brace yourself and pay attention, because even though winning is the simplest cure for all, there are multiple potential scenarios in each group.

Trouble at Anfield: the Battle of Benitez vs. Hicks/Gillett

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It's all going Pete Tong behind the scenes at Anfield at the moment. Rafael Benitez has openly criticed his superiors in a blatant display of insubordination, with issues revolving around how much investment will be made into squad development: the Liverpool boss has clearly expressed his unhappiness about the perceived lack of a transfer activity [.

‘Round and ‘Round and ‘Round We Go, on the EPL Managerial Carousel - Who’s Getting Thrown Off Next?

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With all of the recent sackings and hirings in the Premier League, it's fun, especially for the oddsmakers, to predict who'll be on their way out and on their way up next. There have already been a half-dozen managerial changes (four sackings, two 'resignations') in the first three months of the season, the highest-profile one being [.

Inter, Roma, Milan Through to the Next Round, Lazio Hanging on by a Thread (Champions League Matchday 5)

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After Matchday 5 of the UEFA Champions League, out of the 4 Italian Serie A teams in contention in Europe's top-flight competition, only Inter Milan, AS Roma, and AC Milan have managed to qualify for the playoffs round. While Inter and Roma went on to produce convincing wins on Tuesday, AC Milan had a [.

Transfer Roundup: Chelsea, Newcastle United, Bolton, Everton, Wigan, Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham, Juventus, AC Milan, Roma

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With just over a month to go until the January sales transfer speculation mounts every day. It seems like it's going to be a busy month in the New Year. In demand at the moment Nicolas Anelka has been linked with a move again to another Premiership club, this time Newcastle. With injury-prone England striker Michael [.

Top 50 Most Exciting Teen Footballers (2007)

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In football, nothing is more valuable than the wonderkid. Managers spent much of their time scouring the ends of the world for these rare gems. And that's not the end of it, like a rare gem, the wonderkid needs to be polished and nurtured before it is ready for the world stage. In a sense [...]

Transfer Roundup: Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Rangers, Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid, Boca Juniors

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Football clubs are gearing up for more action in the transfer market as the season draws nearer to the opening of the January window. Chelsea are thinking about offering Paulo Ferreira plus money for Valencia player Miguel. Both players play for Portugal and Ferreira has hardly featured for Chelsea this season.

Who’d Be An England Manager?

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They're a fickle sort, the Football Association. 18 games into a four-year contract, Steve McLaren was dismissed following his failure to qualify for Euro 2008. While fickle, I have to say I totally agree with the FA's decision. This time. The fact is that McLaren never should have been appointed in the first place.

Should There be a Return of the Home Nations Tournament?

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An agreement in principle has been made between Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to take part in three series of "Celtic Cup" tournaments. While an agreement was signed on Monday to stage the tournament in a league format, England have not ruled themselves completely out yet.

The Odds on Euro 2008

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The odds have been set for next summer's Euro 2008. The favourites out of the 16 nations to win the tournament are Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland and France. Co-hosts Austria and Switzerland have been seeded first along with defending champions Greece as the race for the final in Vienna on June 29th begins.

Looking Forward - Scotland’s Future

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In the aftermath of yet another failed qualifying campaign, Scotland can at least take great heart in their gutsy and impressive performances over the past 14 months. Those performances have seen an unprecedented rise through the FIFA Rankings to the all-time high of 13th place. Putting that into perspective, Scotland are now ranked higher than [.

Transfer Roundup: Manchester City, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Manchester United, Chelsea, Celtic, Everton, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Fulham, Reading

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In the Champions League games over the next two days, several talented players are going to be monitored. Manchester United will be keeping a close eye on Joao Moutinho, who has said this morning that he is ‘determined to put on a show' when Sporting Lisbon face the Premier League champions at Old Trafford tonight.

UEFA Futsal Championship 2007: Spain Crowned 3rd-time Champions by beating Italy 3-1 in Final Match

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Such a shame for Italy! The Azzurri Futsal team did all they could against current World and European Champions Spain, but in the end the Furia Roja proved to be too strong in the Euro 2007 Futsal UEFA Championship final game. For those of you who are wondering, FUTSAL is an indoor version of [...

Is Brazil 2014 Going to be Safe?

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There have been at least 8 people killed this week-end, towards the end of a league match after part of a Brazilian stadium collapsed. The accident, which took place at the Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador, occurred after some of the concrete stand fell away with 10 minutes remaining in the game between Bahia and Vila [.

Croatians Not Good Enough for England?

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The South Africa 2010 Preliminary Draw has paired England with their recent conquerers Croatia in the qualifying round. Responding to the draw, The Sun quoted: Michael Owen has kick-started preparations for 2010 World Cup qualification in earnest by insisting none of the Croatian team would get into the England side.

England’s World Cup 2010 Qualifying Draw - A Look Way, Way Ahead

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Well, if you had any hopes of making trips to see England's World Cup 2010 qualifying away ties, you might want to reconsider. Along with England and their newest rival, Croatia, there will forays to Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Andorra. So, let's hope there aren't any players who are afraid of flying, or Eastern Europeans [.

Player vs. Club: Is the Player Ever Bigger Than the Club He Represents?

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Before Tottenham Hotspur star Dimitar Berbatov began to sing Juande Ramos' praises, the speculation surrounding whether he would stay or go swirled with rumor, one of which was that Manchester United were top of Berbatov's January transfer window wish list. It's no contest that this season Manchester United is performing much stronger than Tottenham, and [.

Transfer Roundup: Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Portsmouth, Juventus

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The main headlines of English football remains to revolve around the thought of who the future national team coach will be. The return to club football this weekend however put forgotten smiles on some faces. The transfer window is creeping closer and the following clubs have all been in the news. Manchester United's Sir Alex [.

La Liga Week 13: Real Madrid Cling On to Top Spot

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Despite dropping points in a 1-1 draw at Murcia, Real Madrid stay top of La Liga for another week as Villarreal failed to win at home to Almeria. Barcelona move to within two points of the leaders after beating Recreativo at Camp Nou. Summaries from all 10 week-end matches after the jump. Madrid took the lead after just [.

The Ideal Choice for England? Not Mourinho

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The sacking of McLaren on Thursday came as no surprise. To be honest, even if England had qualified, McLaren would have been unemployed next summer. Another thing that was not surprising was Mourinho's emergence as most fans' favourite to take the England job. With an amazing record at Chelsea and Porto in the past several [.

South Africa 2010 - UEFA Qualification Round: England get Croatia again!!

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While the qualification race for the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup has already started (in the region of South America), the build-up to the biggest football show on Earth is about to step up a gear, with the staging of the UEFA (Europe), CONCACAF (North-America), CAF (Africa), and AFC (Asia)Â regions Preliminary Draw in [.

Is it Time Steve Gibson Showed a Ruthless Streak?

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According to Wikipedia, Steve Gibson, the chairman of Middlesbrough Football Club (or the 'King of Teesside' if you prefer), has never rowed with any of his managers. And to me, that is totally believable. Another piece of trivia is that Steve Gibson is quite possibly the longest serving Chairman that has never brought himself to sack [.

England Job: Likely Candidates to Succeed McLaren

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The names tied to Steve McLaren's succession as England manager are flocking, both in the British press as well as abroad. The job divides opinion: some consider it one of the top international posts, while others see it as a poisoned chalice, but either way the English FA should be making a decision within [.

10 Reasons why Fabio Capello should manage England

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Last season when Fabio Capello landed in Madrid as the messiah for Los Merengues, I was quite excited - Beckham's team would have a top-notch manager after a long time (with all due respect to Quieroz, he isn't top notch) and finally we'll see Real Madrid winning again. For the first few months the dream [.

Scotland and Northern Ireland Illuminate Euro Qualifiers

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England's failure in the 2006 World Cup, unsurprisingly on penalties, brought about that familiar disappointment and the usual inquests from the media and fans alike. The melancholic failures since 1966 were all the more painful considering the consensus that the country possessed a pool of talent with the best chance to win the Jules Rimet [.

Benitez, Hicks and Gillet - Power Struggle at Liverpool?

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It is ominous times for Liverpool after yesterday's press conference in which Rafael Benitez hinted at dissatisfaction with the owners of LFC, Tom Hicks and George Gillet. The main issues revolves around how much investment will be made into squad development, that is to say the playing staff and player recruitment.

Looking for Newcastle United and Liverpool Guest Bloggers

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Hey guys. We have spaces open on two of our blogs - the Newscastle United blog and the Liverpool blog, Anfield Red. Here's how it works: If you support Newcastle United or Liverpool, and if you're interested in writing a couple of articles a week or more about your club, then please get in touch: Anfield Red (Liverpool): [.

England 2-3 Croatia: Petric Puts the Final Nail in McClaren’s Coffin

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The news that Steve McClaren lost his job has filtered through the media this morning, following last night's abject 3-2 defeat to Croatia at Wembley. It was a defeat that summed up all of the elements of his reign, as a shell-shocked England found themselves 2-0 down within 14 minutes in the crucial Euro 2008 [.

10 Rules to Being England’s Manager

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It's all over. After 18 matches, 1620 minutes of football and 457 days of management, Steve McClaren has been hounded out of his cushty job as England manager, and he's taking a fancy paycheck with him. Did he need more guidance? Maybe. A leaflet or something with some basic pointers should have covered it.

Euro 2008 - Group Stage Draw Seedings

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Yesterday, UEFA revealed the draw seedings for Euro 2008's final tournament. The 16 qualified teams have been separated into 4 different pots, which will be utilized to determine the 4 groups of the tournament by drawing one team from each pot. With the two co-host nations (Austria/Switzerland) already occupying positions A1 and B1 in the draw, Pot [.

It’s Wayne in Cats and Dogs

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I've never really seen the point in children. I can appreciate their usefulness when they're big enough to nip down to the off-license, but I'm not sure if that justifies the £10 a year it costs to clothe them. My little Goliath has been playing up recently. The wife has the cheek to say he takes [.

England Out!

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Italy and England are similar in that after the last World Cup, both their coaches resigned - Lippi and Eriksson. They are also similar in that many people doubted the abilities of their new managers - Donadoni and McClaren. Now, Donadoni and McClaren share many similarities as well. They were both professional footballers when they [.

Transfer Roundup: Real Madrid, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Tottenham, Aston Villa

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The football headlines may be swamped today with the confirmed countries that have qualified for Euro 2008 and England's shocking failure but there's still news revolving around football clubs and their players in the transfer market. Real Madrid attacking midfielder Guti has told Spanish radio that he is keen to extend his current deal at [.

England Fail to Qualify for Euro 2008

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[Editor's note: for a minute-by-minute live blog report of the England-Croatia game, see this post] One word: Nightmare. On the night of the most important games for England in recent years they bottled it. A gutless and nervy performance from every player. They gave it away all throughout the game and constantly played long balls up-field to Crouch [.

On England…

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"Wake up. You didn't lose the game because of the tactics. We're simply a better team. I admire your team and your players but my team is a much better team." That is what the Croat manager had to say after the game at Wembley. Not only has he used the word 'team' four times in [...]

And Birmingham’s New Boss Is…

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With the recent departure of Steve Bruce as manager of Birmingham they've been scouring the football world for an avid replacement. Bruce has taken over at Wigan after the sacking of Chris Hutchings. His job was already on the line due to the expected takeover bid of businessman Carson Yeung in January.

“What Makes a Team What It Is?” An MLS Story…

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The following article, written by David Rini, discusses a new marketing initiative the MLS tried during the playoffs and how MLS marketing can or can't affect the identities of the teams in the league. If you were to go to any home game of Boston's Major League Soccer team, the New England Revolution, at Gillette Stadium [.

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Newcastle United, Manchester City, Celtic, Portsmouth

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A new day means new transfer news and rumours. Several clubs have been linked with several players today, as detailed below. Firstly, Celtic are in the hunt for a possible replacement for their star Japanese set piece expert Shunsuke Nakamura. He had been offered an extension to his current contract but reports say he's looking [.

Are Foreigners England’s Problem?

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It's impossible that the head of world football can say so many stupid things about the state of football and what we can do to improve different aspects of the beautiful game. There are some weird and wonderful rules implemented to football in the 9 years that Joseph Blatter has been FIFA President. For example as [...]

Bizarre Love Triangle: The Politics of International Football

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I had initially anticipated that my next 3 articles, which are in the pipeline, would concern something completely different to the slightly dubious nature that this one takes on. However, by complete co-incidence an issue has come to my attention that I felt must be written about, if only to gauge the thoughts of the [...]

Ronaldinho to Chelsea?

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One of the wildest rumours circling football at the moment is Ronaldinho heading to Chelsea come January. The Brazilian has not been enjoying his best of seasons this year and claims suggest that Roman Abramovich is ready to dig deep into that bulging wallet of his to entice him to London. There were reports last summer [...]

Euro 2008 Qualifying - 4 Spots Remaining in Wednesday’s Final Round Matches

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Another 6 countries secured their places at Euro 2008 on Saturday night, with Leo Beenhakker's Poland possibly celebrating the loudest after their 2-0 defeat of Belgium qualified for the first time to a Euro championship. World champions Italy, Netherlands and Spain all progressed with victories while Croatia, beaten by Macedonia, advanced thanks to Russia's [.

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus, Middlesbrough, Real Madrid, Inter Milan

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The rumour mill continues to work overtime in the latest transfer news. It seems like January is going to be a busy month for most clubs. Middlesbrough will be concentrating on reinforcing their strike force in the New Year and the latest suggests that Middlesbrough's main target is Saudi Arabian Yasser Al-Qahtani, nicknamed ‘The Sniper'. The [...

Who Should Start for England against Croatia?

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So with Israel being the toast of England presently, not to mention the Macedonians doing us a favour as well, attention has now turned to the all important decider against Croatia on Wednesday night. England stand just 90 minutes and 1 crucial point away from remarkably qualifying for Euro 2008 when just last month English [...]

How now, Adriano?

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I do not deny that I'm a great fan of the Brazilian. For me, he epitomizes what the modern day striker should be, technically competent, big, fast and strong. Adriano's aerial power, coupled with his strength, pace and dribbling skills make him a terrifyingly complete striker and if given the opportunity and good luck, there is every chance that [.

SquadGod - Monthly Games

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SquadGod.com a.k.a one of Soccerlens's advertising partners and also the ultimate fantasy football site, today added a monthly game option to its existing gameplay formats. SquadGod advertises itself as the only fully customisable fantasy football game available, and now lets players and fantasy managers set-up games running in a monthly format, allowing players to [.

Transfer Roundup: Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa

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The transfer window is slowly being prised open again to allow the eager clubs in to re-boost their squads and throw the money around. Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Croatian international Luca Modric. Team boss Avram Grant was present during the Croatian defeat to Macedonia at the weekend and it's been said that [...]

Does The Premier League Need a Winter Break?

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It's gotten to that time of year now where English football fixtures are beginning to fill in the calendar with two games a week and will continue over the festive season where other European countries are having a break from the game to re-energise. The re-occurring question has therefore crept back into divided opinions among [...]

Alisher Usmanov Interview Transcript

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A quick note to let all you Arsenal fans know that the Guardian interviewed Alisher Usmanov and have now printed the email interview transcript in full here. It's a terrible interview, not because of Usmanov's answers but because of the Guardian's obsession with finding out about whether the Arsenal shareholder was guilty and especially if [...]

Interview: Dr. Craig Panther, Fulham’s Medical Officer

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Image courtesy of Pure Sports Medicine. The recent debate on player burnout and the need (or lack thereof) for a winter break sparked a flurry of interested in the workload of Premier League players. Two domestic competitions, congested spell of fixtures over Christmas and international football to boot. Does playing consistently at this level put players [.

The Michael Owen Story

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Note: In the wake of the current WGA strike wreaking havoc on American television, I have included excerpts from a script I am proposing to any major studio executive who happens to be read.ing this with airtime slots to fill. I plan to adapt and rearrange selected scenes and dialogue from The Godfather Trilogy into [...]

Italy-Scotland: Late Goal by Panucci sends the Azzurri through to Euro 2008

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"Come on" Italia, Euro 2008 is served!!!! After a match of incredible suffering the Azzurri managed to beat a valiant Scottish team at Hampden Park, and earned a well-deserved qualification to the European championships. After a first half of masterful display (rewarded by the very early goal of Luca Toni), the Italians had their [...]

English Football Needs Foreigners!

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This debate has been raging over the blogosphere, and I thought I'd put my 2 cents in. As England fall flat in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, typically, they need a scapegoat. No, England isn't on the verge of not qualifying because they're a bunch of lazy, greedy wannabe tabloid-fodder. No, no, no, they aren't qualifying [...]

Is Sexy Football Coming to LA Galaxy?

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After Frank Yallop's departure as the manager of LA Galaxy, so he could return to coach the San Jose Earthquakes for the second time, his replacement has been world player of the year for 1987 and ‘89 – Ruud Gullit. As well as the Galaxy's poor form last season it's been said that another contribution [...]

Chelsea’s Steve Sidwell and the Lessons of the Greeks

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Inscribed at the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, to which the ancient Greeks would pilgrimage in order to have their future foretold by the Oracle, were the words "Gnothi seauton". "Know Thyself". Sage words to remember when facing one's future, and specifically when faced with a decision that will chart one's future [...]

Euro 2008 Qualifying - Group by Group Preview for Saturday’s Matches

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The circle is getting smaller and smaller: Saturday and Wednesday will be decisive days to know the final components of the Euro 2008 table, the 14 teams which will join hosts Austria and Switzerland in Europe's highest football competition next year. 10 national teams are within mathematical reach of obtaining their ticket as of [...]

Women’s Football in England = Slave Labor

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On Thursday we read that women footballers were paid £40 per day for the five weeks they spent in China representing their country and reaching the quarter finals of the 2007 Women's World Cup. That's £1400 for 5 weeks, £280 per week or to roughly convert that into dollars, around $3k / month. To give you [...]

Should Sin-Bins be introduced in Football?

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Blackburn Rovers chairman John Williams has called for sin-bins to be introduced in football. But could this actually work? His call came after Blackburn midfielder David Dunn was sent off for a second bookable offence in their Premiership game against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. Replays later showed that the initial booking was extremely [.

Austria v England - Friendly - 16 Nov 07

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Steve McClaren's optimism, and the support Stevie G, Michael Owen, Bobby Robson, Sir Bobby Charlton and the FA have shown to the England manager is commendable. By all means, we should give the manager a chance, nor should we shouldn't judge a manager too harshly. The relationship between the manager and the players is great, [...]

On the third day…Heroes again

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The wife is easily influenced by the mainstream media. Ever since the BBC first aired ‘Heroes', she believes she has supernatural abilities. I've tried to explain that ‘sensing' I'm not in a romantic mood does not equate to a ‘power'; she's merely deduced that I haven't been drinking heavily. I, however, have a genuine [...]

MyFootballClub: taking over Ebbsfleet, and redefining ‘Fantasy’ Football

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Ebbsfleet, playing 4 leagues below the Premier League in the Blue Square League, have agreed to be taken over by MyFootballClub. £700,000 is a lot of money and kudos to MFC and its owners for negotiating this deal and turning fantasy football into reality. From Wikipedia: On November 13, 2007, it was announced that the website MyFootballClub [...]

Should Aurelio and Arbeloa be first-choice Liverpool fullbacks?

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Fabio Aurelio, Alvaro Arbeloa, Steve Finnan and John Arne Riise. Four contrasting full backs who offer something a little bit different to the Liverpool team. Having watched the Liverpool v Besiktas massacre, it was noted by the commentator that some of Liverpool's most impressive wins have come when Aurelio and Arbeloa have played [...]

David Beckham Set to Train with Arsenal

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According to The Times, Becks is set to return to England. No, we're not talking about a sensational career turn-around for the ex-England captain, but rather an arrangement of opportunity: Beckham will be given the chance to keep his fitness level up during the Major League Soccer Winter break, and all reports seem to suggest [...]

Should the European Championships be expanded?

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In the past, playoffs were used to help determine the final qualifiers for the European Championships. This time, however, qualification for Euro 2008 will be determined solely on group results, as the top two from each of the seven groups automatically qualify for the tournament, and the other two slots go to the joint hosts, Austria [...]

Around the World Report: Celebrate good times, come on!

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The final spots in the FIFA Club World Cup were decided in the last few days, as the African and Asian Champions League competitions wrapped up. On Friday, Etoile Sahel became only the third Tunisian side to win the Africa's premier club competition, as they scored a 3-1 upset of two-time defending champion and highly-favored Al-Ahly [...]

Football Manager Improves Your Sex Life

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Update: Images supporting the 'sex study' at the end of the article. That's right ladies (for those to those of you that read Soccerlens, may it be because you are a football fan, or if you just think Becks is a stud muffin pancake), so come and get it! Okay, most kidding aside, this headline will no [...]

How McClaren plans to get Sacked

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The genius of his lunacy is sublime. Not even the most advanced sports psychologists have recognised this, so I want you all to remember that I did. Its really quite clear - Steve McClaren wants the boot. Lets go right from the start, all the way back to his Middlesbrough days. He wasn't praised as much [...]

A Shrink for Real Madrid?

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According to the Spanish newspaper As, the Madrid giants are in close talks with signing top sports psychologist Kerry Spackman, the "man that turned Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton from a beginner to a veteran". As' actual printed headline was literally "Mental therapy" (to avoid crossing that very thin line between actual news and sensationalism, right?

Top 10 EPL Entertainers

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For as long as the wind is blowing, we might as well be surfing the wave... After FourFourTwo's Top 100 footballers list, the ‘Association of Football Statisticians' Top 100 Greatest Ever Footballers, and recently once again FourFourTwo's 2007 EPL ‘Rich List', The Sun is jumping onto the Top 100 bandwagon and starting a Top 10 ranking [...]

Does someone have a good pair of legs to give Wayne Rooney?

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Either Wayne Rooney stepped on the crack of a sidewalk and crossed paths with a black cat at the same time he was trying to pick up a penny on its tails side, or he hasn't been drinking his milk. Whatever the case may be, for the second time in three months, and for the fourth [...]

Bayern Munich Watch - Hot Shots III released in Stuttgart

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The Topper Harley-like power dive of the Bavarians ended three meters below the surface of the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, due to the critical loss of the right wing. Gomez was all happy to take good advantage of it and still wearing his Halloween hangman costume showed no hesitation to carry out the sentence. However, he may never [...]

Interview with Steven Goff of Soccer Insider and The Washington Post

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Soccerlens is very pleased to welcome Mr. Steven Goff who is one of the most respected and prominent football (soccer) writers in North America. While still an undergraduate at American University in Washington, Mr. Goff began his journalistic career with the Washington Post. In 1987, he began to cover college soccer. Many years ago, I [...]

La Liga Week 12: Real Madrid stay top, Barcelona drop to third

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Real Madrid remain top of La Liga for another week after beating Mallorca 4-3 in a thrilling game at the Bernabeu. Villarreal continue with their splendid season moving into second place after coming from behind to beat Sevilla 3-2. Barcelona drop to third place after a poor performance at Michael Laudrup's Getafe who continued their [...]

Lazio Fan Accidentally Killed By Police

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Rome burns. This comes after news that a Lazio fan was killed. Details of the incident are still hazy but according to reports, this happened when police officers intervened a roadside argument that got ugly. There were two cars involved in the incident, one carrying Juventus fans and the other Lazio. In an attempt to disperse [...]

England v Croatia Live Blog

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England v Croatia will be blogged live on Soccerlens - join us 15 minutes before kickoff. The pitch at Wembley is crap, or so says Bilic. Wembley's need to make money (thus the NFL game 3 weeks ago) has had a direct hand in creating this minor problem. Who will suffer more because of the [...]

Manchester United 2 - 0 Blackburn Rovers : Match Report

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Man Utd continued their fine form with a comprehensive 2 -0 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford on Sunday. Christiano Ronaldo scored both goals within a period of 96 seconds in the first half that effectively shut Blackburn out of the match. Louis Saha got his first start of this season with Wayne Rooney [...]

How Did You Get Started?

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Everyone remembers their first time. First kisses, first loves, first times having sex are memories that stay with you forever. And before you panic and begin worrying about the path I'm taking here, what I want to talk about today is how I became enamored with the beautiful game. I was 10 and it was World [...]

2007 EPL ‘Rich List’: Richest Players / Club Owners of the Premier League

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Yes, I've said it before: it's 'Top 100 Ranking' time. Fresh from publishing their Top 100 footballers list last month, English magazine FourFourTwo just released their a list of the Richest players and club owners of the English Premiership, sort of a "2007's Billionaire's club" if you will. As the editors eloquently put it, the [...]

Champions League Matchday 4 Review: Manchester United and Arsenal through - Barcelona and Inter Milan favourites to follow

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In my earlier Champions League review, I went through Groups A-D. I wrap up the review with Groups E-H, where English giants Manchester United and Arsenal have already secured qualification for the knockout stage. Group E After drawing with Rangers in Scotland two weeks ago, Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi saw to it that [...]

Transfer Gossip: Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, West Ham, Barcelona, Juventus, Derby County, Chelsea

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Today's transfer rumours: Barcelona According to The Sun, Barcelona's Eidur Gudjohnsen could be set for a return to the Premier League with West Ham, Portsmouth and Manchester City all interested in signing the former Chelsea striker. Why he would want to leave the comfort of Barcelona's bench and the high wages is beyond me though. Arsenal Arsenal are watching [.

More Transfer Gossip: Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea

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More transfer rumours for today: Peter Crouch transfer saga Sven Goran-Eriksson today insists he's in love with Man City's fans. Expect to see him to shower his latest floozy with gifts - Michael Owen and Peter Crouch, for starters - before the paparazzi catch him cosying up to a younger, perkier set of fans by the end [...]

Sun setting in the East: African, Asian Champions Leagues Nearing Climax

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[I was planning on putting a picture of an attractive, scantily-clad Asian woman (here's to you, Masuimi Max), but that might drive you to Google more pictures of her, and distract you from the original purpose - reading this article. Maybe next time, eh?] While the Champions League is still going through its group stages, [...]

Broke For Your Team’s Next Away Game? If You’re a Reading fan, Not a Problem…

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It is a pretty well known fact in football that the bond between club and supporters is very tight one, especially in the English Premiership. This does not only apply to big successful clubs but also those which, despite having been in existence for quite some time, found their bit of glory and spot in [...]

Bayern Munich held by courageous Bolton

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Bolton weathered a second half onslaught from a Bayern Munich side inspired by the talismanic Franck Ribery to claim a highly impressive UEFA Cup point at the Allianz Arena tonight. Bayern would have intimidated anybody: a manager in Ottmar Hitzeld with 2 Champions League successes under his belt, a magnificent stadium and a glittering catalogue of [.

Champions League Matchday 4 Review: Can Liverpool join Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan in the 2nd round?

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The Champions League resumed this week, with an exciting week of matches in the fourth round of group stage matches. The highlight of the round, obviously, was Liverpool's record 8-0 win over hapless and helpless Besiktas, but there were 15 other matches as well. Below is a review of the results from Tuesday's [...]

Weekend Preview: The Wright To Remain Silent

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Advertisements rarely reflect real life. Take the long-running ad where an irritating couple attempt to arrange a £25,000 loan. When the bint turns to her slow-witted spouse and asks, "How much do we want to borrow again?" midway through the negotiations, the so-called male doesn't even attempt to administer the appropriate response to [...]

Game of the Weekend: Sunderland vs Newcastle United Preview

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I found it hard to pick my game of the weekend as there wasn't a stand-out fixture from the weekend's action. Although there is a decent game at Old Trafford I'm going to plum for the Tyne and Wear derby for this weekend's game. Sunderland Roy Keane's Black Cats are a well drilled side who will give [...]

Milan, Inter, Lazio and Roma take 10 out of 12 (Champions League Matchday 4)

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Matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League was pretty productive for Serie A teams: out of the 4 Italian clubs in contention (AC Milan, Inter Milan, Roma and Lazio), 3 managed to clinch away the victory. Only Roma had some trouble in their match against Sporting Lisbon, but the Giallorossi fought back valiantly to tie [...]

Manchester City’s Ishmael Miller making waves at the Hawthorns

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West Brom are looking to mount an automatic promotion push this season after failing at the final play-off hurdle against Derby County in May. They are currently unbeaten at home in the league, the Championship's top scorers, sit joint second in the table and claimed a notable victory over league leaders Watford on Saturday, routing [...]

Berbatov, Tottenham and Manchester United (Round #232093172)

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Berbatov's future is still the subject of furious debate, especially with press 'sources' (if that doesn't do a good job of hiding my disgust for the creative bullshit tabloids publish, nothing will) claiming that Berbatov had told Jol that he'd leave as well. Anyway, Martin Jol is gone and Juande Ramos, a man who [...]

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 Review

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Besides perennial irrelevance on the world stage, there are three things us football fans from the Third World can look forward to each year: decrepit stadium seats, cheap-looking replica jerseys and a bootleg copy of the latest installment in the Japanese Winning Eleven video game series by Konami Tokyo. Despite the splendor and sheen of [...]

Sheffield F.C. Celebrates Their 150th Anniversary

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Image courtesy of Wikipedia. On Thursday night, 08 November, the Inter Milan youth team will play a commemorative friendly against Sheffield F.C, who are the oldest club team in the world. The club celebrates their 150th anniversary this year, and the kick-off is 19:45 GMT at Bramall Lane. Interestingly, one of the protagonists of last year's World [.

Is the Carling Cup Growing in Reputation?

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Manchester City will play Tottenham Hotspur. Incidentally, I read one of the articles from a Spurs fan on Soccernet.com very recently and it made me laugh in some respects. Undoubtedly superbly written, how hard it must be ‘to have not won a trophy since 1999', not to mention having Arsenal as your biggest rivals as [...]

Top 100 Greatest Ever Footballers

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It's that time of the year again. The time when a random (ok, let's call it 'well-respected' if you prefer) football publication makes an "All Time Best" ranking that never fails to create controversy and offend a few people. FourFourTwo did one of those last month, this time it's the turn of the 'Association of [...]

Manchester City stutter to victory over Sunderland as Sven’s bandwagon rolls on

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Manchester City set a new record of 7 successive top-flight victories at home last night with victory over Sunderland at the City of Manchester Stadium by a solitary goal. It has been a virtue extolled by many that it's good to get goals from midfield, which the Citizens have done frequently this term, and last [...]

Liverpool v Besiktas - Preview and Live Blog

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Aah! Another fine night of Champions League football. Watching giants of football stick 7 goals past helpless defenses from countries that you didn't know existed really livens up a boring day. And so we head to Liverpool for the next round of the Champions League group stages. Last seasons losing finalists were expected to stroll through [...]

Will Bolton Go Down?

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Currently second last in the table with a single point more than Derby County and just one win in their twelve games, things are not looking good at all for Bolton Wanderers. With the ever loyal Nicolas Anelka (extreme sarcasm may be present) stressing every other day that he will probably be leaving Bolton in [...]

Why Blackburn Are Doing So Well This Season

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Blackburn Rovers have enjoyed an excellent start to this season's Premiership. Indeed it is the best start they've had since 1994/95 when they went on to take the title. So what exactly is it that the club is doing so well? When looking at the way the team is performing you have to start at the [...]

A Soccerlens News Update

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By now, most of you have heard about 'Football Media' - the network of sites we're building. Today's post covers the launch of two new blogs in the FM network plus an official announcement of what the network is about (and how you can join it). 1. WagSnatch - Bare Naked Footy WagSnatch is a football [...]

Transfer Gossip: Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Chelsea, West Ham, Manchester City, Everton, Sunderland, Bolton, Birmingham, Reading

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Today's transfer rumours, as well as the top transfer rumours since the end of the transfer season: Manchester United Manchester United and Newcastle are being linked with Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.The Finn is off contract in the summer and the News of the World says both United and Newcastle are monitoring his situation.If he is to [.

Champions League MatchDay 4 Preview: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea

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This week sees a huge week of Champion's League action for the English big four. Liverpool have a must-win game against Besiktas at Anfield, Schalke 04 host Chelsea, Dynamo Kiev visit Old Trafford to play an in-form Manchester United and Arsenal travel to the Czech Republic to play Slavia. Liverpool vs. Besiktas Obviously I'll start with my [...]

Harry Redknapp, David Moyes and Mark Hughes - A Tale of 3 Top Managers

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What with TV revenue swelling player salaries, takeovers galore and spiraling ticket prices, Premiership management has assumed the role of poisoned chalice in this day and age. The stakes are higher than ever: managers of the clubs coming under new control feel pressure to impress potential new owners or risk being jettisoned in preference for [...

Juventus 1- 1 Inter Milan, No Victor in the Derby d’Italia but Plenty of Entertainement

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Like the TLN commentators declared at the end of the game, "what a great hallmark for Serie A soccer". The much anticipated 'Derby d'Italia' ended on a tied 1-1 scoreline, but despite the fairly low goaltotal, the match sure wasn't devoid of excitement and beautiful plays. These were two teams well in control of their [...]

La Liga Week 11: Dirty Real Madrid lose to Sevilla as Barçelona close the gap

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Real Madrid began their game at Sevilla with the same eleven that had slaughtered Valencia in midweek. However, in the Sanchez Pizjuan they were outplayed by a Juandeless Sevilla team who are beginning to look like the team that has so impressed for the last two seasons. For the first fifteen minutes of an intense encounter [...]

What do Casillas, Torres, Ronaldo, Beckham, and Alan Smith have in common?

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According to Bobby Boswell, they're all mingers. Jokes apart, props to the gang at Kickette for snagging Bobby Boswell of DC United for an interview, I'm an idiot for missing this when it happened in early September (V, your fault for not telling me, really!), but I've found out now, so please go over to [...]

Which Star Player Would YOU Choose?

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All across the football world, be it in the floodlit stadiums of the English Premier League or the dusty streets of Brazil, good players are there to be found. Whether it's the fancy footwork of Cristiano Ronaldo; the pace and vision of Cesc Fabregas or the flair of Kaka, there have always been plenty of [...]

Who Will Host World Cup 2018?

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So with Brazil confirmed last week as the official hosts of the World Cup 2014, unsurprisingly seeing as they were the only bidders, attention has already started to turn to World Cup 2018. Several countries have put themselves forward for potentially hosting the World Cup in 11 years' time, including England, the United States, China, [...]

Benitez letting Liverpool down

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Blackburn v Liverpool the game in point. Excellent formation but wrong striker to carry out the job of lone front man. Peter Crouch's appearance hints at what could have been had he and not Kuyt started the game up front. His greater propensity to win 1st and 2nd balls would have allowed [...]

Didier Drogba hates Chelsea

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That's funny, he's been at Chelsea for 3 seasons and only now has the bitter taste in his mouth finally made him speak out. We know that Drogba wasn't very pleased with the departure of manager Jose Mourinho from Chelsea and since weeping in the corner isn't going to bring him back, it looks like [...]

Tottenham…Still Sucking

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As entertaining as it is to see two teams fight not to win a trophy next season (in effect, the Championship), there's something humiliating that Tottenham "this is our year" Hotspurs is one of the main contenders to leave the Premier League. How could things have gone so wrong? At least their draw against Middlesbrough edged [...]

Nothing But Nets: Humanitarian Diego Gutierrez of the Chicago Fire

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Image courtesy of Nothing But Nets. In a story discussed a few days ago by Steve Goff of the Washington Post and Soccer Insider, Diego Gutierrez of the Chicago Fire was named Major League Soccer (MLS) Humanitarian of the Year. Mr. Gutierrez, who is a native of Bogota, Colombia, is the spokesman for a very interesting cause [...]

Arsenal v Manchester United: Who’s Going Top?

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With so much hype happening before the match todays, is there really much that I can say that you don't already know? Why is today's game between Arsenal and Manchester United any different from their usual battles? Last season, Arsenal beat Manchester both home and away (much to my delight)...can we do it again? We could [...]

Did Tottenham Need To Sack Jol?

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This article is devil's advocate really on behalf of the Tottenham board. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that MARTIN JOL NEEDED TO BE SACKED – or jump before he was pushed, depending on the newspaper you read. Let's look at the start to the league season. 7 points in total, [...]

Arsenal Fans: Let’s Laugh At Cesc!

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I came across this on the Arsenal forum I visit a few minutes ago; enjoy. A few of you might remember something similar being done to Peter Crouch; the Photoshop pros were bored over the weekend and this time it's Cesc Fabregas, and his frenetic celebration in the Arsenal v Liverpool that is the victim. The [...]

Elano Blumer - Another Manchester City Legend-in-Making

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Submitted by Soccerlens reader and Manchester City fan 'Anthony'. It is fair to state that Manchester City have had more than a few electrifying players who have lit up the English divisions down the years. Think Ali Bernabia, think cultured Algerian midfielder with staggering vision, allied with the ability to execute a pass from his repertoire [.

Weekend Predictions: Arsenal - Chelsea - Liverpool - Tottenham - Manchester United - Newcastle United - Manchester City - Fulham - Aston Villa - Bolton Wanderer

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I've never been particularly lucky in love. As a result of a severe lack of confidence, I can only approach women after a skinful of lager when the beer goggles are on. Even Kermit would have turned his nose up at some of the pigs I've tried my luck with. I raised the bar [...]

Arsenal vs Manchester United: Let battle commence!

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This weekend a battle will commence at 12.45 GMT in North London between two of the nations oldest rivals. Arsenal, one of the most successful clubs in the Premier League's history, will lock horns with the most successful club in the Premier League's history – Manchester United. In what is always a mouth watering fixture [...]

La Liga Week 10: Real Madrid humiliate Valencia and go four points clear

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Real Madrid increase their lead to four points at the top of the Spanish league after a superb 1-5 win over Valencia. Madrid have now scored five on visits to two of the better teams in Spain: Valencia and Villarreal, while they seem to have problems against the weaker teams. Rivals Barcelona could do no [...]

Liverpool View: It’s Either Good Buy! or Goodbye! for Benitez

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Managers live and die by the players they buy. That has a nice ring to it but is ominously true in the high powered money stakes of the Premiership these days. For the teams in contention or capable of being in contention there is little margin for error. If you are delivering silverware you can get [...]

SquadGod Week 11

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15 hours (or so) to go before gameweek 11 starts on SL fantasy football, so if you haven't checked in and made the changes, now's the time to do so. Below: This week's top 10, weekend picks and some info on the big game of the weekend. Top 10 Taron, 1320 Al Nino, 1296 LOK16, 1275 jimmyriddler, 1265 Vebor, 1258 llango, 1252 RedGlory, [...]

Bayern Munich Watch - High Expectations & Eintracht Preview

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According to unconfirmed sources Master Yoda was thought to have been seen pal around with Herr Doll, one of the few survivors of the Eastern Empire, minutes before kick-off time and we are likely to be given credit for the story. Particularly, because the other possibility is that our preview became known among miners of [...]

Is the Carling Cup a Load of Shite?

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Yesterday's Carling Cup ties threw up a bunch of surprising moments but the end results were quite predictable: Arsenal never stepped out of second gear against a mediocre Sheffield United side, Liverpool grabbed a win after a Stevie G winner while even Spurs, who have a habit of faltering against lower teams nicked a comfortable win [...]

ALL October Transfer Rumours: Manchester United - Liverpool - Arsenal - Tottenham - Chelsea - Newcastle United - Juventus - AC Milan - Barcelona - Lyon - Everto

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Soccerlens reader shahryarnoon has compiled a comprehensive list of transfer rumours for the month of October 2007. Have a look, and add your rumours to the comments section if you think he's missed something. Manchester United The most surprising name linked to Manchester United is that of Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho, whose situation at Barcelona is being [.

Kaka vs Ronaldo, Morality vs Results

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When FIFA unveiled its nominees for its 2007 World Player of the Year award, there were some grunts and groans. It may seem obvious to reiterate that some of the most influential, important, and talented players were left out for others that failed to achieve similar greatness (Cannavaro and not Totti? Lampard but no Ibrahimovic? [...]

South Park Quiz: Who’s That Footballer?

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A Dutch site (crack linkbait fellas, well done) has put together a competition where they're asking you to guess the names of 28 South Park 'characters'. The twist is that these are modeled after actual players, and if you're as culturally (read footballing-wise) uneducated as me, you'll have some trouble in getting all the [...]

Sporting Directors - Good or Bad for Football Clubs?

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Tottenham's experiments with a sporting director has led many Premier League fans to question the wisdom of having such a figure at the club when his raison d'etre - to be the bridge between the manager and the board - has the potential to cause friction at the club. However, the reality is that [...]

Half-Time: Arsenal 0-1 Manchester United, 3 Nov 2007, Live Blog

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Refresh the page to get the latest updates. Send in your comments via email here or post a note in the comments on this article. Half-Time: Manchester United lead 1-0 at the Emirates thanks to a Rooney goal. Overall the half had Arsenal dominating in terms of aggression but United were quite good in [...]