SoccerLens Archives for January 2008

Arsenal make Newcastle bite the dust to go top of the table

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Emmanuel Adebayor scored his 19th goal of the season and three in a matter of four days against Kevin Keegan's disappointing Newcastle side at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday. The win takes the North London side top of the Premiership table for atleast twenty-four hours as Manchester United could regain the spot with a home [.

Should Beckham be picked for England?

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Fabio Capello names his first England squad this weekend for the forthcoming friendly against Switzerland. There is eager anticipation to see which new players will be selected and which of the old guard will be left out. However, not for the first time in relation to the national side, the name on everyones lips is David [.

Manchester City’s season, unlike their balloons, may well have just gone Pop

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It wasn't a good day to be a Manchester City player. They were comprehensively outfought by a Sheffield United side that last week were comprehensively outfought by a Sheffield Wednesday side deep in relegation trouble. To add insult to injury, they returned from their humbling to find their dressing room had been raided by the [.

Momo Sissoko Profile: From Liverpool to Juventus for £8.2m

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A tough tackling defensive midfielder, Mohamed Lamine Sissoko is seen by some as a future midfield star of European football, in particular Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez, who showered praise upon him when he arrived at Merseyside, saying Sissoko possessed "incredible ability for his age" and similar qualities to Frenchman Patrick Vieira.

2008 African Cup of Nations Update: Can Egypt, Cameroon, Tunisia, and Angola join Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria in the quarterfinals?

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Allegations of match-fixing approaches and resigning coaches have stole some of the headlines in the African Cup of Nations over the last several days, but while all of that's going on, there's a pretty entertaining football competition to turn your attention to at the same time. The four groups are in the midst of [.

Transfer Roundup: Liverpool, Manchester City, Newcastle, Fulham, Bolton, Sunderland, Reading, Juventus, Hertha Berlin

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Momo Sissoko can't be too pleased that his Mali team got dumped out of the African Cup of Nations in the first round, but I imagine he might be skipping down the streets of Turin pretty shortly, as his transfer to Juventus has been completed. Sissoko wanted out of Liverpool, and now he's out, [...]

Live Football Betting with CanBet.com

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CanBet.com is a Football Media advertiser. Canbet has left the competition in its wake with the introduction of its new revolutionary live football betting service. Punters now have access to Live ‘In-Play' Football Betting on over 500 global games each week, as well as the most comprehensive selection of Asian Handicap markets in the world.

Wise to Newcastle - why?

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Newcastle United have agreed a compensation package with Leeds United to obtain the services of the current Leeds manager, Dennis Wise. The role he is going to undertake at Newcastle is as yet unspecified, but is believed to be an executive role, looking after transfers amongst other things. To all intents and purposes it appears [.

FA Cup Fifth Round Draw: Manchester United to face Arsenal as Liverpool and Chelsea get off easy

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There is going to be only one all-Premiership tie in the fifth round of the FA Cup, but they certainly pulled out a good one. Manchester United and Arsenal are battling it out for the Premier League crown, and in a few weeks, one is going to knock the other out of the FA [...]

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham, Arsenal, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Manchester City, Blackburn, Reading, Aston Villa, Juventus, Lazio, Rangers

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It's been a busy month with far more speculation than actual moves, but with only a few days left in the January transfer window, you can expect to see a lot of movin', shakin', and possibly shankin' in the next few days. This one is old news, but Milan Baros is back in the [...]

The Best Pub Team in England?

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Soccerlens's Hugo Steckelmacher looks back at the week gone by in the slightly crazy and always entertaining world of football. In the Premiership... Pool in the deep end before Crouch the hidden dragon roars The week started and ended with a draw for Aston Villa, although in enormously different circumstances.

FA Cup Roundup: Manchester City’s cup hopes get slashed by Blades, Ronaldo helps Manchester United see off Tottenham, and Bluebirds give Hereford the blues

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Premier League sides have been dropping like flies in the last couple of rounds of the FA Cup, and two more fell on Sunday. At Bramall Lane, mid-table Championship side Sheffield United had Manchester City put away within 25 minutes, as Luton Shelton (12) and Jon Stead (24) put the Blades up 2-0. [.

Interview with Andrés Cantor, Founding Partner of Fútbol de Primera, and the Voice of Soccer for the Telemundo Network

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Images courtesy of Andrés Cantor and Fútbol de Primera. Soccerlens is extremely honored to have one of the most influential and respected figures in football journalism contribute to our column: Mr. Andrés Cantor. Mr. Cantor, who gained notoriety in mainstream North America for his famous cries of "Gooooal" during World Cup 1994, is a man with [.

La Liga week 21: Real Madrid march on as rivals slip up

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Real Madrid took a giant step towards winning their 31st league title this weekend when they beat Villarreal 3-2 in the Bernabeu after all their closest rivals had failed to win. There may still be 17 games to go but Madrid now have a nine point advantage and it will be very difficult for Barcelona, [.

Old Trafford curse proves one hoodoo too far for Spurs

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It's a funny old game is football, full of omens, curses and clichés. No sooner had Tottenham got one monkey off their back by beating Arsenal for the first time in nine years, they turned their attention to ending a winless run at Old Trafford that stretches back more than twice as long. 1989 was [.

England - Crisis, what crisis?

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Fabio Capello has arrived in England to find the game in this country at its lowest ebb for many years. Failure to qualify for this summers European championships has left English football in the doldrums. He must have expected the worst when he started attending Premier League games in order to assess the talent he [.

Why Paul Jewell may regret ever stepping foot in Derby

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When Paul Jewell announced he was leaving Wigan Athletic just twenty four hours after his side had won a last day relegation shoot-out at Sheffield United, few people criticised him. This, after all, was the man who had masterminded- with the aid of Dave Whelan of course- the club's fairytale ascent of the Football League, [.

Arsenal bounce back from midweek misery to beat Newcastle

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It might have been just the Carling Cup where Arsene Wenger tests out his future stars. Yet the midweek loss to great rivals Tottenham at their own backyard by an unthinkable margin did hurt the Emirates faithful, no matter how loyal one could be towards the Gunners. It doesn't matter that Spurs have broken the [.

FA Cup Roundup: Liverpool get a fright, Arsenal get it right, Pompey play it tight, and for Derby, it’s goodnight

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Saturday was packed full of FA Cup fourth-round action, and as was the case in the third round, things didn't come easy - and for some, at all - for several Premier League sides. I'll leave the full Liverpool-Havant & Waterlooville recap to Kyle, but I can't go far without commending the Hawks for [.

Jurgen Klinsmann - the making of an Icon

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As a sportsman he has already written a chapter for himself in German footballing history, and is widely acknowledged to be one of the finest strikers to have graced European football in the 1990s. As a businessman he's less known (neither Wikipedia nor the countless news stories covering his reign as Germany manager or [.

Mansfield 0-2 Middlesbrough - Closer than you’d think

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What a rollercoaster ride that was eh? Thankfully, we managed to avoid the upset the BBC were hoping for, but only just. With Lee Dong Gook scoring only his second goal in two seasons for us, I actually began to feel sorry for Mansfield. There was nothing good about that goal - an average cross from [.

How can Wenger improve Arsenal?

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Mid transfer window, what could/should your team do to improve? Already we are over midway through the January transfer market and despite this being the priciest ever window on record (an estimated £96M spent already) much of the pre-window speculation has failed to materialise (Berbatov to United anyone?

Hawks riding FA Cup magic all the way to Anfield…and beyond?

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More than 700 teams were entered into the 2007/08 FA Cup, and only 31 are still standing, after Barnsley upended Southend 1-0 on Friday. Among the sides still aiming to lift the trophy at Wembley in May are 11-time winners Manchester United, 10-time winners Arsenal, 8-time winners Tottenham, 7-time winners Liverpool, and current cup-holders Chelsea, four-time [.

Manchester United v Tottenham preview | Fergie sticks both feet into Liverpool | Manchester City fans must show their class

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In today's Manchester United roundup - can Tottenham cause an upset, Fergie sticks it into Liverpool and Manchester City fans will need to behave themselves at Old Trafford. Manchester United v Tottenham FA Cup Preview It seems that with United's jaunt over to Riyadh to play Al-Hilal coupled with Tottenham's emphatic 5-1 win over Arsenal in [.

Woodgate set for Tottenham, Albelda & Kanoute ready to follow?

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It seems Juande Ramos is not willing to sit back and bask in the glory of reaching a major final in his first three months in charge at White Hart Lane. Tottenham have agreed a fee in excess of £7m for Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Woodgate, who will discuss personal terms today. Ramos has also confirmed [.

Giggs and Scholes - Best ever for Manchester United?

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Sir Alex Ferguson has said that Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are the best players he has had at Manchester United in his time as manager. Does this stand up to scrutiny? There are several players who may have a justifiable claim to the title. Eric Cantona, Bryan Robson, Gary Neville, Peter Schmeichel, Roy Keane, Wayne [.

MLS SuperDraft Recap: Positive Signs Of Growth

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Yeah, yeah its been a week since the draft but I wanted to add some perspective to what has not been discussed as much about MLS and the SuperDraft. Being my third year out to the draft, this was the most exciting for me on a few levels. For one thing, it was [...]

UEFA Football Team of the Year 2007

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After 3.75 million votes were cast by 277,985 users, the uefa.com Team of the Year 2007 has been revealed last week. After much thinking and a lot of videotape viewing (mostly Champions League matches probably), the UEFA writers have come up with 60 nominations, which were then submitted to the general public of the uefa.

Transfer Roundup: Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Portsmouth, Wigan, Juventus, Inter Milan, Sevilla, Werder Bremen

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It's Friday, so if you're going out this weekend, be safe, and don't do anything that Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn't do. The Corriere dello Sport reports that Chelsea are getting ready to make a bid of 15 million pounds for Palermo striker Amauri. Amauri and nearly everyone around him are saying that he won't [.

FA Cup 4th Round Preview: Tottenham to beat Manchester United, Arsenal to beat Newcastle United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Aston Villa to win

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Statistics are normally my trusted ally, but even close friends can occasionally fall out. Research claims to prove that men are over 50% more likely to be involved in a road accident than women, but that's probably because they've all been run over by dippy bints. Only last weekend, the wife's vertiginous nature led to [.

The great Manchester City striker hunt

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The next seven days could well be crucial for Manchester City's season. And not just for the fact that they visit Sheffield Utd on Sunday in the FA Cup, before a trip to basement side Derby next Wednesday. Those two games are big games of course, but manager Sven-Goran Eriksson's activity in the transfer market [.

Is Jonathon Woodgate the answer to Newcastle United’s defensive problems?

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It is reported that Kevin Keegan is keen to make Jonathon Woodgate his first signing in his new spell as manager at Newcastle. There is little doubt that Newcastle need to strengthen their defence, but is Jonathon Woodgate the answer? The 28 year-old centre half is reportedly unsettled at Middlesbrough, his hometown club, due to his [.

Tunisia 2-2 Senegal - Mejdi Traoui the hero as Tunisia earn a late draw

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Senegal's opening Group D clash against Tunisia was built up as a grudge match after the Teranga Lions' controversial exit from 2004 African Cup of Nations by the same opponents. The revenge was seven minutes away until Mejdi Traoui had other ideas. Traoui sweetly connected a 25-yard long ranger that flew into the top left [.

WagSnatch Roundup: Ronaldo’s mum, Rooney’s ugly, Arsenal strikers fight, Beckham in SL and Bilic to stay

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In this week's WagSnatch roundup Ronaldo's mum begs his son to come and play for Real Madrid, Wayne Rooney is voted the ugliest footballer (but that would not stop women from dating him), Gunners lose to Spurs and get into a tussle at the pitch, Becks brings attention to Sierra Leone and Slaven Bilic [.

Fabio Capello Shirt

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So you all are up to date with everything, Umbro has delayed the release of the 2008-10 England Away Kit until March 12th. However, our friends over at Subside Sports have unveiled a beautiful Fabio Capello shirt that will be given away free when you pre-order the new England away kit, or you can [.

The Real bandwagon rolls on in Madrid

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It was a familiar story at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday evening following yet another Real Madrid success over their poor relatives. A story that more often than not involves rotten luck and a reality check for Atleti, and precedes a relentless march towards success from Real. It's been that long since the paupers beat [.

07/08 Carling Cup Semi Second Leg: Everton 0(1) - 1(3) Chelsea - Cole cracker carries champions

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The Carling Cup final is now set, and cup holders Chelsea will be getting a chance to defend their title. Thanks to a last-minute own goal by Everton's Joleon Lescott, Avram Grant's side took a 2-1 lead into Goodison Park for Wednesday night's second leg semifinal tie. There was to be only one [.

Transfer Roundup: Newcastle United, Manchester City, Birmingham, Fulham, Bolton, Sunderland, Derby, Inter Milan, Lazio, Real Madrid, Valencia

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Fulham's glaring need for attacking improvements was quite evident in their FA Cup shootout defeat to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night, but Roy Hodgson may finally be getting his prayers answered. The Cottagers have signed American international striker Eddie Johnson from the Kansas City Wizards, with the 23-year old penning a three and a [.

The Race for 4th Place: Liverpool v Everton v Manchester City v Aston Villa

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To older football fans, the idea of the race for fourth place being as interesting, or as important, as the title chase or the relegation dogfight is fundamentally absurd. After all, as Bill Shankly once said "if you are first you are first, if you are second you are nowhere". But this season one of [.

Jenas the main benefactor of the Spanish invasion at Tottenham

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Juande Ramos' stock is high at the moment. A quick skim of the papers and football websites will tell you that. Spurs' 5-1 victory over their North London rivals Arsenal on Tuesday night had fans and pundits purring. Arsene Wenger's side was admittedly a mostly second-string one, but it was these second stringers who had [.

Real Madrid - Ronaldo (Manchester United) and Fabregas (Arsenal) are impossible signings

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Here's a thought - why don't they start calling it the soccer circus? I know Keegan's taken the name and brought it with him to Newcastle, but let's make it official. The Real Madrid transfer circus has a new twist - where yesterday Ronaldo's mum was going on and on about how she loves Real [...]

Is Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner really a Premiership Striker?

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Nicklas Bendtner scored an own goal and argued with his strike partner last night as if to further compound his Arsenal misery, so is it time Arsene Wenger cut him loose? Last season, he spent a year in the Championship with Birmingham City, scoring a moderately impressive 11 league goals to guide them to a second [.

FA Cup: 3rd Round Replays Wrap-up and 4th Round Preview

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It took a little longer than expected, but the FA Cup fourth round is finally all set. The twelve replays were scheduled to be played last Tuesday and Wednesday, but thanks to poor weather, three of the ties were postponed until yesterday, and all three were decided by penalties. The most notable result [.

Keegan’s love for Newcastle United will not win trophies

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The Newcastle United circus has a new ringmaster with a script that has his followers roaring their approval. Meanwhile, the rest of the country sits there laughing hysterically at the Geordie ‘messiah' rather than chortling along with him. Newcastle's scattergun approach to find a replacement for the overly talented Sam Allardyce finally bore fruit when [.

Keegan’s toughest challenge is to attract quality players to Newcastle United

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TSo Keggy Keegan's back on the Tyne. The Toon Army are partying like it's 1999 and the red tops are thanking the great editor in the sky. It's a football fairytale and if all the work shy script writers over in Hollywood hadn't recently downed pens, I'm sure they'd already be working on the [...]

Top 20 Ugliest Footballers

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Wayne Rooney has just been elected the ugliest player in the world, at least according to 33% of the 2,500 women polled by www.thepeoplesclub.com. "Shrek" (as the Man Utd striker is affectionately, or not-so-affectionately rather, nicknamed) is however judged to be the perfect mate for girlfriend (and soon-to-be wife) Coleen McLoughlin, the latter indeed [.

Egypt 4-2 Cameroon - Pharaohs brush aside Lions

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Egypt started the defence of the title they won two years ago at home in some style by cruising to a comfortable 4-2 victory over four-time winners and favourites Cameroon in Kumasi. The result has come as a surprise to many given Egypt's lacklustre qualifying campaign where they have struggled to score goals, particularly away [.

A life watching Watford hoof the ball forward

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The joys of the long ball game... I'm a Watford fan. It's not my fault. I was born two hundred yards from the Vicarage Road stadium and I had no choice. The first time I went to see them in 1968 as a seven year old I fell in love immediately. I was smitten, and as [...]

07/08 Carling Cup Semi Second Leg: Tottenham 5(6) - 1(2) Arsenal - Finally!

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Tottenham fans, it's not a typo. This time, your team made sure Arsenal couldn't do it again, and break your hearts for the umpteenth time. A Tottenham victory over their archrivals was inevitable, but in the process of getting the long-awaited triumph, Juande Ramos' side released years of frustration and disappointment on an [.

Liverpool: The Quiet Man at Anfield

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Throughout the crisis that has engulfed Liverpool since late October, there has been one man who has stood out and hasn't said a thing, hasn't done his best to look out for the best interests of our club. That man is Rick Parry. The Chief Executive was kept on by the Americans presumably to be an [..

Nigeria 0-1 Ivory Coast: Kalou stunner tames Super Eagles

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The 2008 African Cup of Nations is truly underway and one team has already made their intentions clear at such an early stage. 2006 runners-up Ivory Coast(Cote D'Voire) are desperate to go one step further this time around. The Elephants took a firm lead in a tough Group B when a Salomon Kalou stunner left [.

The Most Famous Cow in Football

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No, we're not talking about WAGs here, let's get things straight right away. What is the latest invention of the world of soccer for making money? In the Iberian peninsula, the game is called "Caca de la vaca". For those familiar just a bit with the Spanish language, you've already got the picture [.

The Rise and Rise of Salisbury City FC

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A tale of the unexpected... Little Salisbury City FC from Wiltshire are finally making a mark on the football map in this country. The club who play at the Raymond McEnhill stadium in the City currently sit in tenth place, only seven points off the play-off places in the Blue Square Premier League, formerly the Conference [.

Transfer Roundup: Newcastle, Tottenham, Portsmouth, Fulham, Everton, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Lyon, Lille, Inter Milan, Wolfsburg, L.A. Galaxy

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Now that Kevin Keegan has taken over at Newcastle, it‘s time to kick their transfer speculation into fifth gear. First up, the Daily Star has said that Newcastle are set to launch an 18 million pound bid for Manchester United's Michael Carrick, I'm doubtful about United selling a player who, despite being part of [.

2008 African Cup of Nations: Days 1 and 2 Highlights (videos)

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The 2008 African Cup of Nations got into full swing on Monday. In Group A, 1976 champion Morocco took on Namibia in Accra, finishing up the first round of action in Group A after Ghana defeated Guinea 2-1 on Sunday. Group B also got underway, with 1992 champion Ivory Coast took on two-time (1980, 1994) [.

Eriksson loses surprise element as Manchester City begin to lose ground

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The season is at a distinct crossroads for Manchester City at present and it seems as good a time as any to analyse the positives that have propelled them, in contrast to recent seasons at this stage, into the top-half and also the negatives that have forced limitations on them to break into the elusive [.

Harewood, Gillett and Hicks are the Villans at Anfield

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The tension at Anfield must have been palpable as the Reds stepped on to the pitch to face off against a resilient Aston Villa on Monday night. The Liverpool faithful made their feelings toward the team's current American owner duo perfectly clear. Every other cheer from the Kop end was directed at Hicks [.

Newcastle United after Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool players

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The hype couldn't stay down for long - after the Bolton anti-climax (Newcastle either didn't have the players, enough motivation or they just weren't tall enough) the speculation and hyperbole starts again as King Kev looks to potential signings with just 10 days to go in the January 08 transfer window.

Sven’s frustration grows after Manchester City draw with West Ham

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Just a single win in the last six Premier League games for politician-turned business tycoon Thakshin Sinawatra's Manchester City and already there are talks that Sven Goran Ericsson would be provided a look at the transfer market at the fag end of January to bring in extra recruits, possibly a high-profile striker, to restore an [.

La Liga Week 20: Real Madrid beat Atletico and Henry scores for Barcelona

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Real Madrid stay seven points clear at the top of La Liga after overcoming Atletico Madrid 0-2 at the Vicente Calderon stadium. An early goal from Raul and then one from Ruud Van Nistlerooy were enough to take the three points as Iker Casillas continues to stop anything that goes near his goal. Bernd Schuster decided [.

Ghana 2-1 Guinea - Muntari secures 3 points for the Black Stars

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The 26th edition of the African Cup of Nations is underway in Ghana with the hosts kicking off the colourful tournament with a tense 2-1 win against Guinea in Accra. The build-up to the match saw an unusual incident with the two teams' officials clashing over training pitches due to an apparent lack of [.

Previewing the 2008 African Cup of Nations - History on the hosts’ side

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The 2008 African Cup of Nations gets underway on Sunday, and while many managers and fans of Premier League clubs will be hoping that it's an injury-free competition for their players, the objective there for each of the 16 clubs is to be the one hoisting the trophy at the end. The 26th edition [..

Should the African Cup of Nations be rescheduled for the summer?

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If you didn't know better, you'd think that this African Cup of Nations was a sneaky bastard. How dare it creep up on the Premier League clubs without them finding out until too late? What? There's an International Calendar for FIFA events? Damn... Ok, but the sheer audacity of this tournament! How dare it disrupt [.

Liverpool need DIC to match the Big 3

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How things change... When the Arabs and the Americans were jostling for position to take over Liverpool, the arguments raised against the Arabs were political - could you trust them, was their money legal, how did they treat their women and children, etc etc. Sure, they looked at the financial aspects - no debts, plenty [.

Manchester United fans vs Glazers - Some Perspective

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Let's set the record straight - the Glazer takeover put Manchester United under a lot of debt, and the ticket prices (and the new ticket scheme) have driven many fans away from Old Trafford. In other words, the takeover hasn't been a good thing for the United fans (and I doubt that winning last [..

Why Arsenal are more serious contenders for the Premier League title this season

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For his last few seasons at Arsenal Thierry Henry was the best player in England, and arguably the world. Over the past couple of years Arsenal have been praised for the quality and style of their football, but have often flattered to deceive in the title race. This season they seem to be serious challengers [.

Ghana 2008: Presenting the African Cup of Nations

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On the verge of hosting the 2008 African Cup of Nations, Ghana has uniformly adopted the green, red, and gold colours. Some have tattoed them on their backs, some are wearing them around their necks, some are leaving them on their natural medium but using that medium to decorate everything and anything: FLAGS cover [.

Does Having Two More Referees On The Pitch Beat Video Technology?

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Fabio Capello recently offered compliments to England referees when he observed how infrequently they stop the game. Capello praised the match officials, stating: "The first thing I noticed were the referees because they whistle so little compared to those in the rest of Europe." Statistically his inference that the England refs tend to let the game [.

African Cup of Nations - Ghana 2008 - Fixtures

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The 2008 African Cup of Nations kicks off today in Ghana with the hosts taking on Guinea for the first match of the tournament. Complete ACN 08 fixtures are listed below: ACN 08 Fixtures All times are GMT Group A: Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Namibia Sunday, 20 January 2008 Ghana v Guinea, 17:00 Monday, 21 January 2008 Namibia v Morocco.

A Four-Course Football Forecast: A European Feast

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There are two things that I share a great passion for - food and football. So, what better than to combine the two? Here are the clashes over the next few days that I'll be cleansing my football palette with, complete with a few recipes and recommendations sure to tickle the taste buds as [...]

The “Emperor” is Back - Adriano Scores Two Goals in São Paulo Debut

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The "Emperor" is back. Back in Brazil that is, and back to scoring some goals. Adriano Leite Ribeiro has hit some pretty rough patches these past few months, but since he was loaned out to Brazilian club São Paulo by Inter Milan, he seems to be doing a lot better. He's doing so good [...]

Transfer Roundup: Newcastle United, Tottenham, Everton, Portsmouth, Fulham, Birmingham, Aston Villa, Wigan, Stoke City, Lyon, Valencia, Juventus, Inter Milan, K

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It's the weekend, but I'm not taking any time off from keeping you updated with the latest transfer news. It was too little, too late for the mystery club who came in for Everton's, well now, Birmingham's James McFadden. After apparently balking at a move to the Midlands club due to a second club entering [.

Gattuso wants to continue drinking Milan Lab’s Elixir of Life

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Happy belated birthday Gennaro Gattuso! Last week the Italian midfielder turned 30 and gave his adoring Milanese public an insight into how long he thinks he can carry on playing for the Champions League holders.......for ever! Well not quite, he modestly suggested he had ‘three or four' more years left at the top before he [.

The search for the new Scotland manager

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It seems that the Scottish Football Association have a short list of four names for the vacant managerial position for the national team. The candidates are Mark McGhee, George Burley, Tommy Burns, and Graeme Souness. Whilst accepting that these are four football men through and through, none of them have set the world alight during [.

Premier League Predictions: Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Everton to win

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My heart goes out to the clinically depressed and the morbidly obese, but I have a genuine illness; I suffer from sleep deprivation. I believe my condition is a result of an incident that occurred many years ago, when I was naïve enough to believe that physical attractiveness was not an essential requirement in [.

Transfer Roundup: Manchester United, Tottenham, Juventus, Aston Villa, Birmingham, Middlesbrough, Fulham, Bolton, Sheffield United, Flamengo, Rangers, Celtic, B

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It's Friday, so I know that you who are reading Soccerlens at work, you can't wait to skate through the rest of your day and get home for the weekend, but that doesn't mean you can do the same with the transfer roundup, because if you click, you read to the bottom - no return [...]

The Afonso Alves Saga: Middlesbrough or AZ Alkmaar?

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With Premier League teams Middlesbrough and Manchester City apparently competing to sign Brazilian wonder-striker Afonso Alves, AZ Alkmaar could be ready to throw a spanner in the works after they announced Alves had signed for them. They believe Heerenveen gave them permission to speak to the forward, and they have a transfer agreement in place [.

Back to 1994: Kevin Keegan in charge of Newcastle, Middlesbrough after Brazilians and Manchester United on top

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Welcome back to the 1990's seems to be the message at the moment in the world of football. Welcome back to a time where Kevin Keegan manages Newcastle, where the G14 doesn't exist, and where Middlesbrough are closing in on Brazillian strikers they really shouldn't stand a chance of signing. Welcome back to a time where Chelsea [.

Newcastle United: Where does Michael Owen go from here?

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In Michael Owen's 2004 autobiography 'Off the record' he was less than complimentary about Kevin Keegan's management style. In the book he describes his time with Keegan as his England manager as a 'dark phase' in his career. "I really started to resent him - not as a man, but as a manager," Owen wrote.

Liverpool play… Havant & Waterlooville? In the fourth round of the FA Cup!?!?

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As you may (Or may not) have heard a bunch of semi-professional School Teachers and Electricians had a histroric win against Swansea City in the 3rd round of The FA Cup against all odds after a 4-2 win at the Liberty Stadium. Now, the Blue Sqaure Premier South club have a dream date with Liverpool [.

President takes precedent as Coleman resigns

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"I'm out for presidents to represent me; I'm out for dead presidents to represent me" - When the rapper Nas wrote these lines in the early ‘90s, lyrics later popularized by the ironically more commercially successful Jay-Z, he was talking, of course, about money. However, looking at the lines from the perspective of football, and [.

Presenting Maniche, the Newest Recruit of Inter Milan

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His full name, says Gazzetta, is almost as long as the list of trophies he accumulated during his career. But hopefully for Inter, Nuno Ricardo de Oliveira Ribeiro "MANICHE" has thirst to add many more to his curriculum. The recent transfer from Atletico Madrid felt quite relaxed at his Milan press conference this week, [.

WagSnatch Roundup: Ronaldo orgy, Kaka is corrupt?, Charlotte Mears on Jermaine Defoe, Pennant’s Dad is a druggie, Toldo interview and Capello’s taxes

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Disclaimer: The contents of this article are not suitable for ages 13 and below. In this week's WagSnatch roundup: another Ronaldo orgy (so he has fun, when will people stop complaining about their excess of hypocritical virtues?), Kaka linked with a corrupt church (does Jesus take kickbacks?), Jermain Defoe's ex sheds light on their relationship [.

In 7 Days I Will Own a Football Club

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Yesterday, I received this email: Dear Ahmed, Over 27,000 MyFootballClub members are one week from buying a 75% stake in Ebbsfleet United Football Club. Members have seven days to authorise the agreement to take control of Ebbsfleet United. Thank you, The MyFootballClub Team What? In 7 days I am going to own a football club?

G14 disbands as Platini records 2nd victory

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The G-14 knew what they wanted all along, it just took eight years and the presumed dissolution of their organization to get it. Platini called for the "elitest" G-14 to disband last year, but it wasn't until Tuesday that he got his wish. UEFA, FIFA, and the G-14 signed a letter of intent, setting out [.

Transfer Roundup: Manchester City, Birmingham, Wigan, Fulham, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Hamburg SV

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Today's transfer roundup is pretty light, so you don‘t have to worry about your lunch getting cold while you read. Wigan have made a couple of signings to help bolster their survival hopes, bringing in former Tottenham defender Erik Edman from Rennes on a 500,000 pound deal, and Honduran defender Maynor Figueroa from Olimpia.

Shearer’s shadow looms large over Newcastle United managers

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This article was written by former Manchester United defender Gary Pallister and first published on 4sportsake.com. Since this article was written, Kevin Keegan has been appointed as Newcastle United manager. As a fan of Sam Allardyce, I was disappointed not to see him given more time to turn things around at Newcastle but I suppose that's [.

Can Kevin Keegan bring glory to Newcastle United?

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In selecting Kevin Keegan as the next Newcastle United manager, Mike Ashley went for the guy with passion and experience (with passion playing a major role here) - and the last man to bring Newcastle United within touching distance of winning the Premier League. If Kev is going to do a repeat (or do one [.

Alhassan Bangura stays in England, but is Sierra Leone that bad?

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The football world breathed a sigh of relief Monday as the Home Office announced that 19-year old Watford midfielder Alhassan Bangura would be granted a work permit and avoid deportation back to Sierra Leone. Though a work permit looked bleak, (Bangura has never been capped by Sierra Leone, who are absent from top 70 nations [.

England World Cup 2010 Qualification Fixtures

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When England's 2010 World Cup qualifying group was announced, one tabloid headline - "Oh No! It's Cro!" summed up the public reaction best. England need to win their group to qualify for South Africa 2010 and seeing Croatia's impressive (and consistent) record in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, it would be a tough, tough task.

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Sunderland, Inter Milan, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Fulham, Parma

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Don't fault me for the fact that this roundup is filled with news about strikers. If you hate goals, goals, and more goals, well, something's wrong with you. A day after Lyon striker Fred said he'd rejected offers from Tottenham and PSG, Goal.com says that the striker is supposed to be joining Tottenham [.

FA Cup 4th Round Draw: Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool expect easy passage

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While there aren't any jaw-dropping ties in the fourth round of the FA Cup, there are definitely a few ties worth watching. However, we don't know who we'll be watching in many of the ties, as there are still 12 places yet to be decided by replays that will take place over the next [...]

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham, Everton, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Reading, Birmingham, Fulham, Blackburn, Juventus, Stoke City, Preston

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I'm back, and ready to disappoint a lot of people again. If you dislike Tottenham and Portsmouth, you can selectively scroll around for the non-Tottenham and Portsmouth bits, because I may as well warn you - there are quite a few today. I will be starting with something related to neither, but, as [.

“The Duck” Makes His Debut: AC Milan Have Turned (P)ATOmic!

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Gazzetta dello Sport will have to forgive me, but that title features the best one-word summary for Sunday's evening match, a Milan-Napoli full of excitement like we have rarely seen in 2008. Ok I'm exaggerating: the year has only just begun, but boy did the Rossoneri set a high standard tonight!!!

Villa’s young Englishmen give Aston Martin a smooth journey

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In one of the first articles I ever wrote for Soccerlens, I delved into potential candidates for McClaren's new-look England squad. As in this article, I employed a pun from the world of automobiles in the title, asking myself, and the readers, whether McClaren could get England off to a "racing start" in the [.

Roberto Baggio Profile: Una Porta Nel Cielo

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Image courtesy of Wikipedia. He is forever remembered for the wrong reason. His penalty kick miss at the final of World Cup 1994 against Brazil. Before that kick, he had never missed one for the Azzurri in seven attempts. In his Serie A career through 2001 (he retired in 2004), Baggio converted 71 out of 79 [.

Alexandre Pato Makes Dream Debut for Milan

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Destiny's Child. The Savior. The Messiah. The One. These are just some of the names that 18 year old Brazilian teen sensation Alexandre Pato have gone by. Whatever you think of him, there can be no denying that on Sunday, all eyes were on AC Milan and Pato. And the most pressing question that was on [.

La Liga Week 19: Henry finally finds his form for Barçelona

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Thierry Henry played his best game so far for Football Club Barcelona in Saturday's 4-0 victory over Murcia. Henry didn't get on the scoresheet but he set up goals for 17-year-old Bojan Krkic and for Samuel Eto'o who marked his last game for Barça before joining up with the Cameroon national team with a brace.

The Past, Present, and Future of Brazilian Football (Videos)

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Ronaldo certainly picked a fine time to make his return from injury, but he was the elder statesman on Sunday as AC Milan took on Napoli at home in their first match of the new year. On the day that wonderkid striker Alexander Pato made his debut for the Rossoneri, the fans who packed [...]

African Cup of Nations - Ghana 2008 - Team Kits

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As we approach the opening ceremony of the African Cup of Nations for 2008, I thought I would give a brief synopsis on the kits the countries will be wearing. Much like I did for the Euro 2008 as well, if you want to go to the African Cup of Nations page just click [...]

There’s No Substitute: On Watching Soccer as a Fan, and as a Player

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I watched the Women's World Cup final with my aunt in her living room. I watched the semifinal match between Brazil & USA in a sports bar in France (pictured, Christiane fighting off Natasha Kai). I caught the televised second half of the 1999 final in Pasadena, but I don't know where I was, or [...]

Manchester United 6-0 Newcastle United - Goal Videos

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Manchester United beat Newcastle United thanks to 6 goals in the second half as the visitors repeatedly slammed the self-destruct button and helped the home side regain their position at the top of the Premier League table (OK, so Birmingham helped too). For Sir Alex Ferguson, this is the perfect time to refocus and get [.

Manchester United’s Big Problem: Will Anyone Buy Louis Saha?

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Louis Saha is injured, again. And while Gill says that it's just a slight knock (trashing reports that Saha would be out for the whole 2007/2008 season), Saha's persistent injury problems pose Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United a few problems. One - who will fill the 3rd striker berth for Manchester United in the [.

Toffees not to Manchester City’s taste as Lescott gives Everton the spoils

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Joleon Lescott's goal ensured the only fire burning brightly around Goodison Park this week was Everton's European dream as they recorded a valuable three points today against Manchester City. It was a hotly-anticipated affair and the Toffees went into it not only handicapped by the loss of African stars such as Yakubu and Joseph Yobo, but [.

What do Derby County offer that Sunderland don’t?

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The table, they say, doesn't lie. Derby County (20) lie 10 points behind Sunderland (18) and Wigan (17) and with 17 games to go, Derby manager Paul Jewell will know that a Portsmouth / West Ham styled come-back is highly unlikely even if he could bring in a new starting XI (Paul already has [...]

Newcastle United: As Allardyce goes, who’s to blame? As Redknapp comes in, who’s to blame?

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All of us have had a few days to muse about the departure of Sam Allardyce from Newcastle United now, the announcement coming on Wednesday afternoon, but my opinion hasn't changed at all in that space of time, and I'm sure it won't the in the coming months: It's a laughable decision, from an increasingly [.

Newcastle United - did Sam and Ashley fight or did Sam lose the dressing room?

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Note to Newcastle United - when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. This is not said lightly - I have great affection for the romance that surrounds Newcastle United and admit to have been swept, like many others, by the swell of goodwill that engulfs fans and followers (including the media) whenever Newcastle [.

AC Milan In 2008

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A New Year brings about new hopes, new wishes, new resolutions. A time to recollect, make new plans and then try keeping to them. And since it is that time of the year again, I thought it will be fitting to write a post about my beloved club - AC Milan - and what the [...]

Inter Milan in 2008

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In Italy, there is a phrase: from the stars to the stable. Qualify that to from the stable to the stars. For 16 years Internazionale FC ploughed through the stinking stable while their rivals escalated to the stars; for 16 years Internazionale had failed to seduce the scudetto mistress; for 16 years Internazionale had been [.

Eye on Ghana: African Cup of Nations less than Touré-ffic news for FC Barcelona and Sevilla

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Following the numerous articles written on the subject of the effect of the African Cup of Nations on the Premier League, shaping in particular the fortunes of Portsmouth and Chelsea, I would like to take a short look at the La Liga teams which might suffer most from the exodus of African players to Ghana.

Transfer Roundup: Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Fulham, Bayern Munich, Sampdoria, Lyon

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Finally, Nicolas Anelka is off to Chelsea, so we can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Everyone has what they want, as Anelka is finally on the move again (it took long enough, didn't it?), Chelsea have their striker (and didn't ‘overpay'), and Bolton have the money to do a little spending. And, [.

On Beckham training with Arsenal - a Manchester United fan’s view

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I got the news the other morning when I turned on my computer and checked The Sun website for some fun articles. And there he was. Beckham in a black or navy sweatshirt with ‘Fly Emirates' written all across it in golden letters. Surely that was have the work of a journalist who played with [...]

Real Madrid, Arsenal, Inter Milan all contenders for the Treble in 2008

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Bernd Schuster is going for it. Jose Mourinho almost had it. Only four men in the history of the game have done it but Gerard Houllier thought he'd got it - only it turned out to be plastic. The Treble: European Cup (or Champions League) in the same season as the domestic double of league and [...]

Transfer Rumours: Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton, Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, Real Madrid, Sunderland, Inter Milan, Middlesbrough, Derby

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In case you've missed anything over the last two days, here we go with the important stuff. Robbie Savage has completed his 1.5 million GBP move from Blackburn to Derby, but it's certainly not without silence. But, instead of a comment towards his former club, Savage's words were for Sunderland, who lost out [.

Rise of the Foot Long Soldier

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When it comes to a worthy cause, I live to give. I was so moved by Pele's appeal to help men with erectile dysfunction that i agreed to pay £10 a month towards the campaign, but unfortunately I wasn't able to keep it up. Liverpool FC were not so generous of spirit when Luton Town [...]

07/08 Carling Cup Semi First Leg: Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham - Grateful Gunners grab late goal.

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Several times over the last eight years, Tottenham have had victory against Arsenal within their grasp, only to let it slip away in the late stages. History repeated itself at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, as Tottenham took a first-half lead, only to see Arsenal nick a goal in the late stages again [.

There is More to Life Than Football

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This week, instead of following live coverage of the 3rd Round of the FA Cup, or scanning the rumor mills to see who could be moving where in this January's transfer market, I was at a hospital with family, waiting for up-to-the-second reports on the condition of a relative. Once again, I was forced [.

Villarreal No More Under Riquelme’s Shadows

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What happens when your best ever player not so much as leaves the club as is walked to the departing train by your manager and President? What happens when the central piece of the jigsaw is pulled out? What happens when the player who almost single-handedly Midas-es your club from an also-ran to one of [.

What is Liverpool’s best XI?

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According to many observers, Rafael Benitez does not know his best eleven. Well, perhaps we as the Liverpool fans we should put forward our suggestions and see which one is the most popular. In my opinion, 4-4-2 with these players is the most balanced side Liverpool can put out. If it is played consistently and its a [.

Espanyol 3-0 Villarreal - Match Report

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And then there were three. It might have been third versus fourth at the Montjuic in La Liga on Saturday night but Espanyol Barcelona certainly didn't buy that. From the word go, the high flying "other" club from the Catalan capital played with their hearts on their sleeves and sliced through Villarreal like a knife [.

La Liga Week 18: Real Madrid ride their luck to stay 7 points clear of Barcelona

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For yet another week Real Madrid have Iker Casillas and the decisiveness of their forwards to thank for their victory. Second half goals from Ruud Van Nistlerooy and Robinho gave them a 2-0 victory over Zaragoza who try as they might could not beat the Madrid keeper. Casillas made at least five decent saves when [.

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Newcastle, West Ham, Birmingham, Fulham, Sunderland, Derby, Juventus, Inter Milan

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As opposed to ending the roundup with the signings as I usually do, I'll start today's with the signing news. Derby have been one of the busiest clubs since the transfer window opened, and are set to wrap up a few more deals in the next couple of days. Former Newcastle and Portsmouth [...]

07/08 Carling Cup Semi: Chelsea 2-1 Everton - No blues for the Blues after first-leg thriller.

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Arsenal and Tottenham have a tough act to follow after Chelsea and Everton kicked off the Carling Cup semifinals with a thriller at Stamford Bridge. It took more than 90 minutes to decide who would have an edge heading into the second leg, and in the end, it would be a costly mistake by [...]

Transfer Roundup: Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Portsmouth, Reading, Wigan, Fulham, Derby, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund

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If at first you don't succeed, pull out the checkbook and try again. That's the situation Chelsea are in right now, after having their offer for Nicolas Anelka rejected by Bolton. As for what the offer was, the reports don't say, but I can confirm, without a shadow of a doubt, that whatever [...]

Interview with Paul Blank, Football Photographer

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All images in this interview are courtesy of Paul Blank and www.postproduktie.nl. Paul Blank Fotagrafie Photography Football Portfolio: http://www.postproduktie.nl/voetbal.htm Soccerlens is very pleased to welcome Mr. Paul Blank. He is a professional photographer who lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with his partner and daughter.

African Cup of Nations 2008 Damage Report - Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton and Portsmouth worst-hit

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With the African Cup of Nations coming up, many teams will start counting their players, because losing some of them for a period which could range between 4 to 6 weeks is not very funny if you are a Premier League manager. Especially since most of them will return injured and exhausted. So, in the utter [.

Meet Arsenal’s Newest Shooting Star (Video)

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Since I've been a serious football fan, I've never really cared much for Arsenal. Quite the opposite, in fact. However, I can't help but be impressed by Arsene Wenger's latest steal, who, like many before him, hasn't taken long to make good on Arsenal's investment. Who am I referring to? Hint: He [.

She Shoots, She Scores…2 Points !?! - That’s Coed Soccer

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Those of you who have never played organized coed soccer (mixed football) will be surprised to learn that in some coed leagues (e.g. UC San Diego's intramural leagues) your team wins 2 points when women score. First time I heard that (while playing one weekend in a coed 5 aside league in Santa Monica, CA) [.

All-Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS

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After the World's Top Goalscorer of 2007, the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History & Statistics) has done the impossible: make yet another controversial ranking, and make some more thousand-something fans pissed off about it. This time, it's the All-Time Club Rankings. So where's the catch?

Middlesbrough Fans: Back the Band!

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In a move rarely made by Premiership clubs, where making money and appeasing the sponsors takes priority over all else, Middlesbrough have gone one step further in involving the fans in how they want the team to look. Having ditched the short-term revival of the white chest band at the Riverside as part of the 're-branding [.

La Liga January Transfers Watch: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and the rest

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Whilst the English papers continue to link all and sundry with transfers, grappling with the particularly persistent rumours of Berbatov and Anelka's moves to Manchester United or Chelsea, here in Spain the transfer talk is somewhat calmer. This is for various reasons. Firstly, a rule of which most foreign commentators are ignorant states that no [.

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham, Manchester United, Newcastle, Liverpool, Arsenal, Celtic, Bolton, Wigan, Fulham, Derby, Manchester City, Blackburn, Juventus, Borus

SoccerLens at related • 37 views
I'll get today's transfer roundup started by getting your obligatory Berbatov tidbit out of the way first. Juande Ramos has slapped a 31 million GBP price tag on his prized asset. So, if you want to get him, you'll have to pay an arm and a leg to get him, or, if you're [...]

Espanyol v Villarreal Preview

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La Liga returns after a two-week hibernation and Week 18 could be a potentially explosive one. League leaders Real Madrid are guaranteed Winter Champions and Levante will remain rock bottom after this weekend's round of matches but all other things could change. The pick of the games in the Spanish first division this weekend is the [.

Chelsea v QPR: Clash of the Titans?

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5th January sees the clash of the two richest clubs in England as Chelsea welcome local rivals Queens Park Rangers to Stamford Bridge for the first time in over 10 years. Unfortunately, this most intriguing local rivalry, coupled with the rare sight of seeing someone richer than Roman sitting in the Directors box hasn't quite captured [.

Is This Another False Dawn For Atletico Madrid?

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It's comic, it's tragic and it's pathetic. Every season Atletico Madrid start their season saddled with a sack full of hope, hype and expectation and at the end of every season there's rue, regret and an all too familiar disappointment wailing all around. This time too there's a strong suspicion that Atleti are here for [.

FA Cup 3rd Round Predictions

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FA Cup 3rd Round Preview (07/08), with Gerry McDonnell - Let's all do the Bart Man Ignorance is not necessarily bliss. I've recently discovered that binge drinking can lead to long-term health problems, such as crabs and Chlamydia. The arrival of a new year offers me the opportunity to reflect upon my previous [.

Transfer Gossip: Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Tottenham, Fulham, Derby, Valencia, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Palermo, Fiorentina, Hamburg SV, Borussia Dortmund

SoccerLens at related • 42 views
Finally, we have some signings, because it can get a little boring talking about speculation sometimes. Reports indicate that Chelsea have beaten Manchester United and Juventus to the signature of Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic. Chelsea have agreed a 8.9 million GBP deal with Lokomotiv Moscow for the 23-year old, who looked to be [.

Spain’s Copa Del Rey Embarrasses Real Madrid and Barcelona

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The big clubs in Spain have long defended the seeded, two-legged format in the Copa del Rey which means that even if they do lose to a second-level team in the first game, they can be sure to turn the tie around on their own pitch in the return match. This may appear to serve [...]

World’s Top Goalscorer of 2007 according to IFFHS

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"Soccer is a world made of numbers". A phrase which would make any mathematician proud, with the eternal claim that you can find mathematics anywhere. And where better to find numbers than Goal Totals: the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), the famous (and often criticized) organization that chronicles the history of football, [.

Interview with Diego Gutierrez of the Chicago Fire

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Last month, I wrote a brief article about the humanitarian efforts of a MLS player, Diego Gutierrez, a midfielder who plays for the Chicago Fire. Mr. Gutierrez, who is a native of Bogotá, Colombia, is the spokesman for a very interesting cause called Nothing But Nets. This charity was formed to help alleviate the [.

5 Big Stories to Watch in 2008

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Now that we're into the new year, it's time to think about some of the stories to watch for in 2008. Can anyone knock one of the Big Four out of the top four in the EPL? Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea all look set to take three spots in the top four, but the [...]

Euro 2008 Kits

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For many teams across Europe, the second biggest tournament to qualify and win would be the Euro. Behind the World Cup, of course. So it is a big time for all teams across the continent to unveil kits that will be worn for this event only, or for a couple years following. [...]

Transfer Gossip: Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Barcelona, AC Milan

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The transfer window is open, and that means the rumors and news items are going to be flying off the wire with blistering speed for the next month. The Nicolas Anelka to Chelsea rumors are heating up now that both parties have admitted their undying lust for one another. Anelka, a man of ambition, wants [.

Predictions for 2008 – Spanish grapes picks of the British bunch

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Tradition dictates that as the clock counts down to midnight on New Year's Eve, Spaniards all over the Peninsula stuff twelve of those sumptuous Spanish grapes their mouths, in tune with the twelve strikes of the bells signalling the birth of the new annum. Quite often this has comic consequences; for instance, two years ago, [.

All Premier League Transfers in January 2008

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Following tradition (we've been tracking Premier League transfers ever since Soccerlens started), here's a full (and regularly updated) list of transfers in and out of the English Premier League. January 2008 Transfers - English Premier League Have fun and make sure that you check out our transfer rumours column for the latest transfer news.

The Winners of 2007: Manchester United, Fabio Capello, Inter Milan, Cesc Fabregas and Iraq

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While football accomplishments and failures are usually measured season to season, the end of an year gives an opportunity to view a team's (or a player's) performance from a different perspective. Here's a look at the teams and people who deserve to be nominated as the best performers in 2007, even by their own high standards.

The Losers of 2007: England, Steve McClaren, Ronaldinho, Bayern Munich, David Beckham and Barcelona

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While football accomplishments and failures are usually measured season to season, the end of an year gives an opportunity to view a team's (or a player's) performance from a different perspective. Here's a look at the teams and people who deserve to be nominated as the worst performers in 2007, allowing for slumps in form and [.

Chelsea to beat Manchester City and Manchester United for Anelka

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For months we've been hearing that Nicolas Anleka wants out of Bolton. The noises were there since before Sam Allardyce left, and they've continued, as Manchester United, Chelsea, Newcastle United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City have all been linked with the reformed Frenchman. He was widely tipped to move last summer but with the top [.

Arsenal and Wenger have finally grown up

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When Arsenal played 'direct-ball' against Everton, and especially when Arsene Wenger talked about the change in Arsenal's tactics as being necessary, it marked a very special moment in Arsenal's history. For a start, after a couple of poor years (by their standards), Arsenal are now a side brimming with confidence.

Youth Soccer Coaching: Are Small-Sided Games Better?

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Note: This article was written by Antonio Saviano. It was originally published on the Soccerkix blog. The activities in the youth sector, 10-12 years of age, have as the main objectives the teaching of all individual abilities that represent the fundamental base of the game of soccer. The individual abilities are what we call, the [.

Red Card: Afterthoughts on Manchester United’s “Rape Party”

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Note: This article was written by Jennifer Doyle. It was originally published on the From A Left Wing blog. Before Christmas, the media here in England was whipping itself up into a froth over what has become known as Manchester United's "Rape Party" - a private-ish holiday bash for which players paid a planner to [.

No Ronaldo for Real Madrid as Manchester United Refuse To Sell

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The January 2008 transfer window hadn't officially started when Real Madrid (predictably) fired off their first salvo, this time aiming for Manchester United. Having hit a stone wall in their chase of Milan's Kaka (Milan refuse to sell, Kaka's contract means he can't budge for a long time), they've changed their tune and are [.

Should Liverpool Buy Mascherano Now or Wait Till Summer?

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One of the root causes of the minor rift / disagreement between Rafa Benitez and the Liverpool owners was the status of Javier Mascherano. To make a long story short, Rafa thinks that Liverpool need to pin down their star players as quickly as possible because over the past three years they have lost [.