SoccerLens Archives for January 2007

How & Why Chelsea Lost The Title This Season

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During the season, we always talked about why this was a completely wrecked campaign. We've experienced all those Murphy's laws in just one season. I've just grouped below the major reasons in my opinion, that have resulted in Chelsea ending up 6 points lesser than Man Utd. Injuries

Newcastle - Rozenhal, Round, Forde and Taylor in

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Here are the major news stories associated with the Newcastle club for today - in no particular order of priority. The news today is that we finally signed David Rozehnal from PSG for around £3M - announced late yesterday afternoon. Also reports today that Edmilson wants £80K/week at Newcastle - and we analyze that story. Also Sam [...]

Sportingo Acquires CaughtOffside

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My good friend Chris Toy, owner of Caught Offside (the blog that brings you the world of football bare naked with a pinch of salt) has sold his soul to Sportingo in exchange for a chance at footballing immortality. Personally, I wasn't a big fan of Sportingo before this acquisition - and I'm still not [...]

Manchester United 2007/2008 Home Kit

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It's official folks. We finally have the official pictures from Manchester United showcasing the new 2007/2008 home kit (due to launch on 1st August in the game against Inter Milan, methinks). What can we say about the kit? It's all red, with the United crest on the right and the Nike swoosh on the left. The [...]

And the Premiership’s greatest player is…

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On Monday I asked everyone who they thought was the Premiership's greatest player ever. There were plenty of varied responses, but the votes centered around a handful of players (I've listed them below). Some very interesting observations were made as well - one of the key ones being that any such list is 'striker-heavy' because [...]

Is Bent really worth more than Henry?

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Over the past week many Arsenal fans have been shocked to hear that their 'greatest ever' was sold for the 'miserable' fee of £16.1m. Meanwhile the rest of England was equally shocked to hear that former Charlton striker Darren Bent commanded a higher transfer fee (£16.5m) than the Arsenal legend. And although it is obvious [...]

The US need to learn the lessons taught by Argentina, fast

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Last Sunday, Team USA was a champion. How quickly things can change. Argentina and the United States played a very even first half, but the best team eventually came out on top. And they did it in a big way, scoring 3 beautiful goals to put away the United States 4-1. It was the first loss [...]

Newcastle hamstrung by Owen and Martins release clauses

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Here are the major news stories associated with the Newcastle club for today - in no particular order of priority. The news today is that Sam Allardyce is having multiple troubles with the release clauses in Owen's and Martins' contracts. There is also an exclusive in the Sun that Manchester United are after Michael in a [...]

Cracking the OFM code

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If you haven't already, go on and sign up for OFM. I think I've finally figured out how to win in OFM (online football manager). There were several strategies mentioned in the comments section of the previous report but I think that: you need to develop your own strategy based on the players you have you should [...]

Did Tottenham and Liverpool over-pay for Bent and Torres?

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Sweet justice? Reality bites? Tottenham get Bent for 16.5 mil, Liverpool are reported to have agreed a 27m deal with Atletico Madrid for Fernando Torres. For two clubs who have roundly berated the top two sides in the Premiership for 'buying' the title, what will they say now? As Tottenham finalise a deal with Charlton to bring [...]

Coventry City 2007/2008 Home Kit

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Sponsored by Puma, the new Coventry City 07/08 home shirt is supposed to be an exercise in ultra-modern design and latest cutting edge technology. The first thing fans will notice about the new shirt is the silver metallic style panels with a subtle sheen, while the piping is dark navy and the main blue [...]

Fulham 2007/2008 Away Kit

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After the unveiling of their 07/08 home kit (a triebute to the 1903 season), Fulham have continued the tradition by bringing out a black and red striped away shirt for the coming season. The black and red strip is homage to the 74/75 side that reached the FA Cup final. I like the away kit more [...]

Copa America, Day Two: Brazil lose to Mexico

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Well I have to say its good that I'm suffering from insomnia these days, it has allowed me to catch the Copa America on satellite. At two o'clock in the morning I tuned in to watch a a Chilean squad that just wouldn't go down; a match that would have been much forgotten if Nelson [...]

Madrid sack Capello, the fools…

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Just eleven days after winning their 30th Spanish league title, Real Madrid have announced that Fabio Capello will not continue as first team coach next season. Madrid's board of directors met at lunchtime today to finalize their decision. It is difficult to understand how any club can get rid of their manager/coach after winning the [...]

Tottenham vs Liverpool, Bent vs Torres - who’s getting the better deal?

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The big news yesterday (painfully fabricated pieced together using old quotes and selective memory) was that of Liverpool making their play for Fernando Torres, seemingly leaving rivals Man Utd in their wake. Today's grand news (after Capello's ridiculous sacking and Coleman's semi-ridiculous signing) is that Tottenham are close to getting Bent. Considering that both clubs (Liverpool [.

Arsenal after Martins, Newcastle plan for Geremi and Beye

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Here are the major news stories associated with the Newcastle club for today - in no particular order of priority. The news today is that Arsenal are said to be after Oba Martins via his release clause of £13M. We're not sure if Martins will leave - but it's basically up to him. The same is [...]

Is Liverpool the right move for Mihaylov?

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Rafa is going goalkeeping crazy. First it was young Aussie Dean Bouzanis, then he reeled back Scott Carson and now he forks out the dosh for Nikolay Mihaylov? I have mixed thoughts about it. First, who is Mihaylov? An U-21 Bulgarian International who copped 5 goals against Scotland in the Kirin Cup (Japan) and who [...]

USA Copa America: What To Look For

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In the coming days and weeks, Team USA will play in the Copa America Tournament. Here are some of the things we as fans should look for. 1. How will Team USA respond to the hostile environment? In this tournament, they will be the team to root against, no matter who is playing against them. [...]

Newcastle Show Interest In Beye, Geremi and Shorey

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With the latest news on Newcastle being that some Board-Room stability may now be in place with four Directors having resigned and owner Mike Ashley bringing in two of his own (non-executive Director Steve Hayward and Vice-Chairman Chris Mort), things are now in place for a big push on the playing side of things. Newcastle Owner [...]

Copa America kicks off (news roundup)

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The Copa America kicked-off yesterday in Venezuela with a couple of less than important matches and a colorful opening ceremony. The Pueblo Nuevo Stadium in San Cristóbal hosted a huge fireworks display and dancers dressed in Venezuelan national colors to mark the start of the competition, held in Venezuela for the first time. The [...]

Evaluating Manchester United’s Striker Situation

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A quick roundup of the news surrounding Manchester United in the last couple of days. Needless to say it's been quiet since that day and despite the rumours linking United to strikers and player sales (including the ridiculous Smith and Rossi rumours), Manchester United are not as much in the spotlight as Liverpool, Arsenal and [...]

Newcastle after Baye, Sam has keys to the vault

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Here are the major news stories associated with the Newcastle club for today - in no particular order of priority. The news today is that Sam Allardyce has been given a £50M war chest to bring in new players. He will be supported in this over the next two months by Freddy Shepherd and new Vice-Chairman [...]

Football kits - building the 07/08 collection

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Hey guys, I'm sure you've seen the football kits section and the 07/08 premiership kits page on SL by now. Before the month is over I want to do 2 things: One, to complete the 07/08 premiership kits page and put up all the home and away kits for the Premiership on that page. Two, to put [...]

Who’s on your shitlist?

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A few days ago I asked SL readers to name the sites they visit and the sites they hate because of their rumours. This whole thing ties up with a discussion (see comments section of that page) we had a long time ago on SL about unreliable football news sources. The outcome? We now have [...]

Why did Klose and Henry leave?

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So - Klose is off to Bayern. Henry is off to Barcelona. I don't quite know why, but these two headlines got me worked up. The thing is - I just don't get why they're leaving. On top of that, I don't get how both players seem to have had the feeling that they had the undeniable [...]

Bayern’s summer buys are scary

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I don't know about you guys, but reading the list of players Bayern have brought in so far this summer makes me happy that United aren't playing in the Bundesliga. Miroslave Klose, Luca Toni, Franck Ribery, Ze Roberto, Jose Ernesto Sosa, Marcell Jansen, Jan Schlaudraff and Hamit Altintop. Bayern have spent around 70m Euros and to [...]

Who will Eriksson bring to Manchester City?

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News is filtering in today that Sven Goran Eriksson - he of England fame (and a respectable club management career before that) - has agreed in principle to manage Manchester City in a 3 year deal. It's part of a 3-year plan by Thaksin (as alluded to in earlier comments) to turn Manchester City [...]

Newcastle bag Rozehnal but lose Bakri to Arsenal

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Here are the major news stories associated with the Newcastle club for today - in no particular order of priority. The news today is that the David Rozehnal passed his medical last night at St. James' Park and should sign for the club today. Also whether Freddy Shepherd stays at the club is still being awaited [...]

Chelsea player ratings - 2006/2007

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BlueChampions.com has an excellent report rating all Chelsea players for their performances in the 2006/07 season. You can catch the Chelsea report card here, but there were some observations that I wanted to make: Petr Cech - I'd give him a 9 instead of 10. Outstanding, but not perfect. Mikel - 7 instead of 9. He has [...]

Gabriele Marcotti’s top 50 footballers

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Unlike the Fink Tank list of the Premiership's best players in 2006/2007, Gabriele Marcotti's list of top 50 footballers has two advantages: One, its personal opinion and as such you are not going to get something that's 100% concurrent with your own. With the Fink Tank list, we expected the statistics to confirm what our [...]

Selling Henry will help Arsenal be a better team

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There was a time, 2 years ago and more, when the thought of Henry leaving Arsenal had me in a cold sweat. He was at that time Mr Arsenal, everything that made us who we were and epitomized the football we played. Add to that the presence on the field and those amazing goals, I [...]

Newcastle board to resign / we need more defenders / 11 Dicks on the field

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Here are the major news stories associated with the Newcastle club for today - in no particular order of priority. The news today is that the Newcastle Board of Directors are meeting this morning and we expect all Board Members to resign except Freddy Shepherd - who will be given a new role under Ashley's new [...]

Premiership’s best young talent, club by club

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English Premiership squads are full of exciting young talent just waiting to be given the opportunity to prove themselves in the first-team, but who do you think is your team's most valuable asset? Teams like Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool obviously have no end to the talent in their youth and reserve teams, but what [...]

Who is the Premiership’s greatest player ever?

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Who would you put on your list of the greatest Premiership players? Thierry Henry? Eric Cantona? Alan Shearer? There is some ambiguity surrounding the meaning of 'great', so I'll specify it as that player who had the most positive impact on his team's fortunes over an extended period of time, in the Premiership. Note that we're [...]

Classic Henry Pic

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Love the hair, love the reminder that players are human and that Henry, for all his goals and class, is still only 30 and in any other world, would be one of the boys. I wonder if he still has that boombox? big thanks to Pies for putting this up.

Can Carson replace Reina as Liverpool’s top keeper?

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So there has been much hype about young Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson, with Rafa Benitez vouching that the young guy will give Liverpool's #1 Pepe Reina a good run for his money in the upcoming Premiership season. Question remains, will he replace Reina? I had a hard time trying to scratch up some footage on Carson, [...]

Ashley to kick out Newcastle board

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Here are the major news stories associated with the Newcastle club for today - in no particular order of priority. The news today is that the Newcastle Board of Directors are being asked to resign but Chairman Freddy Shepherd will stay in place. The Sunday Sun this morning is reporting that Mike Ashley has asked the current [...]

Best Football Region?

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If we split the Premiership into four areas, north west, north east, midlands and south, which area could put out the best premiership 11? I personally think it would be the north west closely followed by the south- inc. London - (but I am from the NW so I may be biased). Please put forward your picks [...]

Ref Watch: Damir Skomina, Euro U21 Final

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This article is an analysis of a referee's performance during a game (based on my personal opinion). I watched the Holland vs Serbia European U-21 Championship final closely and took notes on how many good and bad calls the referee made and who was generally favored. There were a few guidelines I laid down [...]

Arsenal’s Henry-shaped demons point to a Fabless future

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Ok, let's have it - anyone who wants to bitch about the headline, just do it right now - come on, go down to the comments, scream 'cunt' and come back up. I'm waiting... Back? This article is going to look at Arsenal's future from the perspective of a Manchester United fan - from someone [...]

Newcastle after Bent, Rozehnal in for 4 years

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Here are the major news stories associated with the Newcastle club for today - in no particular order of priority. The news today is the Mirror is reporting we are after Darren Bent of Charlton - and we feel that can only be true if Owen and/or Martins will be leaving the club in the transfer [...]

How will Henry fit in at Barça?

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Let's make a couple of things clear to begin with. First is that Samuel Eto'o is not going to leave FC Barcelona this summer, the player has no desire to leave and Laporta and Txiki Beguiristain have both stated that they want him to stay. Second, Rijkaard is not going to change the system to [...]

Manchester United update: Rossi vs Nani, no Quagliarella and and next year’s lineup and formations

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Here are the Man Utd stories of the last couple of days, some of which include some more videos of Rossi and Nani, a comprehensive analysis of next season's probable formations, Ferdinand, Torres, Quagliarella,Fergie Jr and more. 1. We feature clips from youtube that showed glimpses of talents like Rossi and Nani in the U21 championship [...]

USA Copa America 2007 Roster: A JOKE!

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The USSF just doesn't get it. I understand that winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup gives us the opportunity to play in the Confederations Cup in 2009. So I get why we sent our strongest team to the tournament. Now that the Gold Cup is almost over, it is time to put out the roster [...]

Analyzing Chelsea’s new transfer strategy

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In stark contrast to vast spending sprees of the past four summers, Chelsea has decided not to bring in another set of overpriced superstars. They have instead focused on bringing good, but not spectacular, players in on free transfers. Naturally, many questions have been raised by this sudden change in the club's transfer policy; however [...]

I hope Henry is not leaving

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We've been talking about it for an year now, but when I read the headlines 20 minutes ago it felt like a punch to the gut - surely Henry would not turn his back on Arsenal, and surely Wenger would not have sanctioned such a move? The newswires are flooded with the story, so kudos [...]

5 reasons why Thaksin is bad for Manchester City

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From the outset I'll say two things - one, that this is a friday rant and as such it's meant to poke fun at someone and two, relax guys, it's not as if I'm mortally wounding you guys. Take a reality check, step back, try to enjoy it and if you can't, well, piss [...]

Newcastle United 2007-2008 Away Kit

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Here are the new away strips for Newcastle United for next season. Modeling the strips are Joey Barton, Michael Owen and of course Shay Given. They are in the light blue colors of Newcastle - and we think the new strip looks classy. The strips are a good contrast to our black and [...]

Newcastle in blue stealth as they chase Smith, Young, Rozehnal and fret over Martins

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Today's major Newcastle United stories - Alan Smith all tied up by Big Sam, Martins rumoured to be a liar and there's a bit about Newcastle being after some defenders. The Daily Mirror has 'broken' the news that Newcastle have tied up Alan Smith from Manchester United for 3.5m and that they failed to get [...]

David Jones - from the Premiership and back

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There are some players who you know are destined to be quiet, efficient, quality players. Not world-class, but not prima donnas, mediocre or utter tosh either. David Jones is such a player - and from what I've seen in the last year, he will be one of the driving forces behind Derby's bid to [...]

Sunderland Home Kit 2007/2008

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Oh look, another kit post! This time it's Sunderland, back to the Premiership with a bang (from nowhere to champions, Keano is God, Sunderland will finish above the dirty mags and all that (no, the last bit isn't true, although it's possible)) and after putting out an decent away kit, they now have a [...]

4 short questions for SL readers

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A few questions for SL readers today, so hopefully you'll take out 5 minutes to answer them. 1. List your top 5 footy news sources. 2. List the 3 football blogs (not news sites) you visit most often. 3. List the 3 football forums (not news sites or blogs) you visit most often. 4. Which news sites [...]

Eto’s not going to Liverpool or Arsenal / Barcelona player-by-player season review

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A quick look at recent news coming out of Barcelona, courtesy of our new Barca blog. If you read nothing else, check out the player by player review, which is an excellent piece of work by N. 1. Laporta emphasizes that Eto'o, Ronaldinho and Rijkaard will stay at Barcelona for next season. If they do, [...]

Martins attacked plus update on Newcastle’s defender search

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A quick look at the top news stories for Newcastle United, as reported by our Newcastle United blog. The big news today is the shocking attack by masked gunmen on Oba Martins and his friend in Lagos, Nigeria on Monday evening. 1. Terrible attack on Newcastle striker Oba Martins in Lagos, Nigeria on Monday [...]

Arsenal fans turn on Henry, Manchester United fans turn on Ruud

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Generally, football fans are loyal to a fault. But sometimes, we're fickle, us football fans. We tear our heroes down savagely, without remorse. Or worse, we forget our love for them, allowing our memories to be corrupted by deception staged by the media and sometimes our own clubs. Two recent examples of this behaviour - [...]

Rossi / Nani Videos, United transfer update, Nani lookalike

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Guys, this should be a regular feature (hopefully) here on Soccerlens where we give you brief roundups on our sister site Red Rants. For those who aren't aware, it's our new Manchester United blog. So hardcore United fans, head over to that site. Non-United fans are also welcome, but be careful if you plan on [...]

Which English player is worth 17m or more?

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Darren Bent's ludicrous / ridiculous 17m price tag (and the thought that West Ham might have been willing to pay that much) is proof enough that England clubs are being fleeced over English players. I wouldn't imagine any European club picking up Bent for 10m, let alone 17m. Think of Berbatov - 10.75m - and [...]

Fifa World Rankings Review (June 2007)

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Let me start by saying that these rankings should not be taken too seriously. They will not predict for you which team would win a specific match-up. It is best seen as a general marker of how a squad has fared in recent international play, and despite its revision in July 2006, I am sure [...]

New Barcelona blog

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many congratulations to Nig for getting started at his new home for his Barca blog - Nig, if you remember, has written on SL a couple of times and is a crazy Barca fan (is there any other kind?). Check the new blog out, hope you guys like the design and if you're looking [...]

Can Manchester City afford Thaksin and Eriksson running the show?

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Whether you think Sven Goran Eriksson has a good record in football management or not is irrelevant (and if your eyes deceive, see the damning statistics that confirm him as average) - what really bothers me at the moment is the thought that Manchester City are being bought by a man singled out for [...]

Birmingham City FC 2007-2008 Away Kit

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Birmingham City have released pictures of their new 2007/2008 away kit, and surprise surprise, it's white with a tinge of blue (as opposed to the blue with white on it). Yay. As you take the time to compare the home and away kits - go ahead, open them up side by side and compare em - [...]

Derby County - New Crest

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This one is late but I thought I should put this up as well. Derby County recently released a new crest to commemorate their first season back in the Premiership. Or, to quote the BBC announcement: This is the new Derby County crest to mark the return of Premiership football to Pride Park. The logo will appear [...]

European Golden Boot Standings - 2006/2007

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Last Updated: 19th June 2007 Francesco Totti is the 2006/2007 Golden Boot winner, scoring 52 points and finishing 1 goal ahead of Real Madrid's Ruud van Nistelrooy and a point ahead of Afonso Alves. Freddie Kanoute and Didier Drogba led the standings back in February but a late surge by the Italian and the Dutchman [...]

David Beckham: Coming soon to a store near you!

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Here's to hoping that David Beckham is enjoying his first championship with La Liga's Real Madrid. After 4 years with the Spanish league giants, Beckham leaves on a high note after a tumultuous fourth season with the club. Back in January, he signed a huge $250 million dollar deal with the LA Galaxy after he [...]

Is Keith Lamb Ruining Middlesbrough Football Club?

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Keith Lamb, the Middlesbrough Football Club Chief Executive, has been associated with the Boro now for many years (ever since the clubs liquidation in 1986). In the past, he has been partly responsible for such illustrious signings as Juninho, Fabrizio Ravanelli and Gaizka Mendieta, arguable some of the club's highest-profile signings in Boro history.

Money and the Premier$hip

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Last time I delved into the growing discrepancy in talent between the top teams in the world and everyone else. I offered nothing in terms of solutions in that article and I hope to remedy that in this one. Introduction Money may be the root of all evil, but in the world of football money [...]

Goalkeeper training and the G-Code

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How many of you self-styled armchair critics play football yourselves? Not many, eh? Thought so. For those souls who play football, I'm sure you understand the value of sports fitness and the specific training that's required. With that in mind, there's a training manual that can tell you exactly what you need to know about training [...]

Chelsea’s sour grapes

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Money, it is often said, makes the world go around. That aphorism might or might not be entirely true, but one thing is for sure; it has most certainly turned Chelsea's fortunes on its head. From a club wallowing in debt and sliding precariously towards bankruptcy to one that now boasts a squad chock-full of [...]

Campeones, pero sin dormirse en los laureles

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I am fully aware that Mallorca are actually called "Real Mallorca". For simplicity's sake, and in order to avoid repeating "Madrid", I have used "Real" to refer to "Real Madrid", as is often the practice in the English media. With stars such as Rafa Nadal (a true champion) and Tom Cruise in attendance, Real Madrid [...]

La Liga finale - preview

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By eleven o'clock this evening we will know who is this season's La Liga champions. Real Madrid begin the day in poll position, knowing that a victory at home to Mallorca will bring them their first trophy in four years regardless of what happens elsewhere. Madrid will be hoping to gain a two goal cushion [...]

Last call for writers

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Last Sunday, I issued a call for writers on SL, and the response was very positive. There were several quality articles submitted to SL and as a result I think we've gained 2-3 good contributors for the long term. If you missed out last Sunday or if you didn't get a chance to contribute to [...]

Serie A Transfers Update

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Here's a list of the Serie A transfers conducted so far (Summer 2007): Alvarez (Defender, Nacional) to REGGINA Babu' (Striker, Verona) to CATANIA Balzaretti (Defender, Juventus) to FIORENTINA Barusso (Midfielder, Rimini) to ROMA Bellucci (Striker, Bologna) to SAMPDORIA Criscito (Defender, Genoa) to JUVENTUS Del Nero (Midfielder, Brescia) to LAZIO Eleftheropoulos (Goalkeeper, Ascoli) to SIENA Falcone (Defender, Sampdoria) to PARMA Floro Flores (Striker, Arezzo) to UDINESE Grygera [.

What Do We Do With Adu?

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I live in a suburb of Washington D.C. As punishment for this, I have had to endure all of the ridiculous hype revolving around Freddy Adu. And I'll admit, I was drawn in just like everyone else. If you had asked me in 2004, I would have assured you that "14-year-old" Freddy [...]

Online Football Manager - 2 weeks on

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Ok guys, I need help. For the last 2 weeks or so, I've been playing OFM - online football manager - and to be honest, I haven't been able to crack the system. I'm more used to the Fifa 07 type games, where you have to go on and win the game yourself. Football Manager I [...]

Did Sheffield United violate Rule U18?

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Graham, a SL reader, asks if the contractual stipulation that prevented Steve Kabba from playing for Watford against Sheffield United was a breach of FAPL's rule U18. For previous discussions on the subject, please read this and this - both articles discuss the initial Commission findings and the problems with those findings. Rule U18, if you [...]

Arsenal and Arsene made a big mistake with Henry

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This is a rant, and a step away from how I usually talk on this site, so take it with a grain of salt I have the utmost respect for Arsene Wenger. Guys like him are legends - you end of talking about them for decades afterwards. But there are times that we forget that managers [...]

Football Betting Survey - your chance to win a £50 free bet

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The following offer is brought to you by easyodds.com If you're interested in football betting (or odds in general - Azar and Jade, take note) then you'd like to read this offer by easyodds.com: Win a £50 free bet by completing a survey about football Let easyodds.com know your thoughts about sport and betting and win a [...]

Are “lucky winners” good for football?

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Anyone who follows the German Bundesliga will know that VfB Stuttgart won the league this year. As an avid fan of this (wonderful, magnificent, gracious) team, I was naturally delighted. But from an objective perspective, how is it even possible that a team which honestly no one thought had a fighting chance of even reaching [...]

Microchips, Replays and Soccer: Should the Refs go High-Tech?

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The beautiful game has to be arguably one of, if not the most difficult to succesfully ‘ref'. In essence, 4 men have about 9,600 sq. yards of pitch, 22 players never standing still and, most notably, very few breaks in play. Given these odds against, is it any wonder that just about any game one [...]

West Ham 2007/2008 Home Kit - Official Pics

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West Ham have, in partnership with kit manufacturers Umbro and XL (who offer cheap flights and cheap holidays to the Caribbean, in case you're interested), have released their new home kit for 2007/2008. The Umbro kits have been quality this summer and West Ham's kit is no exception. The claret and blue contrast is well-done, [...]

Should Manchester United pick up Quagliarella?

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Everyday I open up Google News, and I run my usual searches: Bayern Munich (just so I can get my cousin's nagging of my back) and of course, Man Utd & Manchester United. I have to run both spellings just in case; we don't want to miss anything big, like this stroke of genius from [...]

Reading FC 2007/2008 Away Shirt

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Reading FC have revealed their new 2007/2008 Away shirt, and it is pure Reading, no doubt about it. Not much to say about the kit (see image below) except that the full release for the Reading 07/08 away kit will be on 7th July, although you can, as usual, pre-order the gray-and-gray kit right now. Looking [...]

Manchester United are NOT trading Pique for Gudjohnsen

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Welcome to the rumour busters edition of our transfer news and rumours column Football hacks must be getting bored with Manchester United - Hargreaves, Nani and Anderson (links are to ManUtd.com features, so go have a look) coming in, SAF splashing the cash and United winning the title. So someone came up with this hair-brained idea [...]

Arsenal 2007/2008 3rd / European Kit

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Note: The official Arsenal away kit for 2007/2008 is here. From Arseblog (who's quoting this danish website), here's the possible new Arsenal 07/08 3rd kit that will be used in Europe and in some away matches. The similarity to Barcelona's kit colors is striking and...well, jokes apart, probably not the best color combination for Arsenal [...]

Premiership 2007/2008 Fixtures Released

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I'm tempted to copy-paste the full Premiership 07/08 fixture list here, but what will all the chopping and changing it will go through, I'm not sure there's any point in doing so. However, I'm sure there's a lot to discuss - such as which title contender has the easiest start to the season, who has [...]

Juventus 2007 Summer Transfers Update

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Juventus have completed the transfers of Argentinean Gabriel Milito of Real Zaragoza and Italian World Cup Champion Vincenzo Iaquinta of Udinese. The transfers are not yet official, but it has been confirmed that Udinese and Juve, have agreed a fee, with Iaquinta having passed the medicals and signing the contract. The details, however, have not [.

Should Robinho be allowed to celebrate with Real Madrid?

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The club vs country debate The ongoing dispute between Brazil and Real Madrid (the two most successful sides at international and club level), recently resolved in Real Madrid's favor, has once again brought this issue into the spotlight. With the G14 suing the organizing bodies, and clubs in several countries demanding compensation for players severely injured [.

The death of football

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The headline may be a bit sensationalist, but hidden away beneath the increasing revenues and global popularity of the sport is a deeply disturbing trend which may spell trouble for the beautiful game. The Class System An informal class system is readily apparent across the major leagues in Europe and the gap between the top teams and [...]

Chelsea 2007/2008 Away Kit - Official Pics

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Update: The Chelsea 2007/2008 away kit has been fully unveiled and the images are at the end of this article (much thanks to reader / contributor Giacomo (GT) for sending these in). The big surprise? Chelsea are going with electric yellow for the away kit. This is easily the boldest kit around, and while [...]

Should Manchester United stick with Rossi?

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Brian Lomax over at redrants.com asks if it would be a better idea to try Rossi as a starting option at Manchester United next season (at the very least he should start the first game against Reading (see the Man Utd 07/08 fixture list)) instead of splashing the cash on Huntelaar or Torres or [...]

Smith: I’ll leave Manchester United if they sell me

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I have a brilliant idea - why don't these football players actually STOP speaking with News of the World and The Sun? That would cut down on 1/4th of the crap news we hear, and perhaps 20-30% of the blog posts generated around that crap news. Excluding this one, of course. So what did Smith 'actually' [...]

My Football Club - nice idea, won’t work

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My Football Club is an initiative to "give football back to the fans" by allowing them to buy a football club and become equal owners. Once (if) a club is purchased, you get an equal vote on team selections, transfers and kits / kit sponsors. Fantastic idea in theory - the mere thought of fans [...]

Real Madrid 2007/08 Kits

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Ed's note:These are the mockups for the 2007/2008 Real Madrid kit and not the official designs. When the official Real Madrid 07/08 kit is released, we'll add those pictures here. With the Spanish season is closely coming to an end and with only one match to go, Adidas have announced that they will reveal next season [...]

Why would the world’s 5th richest man go after Birmingham City?

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Soccernet (blame them if it's not true, not us) is running the following story: World's fifth richest man eyes Birmingham Indian-born billionaire Lakshmi Mittal - the fifth richest man in the world - has emerged as a contender to buy Premiership club Birmingham. While Birmingham City fans crap themselves in disbelief and do all sorts of [...]

David Villa Or Fernando Torres? Who would you pick?

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Seems to be that these two are being compared to each other constantly, always linked with moves to the Premiership. We've looked at both players and what they have to offer - read up and then offer your views (and pick) in the comments. David Villa is often linked with Chelsea (beginning of last season and [...]

Fink Tank falls to the tyranny of numbers

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This is around 2 weeks late, but try as I might, I can't resist poking holes in it. On May 29th, The Times (the online version) proudly announced the Fink Tank Premiership Player ratings. Fans from all Premiership clubs (with the exception perhaps of Chelsea and Manchester United fans) criticised the ratings, calling them all [...]

Why Paul Scholes won’t leave Manchester United for Sunderland

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It is widely rumored that Roy Keane is set to lure former Manchester United team mates Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt to The Stadium of Light. With Joey Barton heading to Newcastle, Butt is likely to slide down the pecking order for midfield places, and could be tempted by Keane's offer, regardless of talk he is [...]

Kia Joorabchian, Tevez, West Ham and third-party contracts

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A Soccerlens reader (thanks WP) mailed me a link to this article on Kia Joorabchian and Carlos Tevez and pointed something out which I thought would be interesting to talk about, despite the fact that it's almost a month old now. It's interesting because I think Kia's right - that the MSI - West Ham [...]

Fernando Torres watch: Manchester United or Liverpool?

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Fernando Torres has arguably been one of the most talked about upcoming stars in the game. His blistering pace, his deadly finishing and as described by Spanish Coach Luis Aragones he "never scores two goals the same" referring to his versatility and remarkable keenness on the pitch. These attributes have seen him being constantly linked [...]

Why Liverpool Fans Are Silently Livid!

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As a lifelong Liverpool fan I have to admit that this summer, contrary to what one might have expected, scares me more than I can remember. The reason is this: While we are now rich we are acting as those who do not know how to spend our new-found money. In America they call [...]

Football in South Africa

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This article is for people who are curious about how football is perceived in South Africa, how the 2010 World Cup will change things in South Africa, why crime won't be an issue and whether Benni MCarthy will ever play for SA again (all from a South African's point of view). Football or soccer depending on [...]

Landon Donovan: the shadow the US team can’t live without

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As many US Mens National Team (US Mens National Team) fans will tell you, Landon Donovan is far and away our best player. He possesses all the talent in the world, and yet he is also viewed as the player most likely to disappear at the worst possible time. We all remember the 2006 [...]

The Hand of Messi

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Leo Messi continues to emulate the great Diego Maradona. However, unlike his wonder-goal in the cup against Getafe, Messi's effort in scoring his first goal against Espanyol was not so praiseworthy. Messi clearly handled the ball into the net just as Maradona did against England in that memorable World Cup Quarter-Final in Mexico. No doubt [...]

Sam Still Seeking New Players for Newcastle United

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We expect Sam to sign Joey Barton (pending), Ben Haim, David Rozehnal, Derek Boateng and Leighton Baines – probably in that order and think most of these are tied up. Of course we already have Mark Viduka in the bag and expect Ben Haim and Rosehnal to be announced as Newcastle United players early next [...]

Why Heinze leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid makes sense

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With continuous speculation about Heinze moving to Real Madrid (or even Barcelona) the question has come up, will he move ? The answer has to be yes. At Manchester United Gabriel Heinze has to fight off the competition of experienced players like Patrice Evra and Mikael Silvestre, both of whom have signed long-term contracts at Manchester [...]

The best and worst of Manchester United’s season

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Manchester United's season was a big success - Premiership champions, CL semi-finalists and FA Cup finalists. And we've already talked about some of the best moments from United season. Today though, I wanted to talk in more general terms and take the best and worst aspects of our game from this season. Manchester United's best The best [...]

Bayern Munich will, once again, be feared across Europe

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"A squad that will be once again feared across Europe" is what Luca Toni and Franck Ribery signed up for next season. Those are believed to be Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness's words to Toni. With most of my favorite team's (Man Utd) transfers done already I have decided to turn my attention and track [...]

Original Tevez and Mascherano contracts with West Ham

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This article contains extracts from the Independent Commission statement published on the FA Premier League website. These extracts refer to the playing contracts of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano as well as the Tevez and Mascherano agreements West Ham signed with their third party owners. Note that these are the original agreements and contracts and these [.

Why West Ham should NOT have points deducted over Tevez

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In a recent comment on Soccerlens, a reader pointed out that the Premier League had posted the transcript of the West Ham ruling on their website and that one should read it before blindly commenting on the ruling. Now I know that this is late (the ruling was made on 27th April 2007) and a [...]

WTF News of the Day: Ribery Signs for Bayern

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In what could be termed as one of the most dumb-fuck career moves (pardon my French) may I take the opportunity to stick my head out and say that Franck Ribery's move to Bayern Munich represents precisely that very thing. Yes you heard right. Franck Ribery has indeed moved to FC Bayern, shrugging off competitors [...]

Will the Premier League see reason over YouTube lawsuit?

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Last month, the FA Premier League filed a class action lawsuit against YouTube for (in my words) "deliberatly encouraging users to upload and share short video clips of goals, football skills and controversial incidents to generate public attention and boost traffic." The big news this week (or more accurately, Thursday 8th June) is that along [...

Manchester United - 06/07 Season Review - again

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It's been a long season (and a long season review), and we've got plenty to cheer about. For starters, Manchester United are league champions, and to cap it off we've concluded the majority of our transfer business before 31st May. This means that on 2nd July when the squad reassembles for pre-season we will have [...]

David Bentley thinks he should be playing in Euro 2008

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David Bentley's withdrawal from the England U-21 squad is understandable, and I think there's a very good reason why Bentley walked out. Simply put, he has his eyes on Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. Bentley knows that he has an outside chance of making the Euro 2008 squad, but he can only do [...]

Liverpool transfer watch - Malouda, Henry and the rest

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So far, Liverpool's focus has been to secure their star players on lucrative long-term contracts. First it was club icons Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard, and now Reina and Alonso have also committed themselves to long-term contracts with Liverpool. The press has been on Liverpool's case though, chiding them for not having made any transfer [...

Call for Writers

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The top five reasons you should sign up / login right now and write for Soccerlens: You're going to be thinking / talking / reading about football all day long anyway - might as well put all that time spent into something productive. By the way, that's how Soccerlens got started. You've got something to say [...]

David Bentley thinks he should be playing in Euro 2008

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David Bentley's withdrawal from the England U-21 squad is understandable, and I think there's a very good reason why Bentley walked out. Simply put, he has his eyes on Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. Bentley knows that he has an outside chance of making the Euro 2008 squad, but he can only do [...]

Liverpool transfer watch - Malouda, Henry and the rest

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So far, Liverpool's focus has been to secure their star players on lucrative long-term contracts. First it was club icons Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard, and now Reina and Alonso have also committed themselves to long-term contracts with Liverpool. The press has been on Liverpool's case though, chiding them for not having made any transfer [...

Manchester United - 06/07 Season Review - again

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It's been a long season (and a long season review), and we've got plenty to cheer about. For starters, Manchester United are league champions, and to cap it off we've concluded the majority of our transfer business before 31st May. This means that on 2nd July when the squad reassembles for pre-season we will have [...]

Bayern Munich will, once again, be feared across Europe

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"A squad that will be once again feared across Europe" is what Luca Toni and Franck Ribery signed up for next season. Those are believed to be Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness's words to Toni. With most of my favorite team's (Man Utd) transfers done already I have decided to turn my attention and track [...]

Original Tevez and Mascherano contracts with West Ham

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This article contains extracts from the Independent Commission statement published on the FA Premier League website. These extracts refer to the playing contracts of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano as well as the Tevez and Mascherano agreements West Ham signed with their third party owners. Note that these are the original agreements and contracts and these [.

Why West Ham should NOT have points deducted over Tevez

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In a recent comment on Soccerlens, a reader pointed out that the Premier League had posted the transcript of the West Ham ruling on their website and that one should read it before blindly commenting on the ruling. Now I know that this is late (the ruling was made on 27th April 2007) and a [...]

WTF News of the Day: Ribery Signs for Bayern

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In what could be termed as one of the most dumb-fuck career moves (pardon my French) may I take the opportunity to stick my head out and say that Franck Ribery's move to Bayern Munich represents precisely that very thing. Yes you heard right. Franck Ribery has indeed moved to FC Bayern, shrugging off competitors [...]

Will the Premier League see reason over YouTube lawsuit?

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Last month, the FA Premier League filed a class action lawsuit against YouTube for (in my words) "deliberatly encouraging users to upload and share short video clips of goals, football skills and controversial incidents to generate public attention and boost traffic." The big news this week (or more accurately, Thursday 8th June) is that along [...

The best and worst of Manchester United’s season

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Manchester United's season was a big success - Premiership champions, CL semi-finalists and FA Cup finalists. And we've already talked about some of the best moments from United season. Today though, I wanted to talk in more general terms and take the best and worst aspects of our game from this season. Manchester United's best The best [...]

Estonia vs England - can’t lose, can we?

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England are too tense - they were tense before Andorra and as a result took 45 minutes to come to terms with the fact that they could sit back and pick the opposition apart by keeping the ball and passing it around. Against Brazil, England fought like dogs but were still too tense - however, [...]

SAF’s legacy at Manchester United

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Sir Alex Ferguson has built an imposing legacy at Manchester United - 20 years, 9 league titles and a glittering array of stars. His impact on the game can be judged in different ways, such as the number of former players who are now successful managers. He has taught, he has won, and most [...]

Referees need our help, not our hate

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Referees are easy targets in the world of football - their decisions decide matches, title races and the financial health of clubs (to the tune of 30m, according to Neil Warnock). Their jobs are unbelievably difficult - whereas Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas can get away with a couple of mistakes during a game if [...]

West Ham: A day on…

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Ed's note: If you're reading this story for the first time, please read this article and its response, and please keep your comments civil. by Number 7 I returned home from work this evening and had a bottle thrown at me whilst being abused for my piece on West Ham this morning. And before you pipe in [...]

A letter to West Ham fans

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Let me start off by saying that I take full responsibility for the events that have transpired since yesterday morning (Tuesday, 5th June 2007) - it was my decision to publish Mr Rahman's article on Soccerlens.com which resulted in a very strong reaction from the West Ham community on this site and in various [...]

Happy to be Hated - West Ham fans post-Tevez

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Ed's Note: This article is in response to an earlier article written by Emdad Rehman A Muslim West Ham fan argues that the criticism over Tevez is creating a positive siege mentality at Upton Park - and that blanket condemnation of the fan base as 'racist' from other Club's fans is a symptom more of fear [...]

We need more match-winners at Manchester United

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Manchester United, in my view, have 5 big stars that will stay on for the next 2-10 years and greatly help the squad. In Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, we have two of the best young players ever seen in the Premiership. In Rio Ferdinand we have a top centre-back and in Michael Carrick [...]

Liverpool and other English clubs should work together with Uefa

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Everybody's quite worked up over the Uefa-Liverpool tiff on the behavior of Liverpool supporters at the Champions League final in Athens some 2 weeks ago. The BBC has, as usual, done a good job of collecting the quotes from all the interested parties, so for a quick refresher go read that. To me, the situation smacks [...]

West Ham, Racism and England’s dirty laundry

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by EMDAD RAHMAN Let's get one thing straight right from the onset - West Ham should have been relegated for cheating. The ONLY reason they got let off was because they were a bigger draw than their relegation rivals. The other bee in my bonnet (or hat) for that matter stems from the racism factor at the [...]

Daniel Agger v Younes Kaboul / Liverpool v Tottenham

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Tottenham transfer target Younes Kaboul and Liverpool player Daniel Agger are two of the best young central defenders in Europe at the moment. Agger is one year older at 22 but has more experience playing at the highest level what with a full Champions League run for Liverpool culminating with a start in the [...]

The Manchester City Problem

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It was fun while it lasted. The brief and tantalising prospect that Claudio Ranieri would be the new Manchester City manager. It was all but confirmed last week. But the Italian tinkerman has, perhaps wisely, decided to jump back to Italy and take the Juventus job. The real shame is that apart from providing constant mirth [...]

Can ex-Newcastle Bramble save Wigan from relegation?

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Here's the absolutely random question of the day - with Titus Bramble moving to Wigan (after being unceremoniously jettisoned from Newcastle by Sam Allardyce at the tender age of 25), will he save Wigan from relegation next season? Or will he push them towards it? Bramble made his share of mistakes at Newcastle, but he's not [...]

How far can Ranieri take Juventus?

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So, Tinkerman is now given license by the Italians to tinker some more, this time with the Old Lady. He's an interesting choice, having saved Parma from relegation although considering that Deschamps had left and that Juventus aren't playing in the Champions League, it's doubtful if another high-profile manager would have been available to [...]

Some players aren’t good enough for Manchester United

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At the start of the season I picked 5 players who I thought were surplus to requirements at Manchester United. Let's look back at the list and see how much things have changed. The original list: Darren Fletcher Mikael Silvestre Liam Miller Patrice Evra Tim Howard Two of these players - Liam Miller and Tim Howard - have since been sold [...]

Michael Owen: Still England’s No.1 Striker?

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One thing i sometimes hear from friends and other football fans is that Michael Owen is 'past it' and has lost his pace from when he was younger. Although to some degree this might be logical given his long term injuries and his lack of match practice, the stats do not agree, especially at international [...]

Should Lee Hughes be allowed to return to English football?

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Ed's note: For those of you not familiar with the story, read this (2004) and this (2007). When Lee Hughes left a Coventry pub in November 2003, having allegedly consumed large quantities of alcohol and cocaine - he got behind the wheel of his £100,000 Mercedes, he made a decision akin to pulling a trigger. The [...]

Chelsea 2007/2008 Away Kit

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The new Chelsea away kit for the 2007 / 2008 is due to be unveiled on June 14th (in 10 days). After that the kit will be available for sale through the Chelsea Megastore from June 28th onwards (you can pre-order now via the Online Megastore). The big surprise? Chelsea are going with electric yellow [...]

Barcelona 2007/2008 Home Kit - Nike

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Barcelona have announced their new 2007/2008 home kit (designed as usual by Nike). The kit has three stripes / bands instead of the two this season, a special inscription around the Barcelona club badge marking Camp Nou's 50 years, plus the Unicef logo, the LFP logo on the right sleeve, the traditional Nike swoosh and [...]

Too High To Play Football?

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Don't worry - unlike an earlier exclusive, this article does not involve drugs. It does, however, involve high altitudes (high enough to make it hard for you to breath), football, politics and a healthy dose of good writing. Anyway, Jim Shultz from the Democracy Center writes about how the recent FIFA regulation to limit the altitude [...]

Middlesbrough’s Brad Jones Blunders For Australia

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You might forgive young Brad Jones' inexperience on the world stage, but the young Middlesbrough goalkeeper showed how harsh an environment the big, bad world of international goalkeeping can be. In what seemed like a routine cross, the young Jones gifted a goal as he caught nothing but the cold night breeze against a muddled [...]

Chelsea FC 07/08 Team Lineup

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I'm a die-hard Chelsea fan I have been destroyed by the loss of both the Premiership title and (again) the lack of a champions league trophy to add to the trophy cabinet. But I'm far from blaming this on Mourinho. I think I speak for every Chelsea fan when I say he is the ONLY [...]

Thoughts on the England-Brazil game

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Watched the England-Brazil friendly last night, some thoughts on the game: Brazil came to Wembley with different objectives - the less established players were playing for the starting lineup for Copa America, others were playing to cement a place (Gilberto Silva, Robinho), and still others (Kaka and Ronaldinho) were playing this game so that they'll [.

England Home Kit 2007/2008

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Watching England play yesterday, I kept thinking that they had a really sweet kit. Then I realised that I hadn't done the appropriate 'new England kit post, so here it is. Ahead of the international friendly against Spain, England unveiled their new 2007/2008 home kit. Designed by Umbro, the kit sports the usual side splashes [...]

Chelsea’s smart signings point to a very difficult title defense for Manchester United

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Where Manchester United splashed the cash and chased Owen Hargreaves for over an year, Chelsea moved in quietly and picked up Steve Sidwell on a free. And when Manchester United completed the anticipated signing of Nani and coupled that with the surprise signing of Anderson, Chelsea responded with another surprise, this time with Claudio Pizarro. Here [.

Solving the mess of international friendlies

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A plan to change the face of international football, and provide opportunities and funds for football at lower levels. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, and your suggestions and improvements in the comments please. I thought this up during the second half of the England-Brazil game tonight, which summed up everything poor about these type of games, and served to highlight the opportunity we have to make real improvements.

Saha’s and Heinze’s future at Manchester United

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In the last couple of months, there has been a lot of debate about what will happen to Louis Saha and Gabriel Heinze during the transfer season. In the media at least, Heinze is the popular choice for leaving Manchester United, while Saha's injury problems have made him unwanted for certain Mancheser United fans. But is [...]