SoccerLens Archives for January 2008

Leigh Genesis: From Exodus to Revelation, and none of it’s pleasant

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Without wanting to say I told you so, the news that Leigh Genesis's chairman and main backer has pulled out, leaving the club in the financial lurch, should come as a surprise to no-one. Back in the summer the Unibond Premier League team announced the club was to be rebranded (that's rebranded, not renamed) from Leigh [.

Sounders FC holding open tryouts — with a twist

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Sounders FC will hold open tryouts in three Washington cities next month, and the tryouts will be taped for TV with the one player who survives the cuts awarded a roster spot on the Major League Soccer team in 2009. Seattle Sounders FC will hold open tryouts for the team in Tukwila, Spokane and Yakima next [.

Kinnear Must Stay On as Newcastle Seek Stability

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It is not quite time for the champagne to come out at St James' Park after Newcastle finally won their second match of the season against West Bromwich Albion and lifted themselves out of the drop zone - although for a moment in the press room afterwards Joe Kinnear considered the idea. The club still languish [.

Every Game Needs a Hero

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As the clock approached the ninetieth minute, there was only one thing on the goalkeeper's mind: save any and every shot that comes near his net—his home. After all, his team was had the lead, but a very slim lead at that. Possession had been theirs for the majority of the game, but now the [...]

Everton benefit from ‘offside’ goal as Bolton are denied a point

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Well what a Wednesday night of action that was! It was a long night for The Right Result Panel, reviewing the most controversial incidents of the day's games. The independent panel have made the following judgement: Bolton v Everton (0-1) The panel feel both Fellaini and Pienaar were in offside positions when the ball was played forward by Neville [.

Tottenham plan 60,000 seater stadium

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Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed plans to build a new 60,000-capacity stadium near their current White Hart Lane ground. Tottenham's latest financial results show that they are very much in a position to finance and build the stadium in time (unlike some other Premier League clubs lacking funds for their new stadiums) and with Spurs expect to [.

Can Tottenham beat Liverpool at White Hart Lane?

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Harry Redknapp has only been at Tottenham for 2 games but from listening to him speak you'd think they were in 2nd spot breathing down Liverpool's necks, not 19 spots below. One could even argue that Tottenham's current euphoria - sorely-needed as it is for improving morale - is unfounded as Bolton shot themselves in the [.

What I Learned from Michael Ballack

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The year had to have been 1998. I remember dragging an old, decrepit, yellow blanket down the stairs from the upper level of the house I lived in. Out of habit, I checked the calendar: the date read October 1. For whatever reason, I had neglected to go to school that day... and I was [...]

Ronaldo leads Manchester United past West Ham

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Dimitar Berbatov produced a moment of magic and a smiling Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a brace as United beat West Ham 2-0 at Old Trafford. Ronaldo scored his and United's first after 15 minutes when he converted an inch perfect cross from fellow Portuguese international Luis Nani. He then added a second from 2 yards after a [.

Maradona is definitely a chance worth taking

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Diego Maradona is going to be the next coach of the Argentinean national side, and personally, I am mighty kicked about it. Can anything match the sight of a portly Maradona pacing the sidelines, shouting expletives at the officials and rival players, and jumping animatedly at the slightest sign of excitement?

The Big Time

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Just imagine this for a moment: you're standing in the tunnel, seconds before the kick-off of your professional debut. You can smell the turf. You can taste the crisp night air of an early autumn evening. You can hear the aaahhhs of an anxious crowd; they're ready for some futbol. You can see the pitch—corner [.

Arsenal need practice games with the Ladies’ team

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In the build-up to last night's Arsenal v Tottenham game, Cesc Fabregas made a cheeky comment (and quite funny at the time) saying that if the Arsenal Ladies team played Tottenham's first team, "they would do really well. I'm sure they would get a point!" Despite Tottenham's late comeback, I wouldn't disagree with Fabregas - [.

The Beautifully Expensive Game

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Admission prices have rocketed at Deportivo La Coruña. The average cost for a ticket to see my local team play Real Madrid in the opening game this season was about €55 (₤40). To British fans, and especially those following English Premier League teams, those prices might sound quite reasonable.

Former Arsenal Player Moves To MLS

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Freddie Ljungberg has become the latest big-name player to move to Major League Soccer after signing to play for the Seattle Sounders. The 31-year-old former Arsenal and Sweden star has made a two-year commitment to the MLS newcomers in a deal reported to be worth $5m a year. He had been without a club since leaving [.

Ramos blames Keane and Berbatov sales for Tottenham exit

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Former Tottenham boss Juande Ramos has admitted the loss of star strikers Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov to Liverpool and Manchester United, for a combined total of more than £51m, was a major factor behind his sacking. Juande Ramos: "The exit of Berbatov and Keane, important for their human qualities and scoring ability, was too hard a [.

Moroccan jailed for loving Barcelona more than his King

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A Moroccan schoolboy, aged 18, has been jailed for 'insulting the king', after replacing the monarch's name with that of his favourite football club. He altered the phrase "God, The Nation, The King" on the school blackboard to read "God, The Nation, Barcelona". Barcelona are looking to milk the PR angle, saying that they have appointed a [.

Redknapp and patience can get Spurs back to the top

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So the inevitable finally happened, and Senor Ramos was given the boot. Hardly surprising, given the teams diabolical start to the league season. Ramos is obviously a talented coach but he never really sparked in England, that Carling Cup win aside. For various reasons, Ramos was unable to get the best out of his players [.

Fear and loathing and just a touch of optimism in North London

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What a difference 24 hours make. On Saturday evening I was looking ahead to Sunday's match at White Hart Lane and anticipating chatting to a few Spurs fans and getting a sense, first-hand, of the gloom surrounding the club. Having visited Barnet and watched them toothlessly lose the day before, there was even a planned [.

Carlisle United need to turn things around before it’s too late

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When Carlisle United were relegated from the football league in 2004 their fans must have feared the worst. Their club had avoided relegation on numerous occasions from Division 3 and when they were finally relegated they must have feared that they could be down in the realms of Non-league for years to come.

Arsenal v. Tottenham - English Premier League - 29 October 2008 - Live Blog

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Arsenal v. Tottenham Stadium: Emirates Stadium, England Competition: English Premier League Date: 29 October 2008 Kickoff: 20:00 GMT, 16:00 ET It's time for the North London Derby as Arsenal will host Tottenham and their brand new manager, Harry Redknapp! Soccerlens will be bringing you live coverage of the match.

Blackburn and Middlesbrough errors cancelled out as Arsenal and Liverpool vie for title

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Paul Ince's Blackburn Rovers established their place as this season's Right Result regulars with their sixth and seventh incidents of the new campaign in Saturday's draw with Middlesbrough. Visiting forward Tuncay will be rueing his luck as his spectacular goal first-half was wrongly disallowed for offside.

Could it be Liverpool’s year?

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They say all good things must come to an end, and Liverpool fans are hoping their team's ending of Chelsea's 86-match home unbeaten run heralds the start of a new golden era of their own. The league win at Stamford Bridge was a long time coming for Liverpool and although both managers were reluctant to overplay [.

A Kieron Dying Breed?

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Not long ago, perhaps just over 5 years, this title of this piece could have been much the same as it is now. The same, except that the main noun of the sentence will be replaced, so it will read, 'Are the days of the technical wizard over?' It seems we have gone half circle [...]

Rethinking Goals

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Goals are the focus of football. Goals mold the plot and determine results. Goals win trophies, titles and plaudits. The goal, undoubtedly, is the most pivotal event during a football match. However, how useful are goals for evaluating individual players? Leo Messi receives the ball at the halfway line, skips through five [.

Ballack apologises to Loew

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I criticised Ballack for his unprofessional conduct earlier this week so it's only fair to praise the man for being a man and apologising to his manager for his words. Ballack: "I will sit down with Joachim Loew as soon as my injury permits and apologise for my behaviour." Loew: "I've noted Ballack's explanation, but much more important [.

08-09 FA Cup 1st Round Draw

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AFC Wimbledon will host League Two high-flyers Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup first round. The Blue Square South side are in the first round for the first time in their history, while Wycombe are yet to lose a game this season. League Two Brentford play last season's giant-killers Havant and Waterlooville.

Harry takes biggest gamble yet with Tottenham

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It's always been known Harry Redknapp likes a gamble. Be it his forrays in the transfer market, or the 12:40 at Kempton, he's always been one to take a risk. And usually, they pay off. However, by taking the Tottenham Hotspur job, has Harry went one gamble too far? Looking at Spurs and the current predicament [.

Redknapp bites the Tottenham worm

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Harry Redknapp has agreed to join Tottenham Hotsphur as their new manager after the London club sacked Juande Ramos yesterday evening. Redknapp who has also managed at Bournemouth and Southampton has been seeking a big time job for some years now and after putting off a number of offers in recently, has finally given in [.

Manchester United’s ref issue, Tottenham’s real problem and Barton’s Newcastle disgrace

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Many people admire Alex Ferguson. He is undoubtedly one of the best managers ever to have been involved in the game, and his record with Manchester United speaks for itself. Unfortunately, Fergie himself also speaks; predominantly about referees. An unofficial (and made up) record to add to Fergie's glimmering collection is that he is the first [.

Daniel Levy’s open letter to Tottenham fans

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Dear Supporter, How quickly things change in football. Our pre-season form, our start to the transfer window and early summer signings had everyone optimistic for the season ahead. The last few days of that window and our poor start to the season has seen all that change. This has been a difficult period for the Club [.

Can Redknapp save Tottenham from relegation?

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When Daniel Levy leaves his post as Tottenham chairman, his legacy will be one of half-chances, unfulfilled ambitions and horrible timing. What Spurs get right - Ramos was a good choice at the time to replace Jol, and Redknapp is a good choice to replace Ramos - they screw it up by mistiming the event.

The Life and Times of a Modern Footballer

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* Please note that some of the names in this story are fictitious, as is the story itself. The small, skinny boy passes the ball slickly to the neighbour's kid with whom he was playing football in the street. He runs forward and the neighbour slides the ball back to him before he shoots. GOAL! He [..

Ade thinks Arsenal fans are idiots

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Let's get the praise out of the way - Adebayor is Arsenal's best chance for scoring goals this season and has been since the start of last season and maybe even since the season before that. With RVP's problems last year, without Ade Arsenal would have struggle to get to where they were in the [...]

Respect, Honesty and the Big Bad Wolf

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Much has been written about this season's Respect Campaign but I fear that it is doomed to failure. Respect, as they say, is earned but for today's referees what we all demand of them in return for our respect is an impossible ask and all of us who sit in judgment contribute in one way [...]

Dowie given the boot as Briatore loses patience

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Well, it's finally happened. After 15 games and a mere 5 months in charge, Iain Dowie has been relieved of his duties at Queens Park Rangers. A decision that isn't a huge shock to anyone really, no less Dowie, who must have felt like a dead man walking throughout his tenure. So much for Dowie's [...]

Rovers not donnying it like they should

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Many teams' start to this new season has been somewhat surprising and for some its been disastrous. Newly promoted side Doncaster Rovers have had a poor start to the season has been somewhat shocking due to the huge potential they showed in getting promoted from League 1 last season. They showed all last season they could [.

William Gallas, cigarettes, Arsenal and some perspective

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God knows I've blogged my fair share of criticism on Billy G's behavior - his move away from Chelsea, his time at Arsenal, especially post-Henry, his comments to the press, it's all made for ripe pickings for the baying mob and we've loved it. This time though, it has nothing to do with football, it's not [.

More Law Breaking from our good friends at FIFA

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The first time I saw ‘Foul!' by Andrew Jennings in my Library I simply thought ‘my Lord, another left wing, John Pilger-esque, failure.' I read the first chapter, I didn't want to believe it, and I justified this by saying that it was rumour/fear-mongering from the British tabloids. In the course of my university [.

Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool - English Premier League - 26 October 2008 - Live Blog

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Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool (Alonso 10′) Stadium: Stamford Bridge, England Competition: English Premier League Date: 26 October 2008 Kickoff: 14:30 BST, 9:30 ET Liverpool struck early and held on late to end Chelsea's 86 match home unbeaten streak to win this top-of-the-table clash. Soccerlens brought you the action live!

Grin Up North - Tigers celebrate a fantastic start to the season

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The tabloid headlines following Hull City's victory over West Ham read predictably... ‘London 0 Hull 4'. The latest win over a team from the capital (Hull had already claimed the scalp of Fulham, Arsenal and Tottenham earlier in the season) not only replicated the title of the famous 1986 Housemartins album, but maintained the Tigers highest position [.

Paul Robinson Crusoe

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My tired arms rested limply on the driftwood as I floated aimlessly in the ocean. How long was I drifting? Hours? Days? 90 minutes? I can't tell you. My concentration isn't what it used to be. How did I end up there? Well, it all started after my transfer to Blackburn. Daniel Levy and Juande [...]

Beckham and MLS - What’s The Verdict?

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Earlier this season, David Beckham and the L.A. Galaxy played a series of barnstorming games in South Korea and China. Aside from England, Asia has been Beckham's most rabid fan base since the 2002 World Cup was held there. In the first match against FC Seoul, the 65,000-seat stadium was only half full.

Everton v. Manchester United - English Premier League - 25 October 2008 - Live Blog

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Everton v. Manchester United Stadium: Goodison Park, England Competition: English Premier League Date: 25 October 2008 Kickoff: 12:00 BST, 7:00 ET Manchester United will look to continue their three-match winning streak in the Premiership as they pay a visit to underachieving Everton. Soccerlens will bringing you the action live!

The Future of FIFA

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"Blatter will never retire. He will stay until the mortician arrives with the black bag to take his body out." Steve Amoia recently had the opportunity to interview respected investigative journalist and film maker, Mr. Andrew Jennings, whose recent book, "Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals" painted FIFA in a [.

Michael Ballack is out of order

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Let's set one thing straight - I'm not a Germany fan, but I'm a Michael Ballack fan. He's as professional as they come, he's always looking to win (yes he dives sometimes), he's got a smart footballing brain and he keeps his nose clean off the pitch. Minus the diving (if you don't like it, [...]

Beye wins red-card appeal - shouldn’t Newcastle get all 3 points too?

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The FA has decided to overturn Habib Beye's red card (received during the Newcastle United v Manchester City match on Monday) and thus the player is free to play for Newcastle against Sunderland this weekend. But while Beye returns to the starting lineup, there's still the matter of the penalty that was given for the same [.

Future World XI: Football’s Future Superstars

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Who are the world's most promising young footballers? We have seen the world's (or Europe's, depending on your point of view) best footballers shortlisted this season for the FIFPro and Ballon D'Or awards this month, but what of the hidden gems in Europe and elsewhere in the world of football who are solid, talented footballers [.

Last chance for Newcastle with Barton

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Tottenham players will be breathing a sigh of relief looking at the Premier League fixture list for this weekend. Not only are they at home against Bolton (this, even they should win), but all around the Premier League there are much bigger matches to be played. There's Everton hosting Manchester United, Chelsea v Liverpool, a [.

Zabeel withdraw Charlton offer, deny intentions of acquiring any other English club

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The Dubai investment group Zabeel have pulled out of a deal to buy Championship club Charlton Athletic. After making an indicative offer for the club earlier this month they have decided to withdraw their interest. A statement from Charlton said: "Zabeel Investments has informed Charlton that the decision not to proceed was taken on the basis [.

Arsenal keeper wants to be England no. 1, do England fans want him?

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Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, on being asked about the possibility of one day donning gloves for England: "The opportunity is there and I'll follow it for as long as the possibility of playing for England remains open. I don't think playing for Spain is an option — they have enough keepers — it's not their biggest problem.

Tottenham’s Next Manager - Definitely Not Wenger

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I know things are bad for Ramos at the moment but surely they can't be this bad that bookies are now accepting bets for Arsene Wenger to replace him? Here are the latest odds (from Paddy Power, hat tip to The Offside and F365): 4/1 Poyet 8/1 Hughes 10/1 Bilic, Rijkaard 12/1 Ranieri, Klinsmann, Redknapp 14/1 Mancini 18/1 Moyes, Venables 20/1 Keegan, Jol, [.

Ronaldo Versus The Stretford End

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The Ronaldo saga, possibly the most tedious bout of "will-he-won't-he" transfer talk ever, was the bane of most United fans lives over the summer. Here we were, champions of England, champions of Europe, and all anyone wanted talk about was whether our Portuguese winker was going to join Real Madrid.

Sepp Blatter in ‘hit and abandon’ car accident?

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Last Saturday Sepp Blatter was reportedly involved in a car accident coming out of a mountain tunnel in the Swiss Alps, where his Mercedes hit a slower-moving car he was trying to overtake, lost control and hit an oncoming VW Golf. The Golf is said to have overturned several times before stopping with the driver escaping [.

Nigerian goverment refuses to fund 2009 Under-17 World Cup

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Nigeria may be forced to quit as hosts of the 2009 Under-17 World Cup, after the country's government said it cannot afford to provide the money needed to stage the competition. The Nigerian government decided that the $30 million required was not seen as a priority. Nigeria President Umaru Yar'Adua told his cabinet last week that [.

Chelsea 1-0 Roma: John Terry Crushing Giallorossi Hopes for a Rebound (UEFA Champions League 2008-09)

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Unlike Chelsea, ranking 1st in the Premier League and undefeated domestically since February, AS Roma approached their UEFA Champions League Matchday 3 fixture with extreme caution. Coming from a 0-4 home loss to Inter Milan this week-end, the Giallorossi were counting on returning iconic captain Francesco Totti to sound the charge on the Stamford Bridge [.

An American Werewolf (wishes he were) in London

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America and soccer have never had much more than a tepid amateur relationship.  The paradox of this relationship resides in the fact that there are more soccer players in the United States than England, France, Argentina, Spain, and Brazil combined (FIFA.com).  If you ask anyone if they've played on a club team at some point [.

Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals at FIFA

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"It does make the Mafia look quite amateur..." Steve Amoia recently had the opportunity to interview respected investigative journalist and film maker, Mr. Andrew Jennings, whose recent book, "Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals" painted FIFA in a hue that many at the world governing body would have rather not [.

Arsenal have money to burn - but will Wenger buy anyone?

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According to Ken Friar the profits generated from the Highbury Square development project are separate from Arsenal's usual accounts and as such are free for the club to use to reduce debt, buy a superstar (or 10 potential superstars) and pay for school tuition for Wenger's young ducklings all in one go.

David Beckham to join AC Milan on loan

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The English Galactico, David Beckham, will move to AC Milan on a short-term loan in January. The move will occur during MLS's offseason and Becks is expected to return to LA Galaxy in April when the 2009 MLS season kicks off. Beckham is moving on loan in a bid to keep playing competitive football and stay [.

2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying draw

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The draw for the final round of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations has taken place in Zurich (what, they couldn't do it in Africa?). 20 teams have been split into 5 groups of 4 teams each, with the outright winners qualifying for the 2010 World Cup and the top [...]

How do you deal with abusive fans?

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There were a couple of unsavoury crowd incidents last weekend in the Premiership. They've rightly received a lot of attention, which has a lot to do with how rare this kind of behaviour has been in the top league over the last few years. Every ground is kitted out width a multitude of cameras and individuals [.

A Night in Port-of-Spain

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There's something masochistic about watching a bad soccer match. It takes a certain type of fan to endure the moments of sheer boredom as players kick the ball to no one and swarm without rhyme or reason. Throw in a dirt pitch in a provincial outpost, and you have a game hardly anyone would want [...

Sunderland working to tie down Keane for two more years

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Keeping a man of Roy Keane's ambitions, determination and pride employed as a manager is not an easy matter. On one hand you want to give him the control and freedom to grow and develop and on the other hand you need to set boundaries and create a sustainable system that balances the books and, [...]

Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid: Amauri + Del Piero Wondergoal Return Pride in Turin (Champions League Matchday 3)

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Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, Juventus was reborn Tuesday. With two majestic strokes of the paintbrush, one by Del Piero to erase a never-ending streak of injuries, another by Amauri to wipe five consecutive winless matches clean, the Bianconeri imposed a lesson of great will & determination on their Real Madrid rivals.

Cristiano Ronaldo is 2008 FIFPro Player of the Year

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Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFPro World Player of the Year award for 2008. Ronaldo was also included in the FIFPro World XI Team alongside teammate Rio Ferdinand and several other players from the English Premier League. Ronaldo has already won the European Player of the Year award, and now has the Ballon D'Or and FIFA [.

FIFA, Sepp Blatter, and Bribes

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"Sepp Blatter really never had a real job. Like a rock star. And he'll never have a real job again." Steve Amoia recently had the opportunity to interview respected investigative journalist and film maker, Mr. Andrew Jennings, whose recent book, "Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals" painted FIFA in a [.

Should a criminal record bar someone from owning a football club?

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It seems that Manchester City changed into Manchester Dhabi in the nick of time - today's news from Thailand tells us that the ex-Thailand Prime Minister and former owner of Manchester City FC Thaksin Shinawatra has been found guilty of corruption by the Thai Supreme Court and sentenced to two years in jail.

German football resists foreign riches, for now

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The German Soccer League (DFL) confirmed last Thursday that the regulation preventing foreigners to possess majority shares in German clubs will remain in effect. The 50+1 rule (the first such 'numbered' rule to make sense) was voted on by the DFL, determining that Germans must own majority shares in Bundesliga clubs.

Manchester United v Chelsea, Vidic v Droga, Reality v Fiction

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Allow me to present you with a truly unbiased account of what happened on the night of 21 May 2008. For some there was glory, for others there was a sense of relief, for a chosen few the damning thought that this would be their last game for the club and for one or two select [...]

Styles Error Costs Newcastle 3 Points, Refs Cost Newcastle 8th Spot In League

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The Right Result independent panel last reviewed the key incidents from the Newcastle v Manchester City game and judged the following: Rob Styles was wrong to award a penalty to Manchester City for Habib Beye's tackle on Robinho. The Right Result: NEWCASTLE 2-1 MANCHESTER CITY According to the Right Result Table Newcastle, despite their off field problems should [.

Atletico Madrid 0-1 Liverpool - UEFA Champions League - 22 October 2008 - Live Blog

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Atletico Madrid 0-1 Liverpool (Keane 14′) Stadium: Vicente Calderon Stadium, Madrid, Spain Competition: UEFA Champions League, Group D Date: 22 October 2008 Kickoff: 19:45 BST, 14:45 ET It won't be a homecoming for injured striker Fernando Torres, but his Liverpool teammates will make the trip to Vicente Calderon to face Atletico Madrid in this Champions League clash.

The Translation

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I resolved to interview the hot new Salvadorian player Marco – he cost a lot of money, and the other reporters didn't speak Spanish, but I could finesse it sketchy. I put together some questions, cleared PR, and after practice stood alone with him on the windy soccer field. I apologized for my Spanish, he [.

Little Leiston lead the charge in the FA Cup

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In mid-August the FA Cup journey began for over 200 non-league clubs, all hoping to embark on a run that would at least take them into the FA Cup first round, bringing welcome cash and potential TV money with it. Now 64 teams stand of the verge of making this season's dream come true as [...]

Football will eat itself: why traditional supporters could walk away from the Premier League

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Despite the modernisation of the game and the soaring cost of attending, football is crawling with traditionalists. And why wouldn't it be? We're followers of a sport which can proudly trace its roots from a new Victorian era of leisure, through wartime stories of football in the face of adversity, to an age in which [.

Interview with Andrew Jennings, Investigative Journalist, Author of “Foul!” and founder of Transparencyinsport.org

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Soccerlens is very pleased to welcome a respected investigative journalist and film maker, Mr. Andrew Jennings, whose recent book, "Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals" painted FIFA in a hue that many at the world governing body would have rather not seen. Mr. Jennings is one of the few [.

How long do you let Juande ‘Two Points’ Ramos keep going about his business?

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I hold no malice against Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Many of you do, but I do not. As a football blogger, I love Spurs at the moment. They are so in this season. They are a constant source of humorous stories. Just when you think the situation cannot get any more ridiculous, they go and [...]

Is the Special One coming back to manage your club?

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It only seems months ago that 'The Special one' Jose Mourinho left England to head to mainland Europe, but in truth it was now over a year ago. Now with a job at Inter Milan who primarily want to win the Champions League, Mourinho is already looking at post-Inter options. The former [...]

Pathetic Tottenham didn’t even deserve their goal

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It just seems that it cannot get any worse for Tottenham Hotspur after defeat at new boys Stoke City continued their worst-ever start to a season. Not only are Spurs becoming adrift at the bottom of the Premier League but they ended their first trip to the Britannia Stadium minus the forthcoming services of three [.

A-League: Jets shoot down Victory

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Melbourne Victory returned to action last night in the Hyundai A-League. Facing the Newcastle Jets in Newcastle. The Victory demolished the Jets in the 3rd round at home 5-0. The gulf in class during that game was enormous and I must admit going into the game I was expecting another Victory win, especially given the [.

The Language We All Speak

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At the time of writing I am currently settled in my second year of life in Lima, Peru, a country that has failed to impress on the footballing stage for 30 odd years. Stating this fact is not something I feel will see me left for dead half way up the Pan-Americana with presently Peru [...]

08-09 Champions League Stats - Matchday 3

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Matchday 3 of the 2008/2009 Champions League takes place on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 October - here are some leading statistics regarding this year's Champions League participants: Top scorers 2008/2009 Champions League Player Nation Club Goals Apps All-time Goals All-time Apps Steven Gerrard ENG Liverpool 3 2 15 56 Sergio Agüero ARG Atlético Madrid 3 2 3 2 Dimitar Berbatov BUL Manchester United 2 1 9 27 Vincenzo Iaquinta ITA Juventus 2 1 6 6 Ruud van Nistelrooy NED Real Madrid 2 2 55 70 Lionel Messi ARG FC Barcelona 2 2 10 23 Robin van Persie NED Arsenal 2 2 8 28 Alberto Gilardino ITA AC Milan 2 2 6 28 Emmanuel Adebayor TOG Arsenal 2 2 6 33 Julio Baptista BRA AS Roma 2 2 4 16 Juan Culio ARG CFR 1907 Cluj 2 2 2 2 Head-to-heads [.

Brazil Are the Futsal Kings, Spain Beaten on Penalties (FIFA Futsal World Cup 2008)

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For the fourth time in FIFA Futsal World Cup history, Brazil conquered the gold medal on home turf Sunday morning. It was a match which all pundits anticipated to be a clash of the titans, with reigning World & European champions Spain providing a very worthy opponent for the Auriverde. It the end, only a [.

Roma Steamrolled by Inter Milan: 4-0 at Stadio Olimpico (Serie A Matchday 7)

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His last match in the starting eleven had been over six months ago, but one has to seriously wonder if even a Francesco Totti at 200% capacity would been able to stop the Inter Milan tsunami crashing over Roma on Sunday. Conceding four goals in your home stadium is already tough enough to swallow, but [.

Didier the sleeping assassin

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The world of football never ceases to provide gems of amusement to keep us all smiling. Footballers are not known for their intelligence, but Didier Drogba has once again proved he is not a master of tact. After causing a stink in an interview a few years ago when he seemed to claim he was a [...]

Manchester United v. Celtic - 21 October 2008 - UEFA Champions League - Live Blog

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Manchester United v. Celtic Stadium: Old Trafford, England UEFA Champions League, Group E Date: 21 October 2008 Kickoff: 19:45 BST, 14:45 ET Manchester United will continue their Champions League title defense when they play host to Celtic. The lineups are in and there are some surprises. Soccerlens will be bringing you the action live!

Rooney leads Manchester United to 4-0 win over West Brom

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Manchester United produced a sensational second half display to beat West Bromwich Albion 4-0 at Old Trafford. Wayne Rooney made it three goals in four days for club and country when he got the first goal with a clinical finish early in the second half. He then turned provider when his pass set up Cristiano [.

A Modest Proposal for the Resolution of Club versus Country

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"When the club versus country dispute arose Small children were trampled in the exodus..." So sang Half Man Half Biscuit in 2005. Little has changed since then as the greed and intransigence of football's powers-that-be threaten to ruin the Joga Bonito's pre-eminent position in the world of sport.   After all these years discussing the issue, football fans are still [.

10 of Harry Redknapp’s finest moments

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Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp this weekend celebrates 25 years in football management. Redknapp was 36 years old when he took over from Don Megson at Third Division outfit Bournemouth. Since then, his own unique brand of management has been seen at West Ham, Southampton and Portsmouth (twice). We celebrate some of the finest moments of [.

Newcastle United v. Manchester City - 20 October 2008 - English Premier League - Live Blog

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Newcastle United v. Manchester City Stadium: St. James Park, England English Premier League Date: 20 October 2008 Kickoff: 20:00 BST, 15:00 ET Newcastle United will try and jump-start their turmoil-filled season against Manchester City. Soccerlens will be bringing you the action live! Log on to the site 15 minutes before kick-off for the live blog!

Barcelona’s bid for Miami MLS franchise

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On October, 15, MLS announced that Brightstar Corp. CEO Marcelo Cuare , Barcelona FC President Joan Laporta and a number of the Miami-Dade public officials made a formal bid to be granted an MLS franchise as soon as 2010.   But this only put Barcelona into a very crowded playing field.   Simultaneously, MLS has announced that no fewer [.

Who will be bottom of the table by Sunday evening?

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There are occasional times throughout the season when you cannot help but wish that you had the foresight to predict these unlikely situations which present themselves, and preferably to have had a little flutter on it. One such instance is Sunday's clash between Stoke City and Tottenham. I imagine the odds on this being a [.

How to Watch Football Online (Part 2): Peer-to-Peer Networks

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Note: This article continues from How To Watch Football Online. Let's face it. For many of us, the Internet means one thing and one thing only: free stuff! Whether it's music, movies, or even porn, the Internet is like the Holy Grail when it comes to getting stuff for free. That even extends [...]

Top 20 Most Expensive EPL Non-Starters: Kieron’s not so Dyer situation

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The English Premiership's most costly bench-warmers have been revealed today in a new list published by football scouting website IMScouting.com. The list gives a "Cost per game" value for each club's top benchwarmer, i.e. a ratio of the player's salary divided by the number of games played since August 2007.

Top 10 Goals from this week’s World Cup qualifiers

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Tom Clark looks at the Top 5 Goals from each set of World Cup Qualifiers (last weekend and midweek), focusing specifically on CONCACAF and CONMEBOL matches. Goals of the Weekend October 11/12 '08 Could anyone not agree the Johan Gourcuff cannon shot for France vs. Romania, a 35-yard bolt off the bottom of the bar, was the [.

Is Gerrard v Lampard Really England’s Biggest Problem Right Now?

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The result read England 3, Belarus 1, with Steven Gerrard on the score sheet, and yet like night following day, the pundits were still assessing Capello's success in dealing with on one of the most tired clichés in Modern Football – Gerrard v. Lampard. That the two cannot play together has been part of journo orthodoxy [.

Liverpool’s Ryan Babel tries his hand at rapping

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It is funny how a three-minute YouTube video can make you completely lose respect for someone you once admired as a talented footballer. This is Liverpool and Holland attacker Ryan Babel rocking the mic with a rap ballad about his rags to riches tale. Babel follows in the footsteps of such footballing luminaries as John Barnes, [.

Wayne Rooney rediscovers his best form for England

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Five goals in three games have announced Wayne Rooney's return to international prominence. His performance against Belarus last night, and the build-up to it against Croatia and Kazakhstan, indicate that the Manchester United striker is ready to fulfil his potential with England. His recent performances, particularly an outstanding display against Belarus, are among his best in [.

Bundesliga - History in the making?

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The German league has traditionally been reluctant to adopt new models and introduce upgraded elements from – let's say – European football. If you have a look at the Bundesliga league table, you must realise that the top 6 clubs are led either by young, ambitious coaches with a scientific approach, or by foreign trainers [.

Argentinian club president threatens to kill his players

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Rosario Central president Horacio Usandizaga is not likely to win any Boss of the Year awards after he was secretly filmed making a speech in which he threatened to kill his club's players and coaching staff. The under-fire president came out with guns blazing (hopefully not too literally) as he defended his leadership of the relegation-threatened [.

Aston Villa v. Portsmouth - 18 October 2008 - English Premier League - Live Blog

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Aston Villa v. Portsmouth Stadium: Villa Park, England English Premier League Date: 18 October 2008 Kickoff: 15:00 BST, 10:00 EST Fifth-place Aston Villa will take on seventh-place Portsmouth in an intriguing clash between two teams with a lot to prove. Soccerlens will be bringing you the action live!

Should TV dictate the Premier League schedule?

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It seems to be a distant memory now... back in the days when a football weekend consisted of every team in the English league kicking off at 3pm and finishing at 4:45pm on a Saturday afternoon. To the younger readers, there was no Super Sunday, Setanta was a non existent word and Match of Day [...]

Grimbsy sack Martin Butler over commute

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Grimsby striker Martin Butler has had his contract terminated because new boss Mike Newell was unimpressed with his travel arrangements. The 34-year-old made a 350-mile round trip from his Worcestershire home to Grimsby. The striker was often forced to miss training because or the long-haul commute. Newell said: "To have him available only a couple of [.

Belarus 1-3 England. What now for Capello’s men?

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So, four games into the qualification campaign for World Cup 2010 and England sit clear at the top of their group with twelve points. An unimpressive win over Andorra was followed by a scintillating performance in Croatia. Then, last Saturday they stumbled to a victory over Kazakhstan that was less convincing than the 5-1 scoreline [.

There’s Only One Roman Abramovich

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"I fucking hate that fucking club," Simon says, handing me my usual bag of bonbons. The 35-year-old owns a sweetshop in Heidelberg, Germany, and everyone who walks by can see his very own visualization of the downfall of "King Football" in the shop window. "I just hope that they go right down again." Simon is one [.

Sir Alex Ferguson on Nike’s Most Wanted

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In this clip (from Nike's Most Wanted show, aired last weekend), Sir Alex Ferguson shares his thoughts on youth development in general and his view on signing players later on in their careers (Manucho being a good example). In essence SAF is right - some players are late bloomers (think Didier Drogba, or consider the [.

Another 42 Years of Hurt?

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European Cup after World Cup have seen a snowballing of disappointment for the English football masses. Spain winning Euro 2008 has pushed our reputation as underachievers further down the lav. And like such great philosophical musings as; Why are we here? Is there a god? Will Robbie Savage ever get a haircut?

10 Belarus claims to fame

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Ahead of tonight's clash with England, we give you the lowdown on all things Belarus. 1. Alexander Hleb The former Arsenal man was a Gunners favourite (at least until he started shooting his mouth off about the club and making is very clear that he wanted to leave to join Barcelona. The midfielder is almost certainly ruled [.

Dimitar Berbatov gets lazier, plays football on lawnmower

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Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has not left his days of shirking behind at Tottenham. The 27-year-old has taken to training on a lawnmower while on international duty with Bulgaria. Rumours that Sir Alex Ferguson has ordered all players on international duty to ensure they rest on a piece of machinery during training have not [.

Ruud Gullit uncovers MLS conspiracy

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Ex-LA Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit has revealed that the evil geniuses behind Major League Soccer are deliberately keeping a lid on soccerball to avoid damaging true American sports. Comments made to Reuters about a Major League Soccer conspiracy have had some onlookers questioning the state of the former Dutch international's mental health.

Belarus coach Bernd Stange is The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

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If you thought Vinnie Jones' long spell with Wimbledon's Crazy Gang followed by several appearances as a rough nut Cockney gangster made for a formidable CV, think again. Belarus coach Bernd Stange counts Saddam Hussein and the East German secret service among his former employers. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, German citizens have been [.

Chelsea and Arsenal billionaires to use the credit crunch to their advantage

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The news is full of how the financial crisis / credit crunch / economic recession / clusterfuck is putting pressure on football clubs with debts and / or billionaire owners. But there are positives to be found for a few (prospective) owners, provided they play the situation to their advantage. Chelsea and Roman Abramovich If one accepts that [.

Man in a corner shop nails Liverpool impressions

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This guy is superb. Quite why he is making a name for himself as a guy in a hoodie standing in front of a box of Cornflakes and not on the TV we don't know. He reels off some excellent impressions of Rafa Benitez, Steven "Yeerrrm" Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen and Peter Crouch. The [...]

Is Marcello Lippi the right man to bring Italy forward?

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Marcello Lippi was hailed as a hero after guiding Italy to their first world cup success in 24 years in 2006. He retired after his victorious run in Germany with a promise to return to the football world. So Italy signed former AC Milan player and Italy international Roberto Donadoni to take the Azzurri's helm.

Santa Cruz ready to ditch mid-table Blackburn for mid-table Manchester City

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The international break is a breeding ground for dumb comments by players with little to do. All week we had Carragher talking about one thing or the other, when he would have been starting for England and helping them qualify for South Africa 2010. And now we have Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz ready to jump [.

Juventus want Rafa and co from Liverpool

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Juventus are rumoured to be interested in poaching Rafael Benitez from Liverpool, even though the Spaniard has repeatedly stated his desire to stay for a long time at Anfield if the owners give him the requisite backing. My view is that the Juventus management made a mistake in hiring Ranieri when they should have kept Deschamps [.

Which Club Has Worse Management: Newcastle or Tottenham?

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The Newcastle story - from the euphoria of Mike Ashley buying the club to the suicide-dive in confidence of Keegan's departure - is tragic. What happened post-Keegan is much worse, and if you were to call Newcastle United the worst-run club in the Premier League few would argue. That is, unless you told them the Tottenham [.

West Ham don’t need to sell

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Zabeel Investments have been interested in investing in a football club for quite some time. They've spoken to Newcastle United and Manchester City in the past, are negotiating with Charlton Athletic and now have also spoken to West Ham regarding a possible take over. While West Ham is arguably a more attractive option compared to Charlton, [.

International five-a-side, here we come

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Considering that to Joe Public it is the be all and end all of the beautiful game, international football does not have an easy ride. Constantly undermined by dismissive club managers in the past, it is now facing up to a new enemy within: the spoiled brat. If he is playing at a high enough level, [.

Is This Liverpool’s Year? Surely Nothing Can Go Wrong?

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Studs Up by Chris Toy "Is This Liverpool's Year? Surely Nothing Can Go Wrong?" was originally published at Soccerlens.com - Football News.

The Tottenham Way: Let’s Buy More Players

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This time they want to buy Mathew Upson from West Ham, a rumour that dovetails nicely with West Ham's recent austerity measures. Upson, if he stays fit, would be a good buy for Tottenham but seriously, has someone at the club itself thought about doing something other than throwing money at their problems?

Roman Pavlyuchenko becomes a councillor

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Residents of the Russian town of Stavropol obviously do not mind if their local councillors do not take a hands on approach to their job because they have just elected London-based Roman Pavlyuchenko. The Spurs striker received 63 per cent of the vote. While he ought to be getting his hands dirty helping Tottenham to get [.

Fans Should Own Newcastle, Not Run It

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According to the Times, Newcastle United have 7 parties with a strong interest in buying the club, with 3 of them showing proof of funds as well. For a club without a permanent manager and an emotional owner who is the textbook definition of a glory fan, it's good news. Whether the interested parties can [.

UEFA have a dig at Sepp Blatter over racism

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FIFA has taken another kicking over its policy on racism, and this time it was their pals at UEFA taking a swipe at Sepp Blatter and co. The European governing body has revealed that the paltry fines handed out for racism at international matches would be considerably higher if they fell under its jurisdiction.

The Director Of Football: How To Get It Right

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Anybody's who's ever sat next to Steve Perryman at an Exeter City knows to expect plenty of noise around them for the full 90 minutes. The former Spurs midfielder leads the junior supporters in singing, makes his opinions on the match very clear, and is happy to chat to both City regulars and journalists alike [.

Oof, the England Game–a Perspective from Beyond the Pale

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I'm afraid that in the past few seasons when it comes to the English national team the scales have finally fallen away from my eyes well, admittedly my eyes are failing with a great crash. Apart from the scoreline, which Maggie Thatcher might have liked, nothing about that game can have been calculated to please any [.

Historic Free-Kick by El Jefe

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During this "international week" footballing lull when club play is suspended while nations hold their collective breath over the upcoming qualifiers, and club fans try to find something else to fill their time, there's actually been one on-the-pitch event at club level which is being hailed, at least in Mexico, as "historic".

A Football Fan Am I Not

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Mount Kailash is often regarded as the holiest mountain in Asia. Revered by the pre-Buddhists as the point of all creation and celebrated by Hindus as the recreational playground of Lord Shiva, dancing and smoking copious amounts of cannabis. Hidden away in the barren deserts of western Tibet, to circumnavigate the mountain is said to [.

“Respect” Campaign Should Be Respected

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One of the most mocked aspects of the Premier League season so far has been the FA's much vaunted Respect The Ref campaign. This initiative, as we all know, is designed to encourage players to behave better towards the referee - no dissent, no abuse, no crowding, just a polite dialogue, preferably channeled through the [.

Michael Johnson take up yoga to beat injuries

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Serial sicknote Michael Johnson has turned to yoga in a bid to put his injury problems behind him. The Manchester City midfielder has never played more than ten consecutive games in one season for the club since making his debut two years ago. The 20-year-old has been plagued by a pelvic problem throughout his fledgling career [.

Real Madrid re-open the Cristiano Ronaldo saga

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There are two main reasons why I know that the world of football is very quiet at the moment. One is that I write about football on a daily basis and, international match preparation/fall-out aside, there has been very little news compared to our normal bombardment for the past week. The second reason is that [.

Azerbaijan’s Kamran Aghayev pervs on Finland’s Daniel Sjolund

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Finland came up with an interesting way of distracting Azerbaijan goalkeeper Kamran Aghayev during their World Cup qualifier, and it seemed to work. Here is how to try the tactics out with your team: 1) Take one Daniel Sjolund. 2) Open his legs and leave him lying on the ground within easy viewing of the opposition goalkeeper.

How To Watch Football Online

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Following your favorite football team or league can be as complicated as heart surgery. Between all the rules governing what matches can be watched live and what equipment you need, trying to watch your favorite team in action can be both difficult and expensive. Additionally, watching football in a crowded bar can be [.

England refuse to play in Madrid because of racism fears

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The FA has told the Spanish Federation that a forthcoming friendly match between England and Spain will not take place in Madrid because of fears England's players would be subjected to racist abuse. The last time the two teams met in a friendly at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2004, Ashley Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips were [.

Henry: I’m not going to Manchester City

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Thierry Henry has been linked with a move away from Barcelona as soon as he arrived - his family situation only fanned the flames and the press have constantly linked him with a return to the Premier League (Manchester being the suggested destination) as well as a move to the MLS in David Beckham's footsteps.

The truth about England

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The England team is a strange animal. They are some of the best-paid professionals in a game pretty much every bloke in this part of the world has played at some point of their lives, supported by tens of millions of fanatics, with the best kit, technology, and coaching staff money can buy. There are one [.

Cashley bears the brunt

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We didn't have to wait too long for the boo boys to resurface at Wembley on Saturday. Yes, Ashley Cole's backpass was lazy and I doubt he'd ever do that in a Chelsea shirt, but to boo one of your own players when you're winning a game? A lot of people were surprised by how composed [...]

Just Say No To Video Technology?

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The fiasco that passed off as a "goal" at Vicarage Road when Reading visited Watford once again raised the question of video technology. Hell! – I am still recovering from the second "goal" in the 1984 FA cup final! Steve Sherwood clearly had the ball in both hands before that cheating Andy Gray headed it [.

England 5-1 Kazakhstan. Now on to Belarus.

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It was all set up. Six points out of six, a crowd of 90,000 passionate and expectant fans and coming off the back of a fabulous 4-1 win in Croatia. The opponents? Kazakhstan, who have never qualified for anything and were at Wembley to just play a bit part as England showed the world that [...]

Chris Iwelumo’s shocking miss for Scotland against Norway

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You know it is a bad miss when the culprit looks on in shock as the ball misses the target. This is exactly what Scotland striker Chris Iwelumo is doing in this photograph. He had a gilt-edged chance to score the winning goal against Norway on his international debut. But it did not quite pan [...]

Carrick and Hargreaves close to Manchester United return

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Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves seem set for a return to first team football for Manchester United against West Brom next week when the domestic season restarts after the international break. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "We are expecting Michael to be available next week.

Robinho loves life at Manchester

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Robinho, talking about life in Manchester, language problems and settling in to a new culture: "Myself and the other players already have a good understanding. The language of football is universal. You don't need to speak the local lingo in order to be able to communicate with a ball. Sometimes in training when I shout [.

Stampede at Ghana v Lesotho World Cup qualifier

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Serious overcrowding at the Ghana v Lesotho game caused a dangerous stampede in the build up to the 2010 World and Nations Cup qualifier in Sekondi, Ghana. The 20,000-capacity stadium was already badly overcrowded when fans forced open the main gates, prompting the stampede. At least two people were taken away in an ambulance, and stretchers [.

UEFA trial extra assistants to help referees

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UEFA is looking at a new refereeing system whereby the referee is helped by four rather than two assistants. Europe's governing body has been trialling the idea at an Under-19 tournament in Slovenia where two extra assistants were behind the goalline. Michel Platini: "The goal is to have one referee with more eyes.

England v Paquador highlights courtesy of Harry and Paul

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Comedians Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse poke fun at the seemingly endless national anthems of some of the teams England come up against (and also at the disinterested approach of many England players). WPvideo 1.10 Download this video "England v Paquador highlights courtesy of Harry and Paul" was originally published at Soccerlens.

2008 Soccerlens Writing Competition

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Update: The deadline has been extended till 31st October, get your entries in by Friday. Welcome to the 2008 Soccerlens Writing Competition, an annual football writing competition hosted by Soccerlens (here's last year's contest, won by Gerry McDonnell). For the next two weeks (11th to 26th31st October), we'll be accepting article submissions for the contest (details [.

Is Fabio Capello right to hush the England boo boys?

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England coach Fabio Capello has urged fans not to boo his side if they struggle to break Kazakhstan down today. The Italian has made the plea ahead of this afternoon's match at Wembley. England fans have always had high expectations for their team, but in recent months supporters have become increasingly vocal in venting their [.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s CR7 shop opens in Lisbon

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What is it about Manchester United number 7's and the urge to own a fashion empire? And we don't mean Eric Cantona! Cristiano Ronaldo's second CR7 shop has opened in Lisbon selling everything you need to make your own identikit smart-casual Ronaldo. The question is: who will buy his stock? The CR7 largely consists of manbags, [.

How will history remember Emile Heskey the England striker?

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Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey has always been something of an enigma and that doesn't seem to change with age. The Wigan man is a bit of a Marmite footballer - you either love him or you hate him. He was one of the golden boys of Sven-Goran Eriksson's honeymoon period, and it seems Fabio Capello [...]

Zabeel Investments offer to buy Charlton Athletic

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Dubai-based Zabeel Investments have made a bid for Charlton Athletic. The club confirmed in a statement that it will enter a period of due diligence with Zabeel Investments and should the offer be made formally, the board is prepared to recommend shareholders to accept it. Zabeel Investments have been linked with investment in English football for some [.

The Money Wars

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The English Premier League raked in roughly £1.8 billion in revenues in the 2007-2008 season. In comparison, UEFA earned €1.3 billion (£1 billion) in revenues from Euro 2008, and FIFA earned €2.6 billion (£2 billion) in revenues from World Cup 2006. The catch, of course, is that while UEFA's and FIFA's most lucrative tournaments are [.

Sir Alex Ferguson gets a fright from a balloon

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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson shows he has a sensitive side (we couldn't believe it either). He gets a right old fright when a balloon gets unexpectedly popped very close by. That will teach him to concentrate on the football match instead of who is larking about next to him! "Sir Alex Ferguson gets a [.

Wayne Rooney’s drastic new haircut

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It probably had not escaped your attention that 22-year-old Wayne Rooney was fast-developing the hairline of a man twice his age. Rather than spend his life picking the latest clump of ginger hair from his pillow, the England striker has decided to speed his balding process up. The Manchester United man has had the clippers all [.

David Beckham is suspended - won’t somebody please think of the people of Houston?

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David Beckham's yellow card against Columbus Crew last weekend meant that the former England skipper picked up an obligatory suspension. Normally this would be disappointing for the player and for his side, LA Galaxy, but the American media is more concerned that the fans of would-be opponents Houston Dynamo have missed an opportunity to see [.

Chelsea want their Mikel money back

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Chelsea have issued a High Court claim for £16m against FC Lyn Oslo and their former chief executive Morgen Andersen. This claim is related to the transfer of Jon Mikel Obi and specifically the 16m payments Chelsea made (4m to Lyn Oslo, 12m to Manchester United) in 2006 as part of a settlement. Chelsea say the [.

Time for Newcastle to dump Viduka

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The Australian striker is 32, has been injured since May at least and with his latest injury scare he's looking at sitting out for the rest of the season. The last thing Newcastle need at this point is an old, overweight, over-the-hill striker collecting a paycheck while sitting at home in Australia.

Ronaldo aiming for Man City

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In his latest interview with Gazzetta dello Sport Ronaldo talked about his future, his discussions with Paris St Germain and Manchester City and his gradual return to fitness. Although he's quite circumspect about his future - he's full of praise for PSG, City and Flamengo - it's clear that his priority is to get back to [.

Tottenham establish link with San Jose Earthquakes

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London club Tottenham Hotspur have agreed a 'football and commercial development' partnership with Major League Soccer side San Jose Earthquakes. Spurs are keen to boost their global status and will use the deal to improve their exposure in America. The Earthquakes on the other hand will benefit from the training and coaching models of Tottenham.

Hleb puts foot in mouth, criticises Capello

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Former Arsenal player Alexander Hleb (now at Barcelona) had this to say about Fabio Capello's rules: "Nothing can be achieved with restrictions and bans. The most important thing is the atmosphere in the team. It seems that there is some kind of communism going on. For example, Capello says the players' breakfast is not from 8 till [.

Why Hart, Noble and Agbonlahor should be in the England squad

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It's just come to my notice that England Under-21s are actually a quite brilliant side! They haven't lost for three years and in that time they've won 16 and drawn nine, averaging over two goals scored per game. Not bad going by anyone's standards. With several of those all-conquering kids already in the full squad I [.

Giant Anteater Devours Small Man

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I may exude confidence in the betting arena, but when it comes to relationships I'm somewhat insecure. It takes me a long while to reach the stage where I feel comfortable enough with a partner to move things on to a physical level. When the time does finally arrive, I'm often so overcome [...]

Liverpool’s Alonso too slow for Juventus?

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Seeing as Ranieri is best remembered for blowing the 03/04 Champions League semifinal against Monaco (then managed by his predecessor at Juventus, Didier Deschamps), I'm not *too* keen on going through his comments seeking pearls of wisdom. However, he's an experienced manager and he's done quite well in his career so maybe what he says makes [.

Liverpool’s Pepe Reina - worth his weight in beer?

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The Spain national football team's sponsor, lager Cruzcampo, promised every member of the squad their weight in beer if they made it past the quarter finals of Euro 2008. The team well and truly kept its side of the bargain, and Cruzcampo has now delivered too. The players had a special weigh-in to decide how [.

Who is the right man for England’s right flank?

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Aside from the Gerrard/Lampard debate, England's traditional selection problem has been who to play on the left-wing due to a dearth of decent candidates. The current conundrum is who to play on the right, but the reasons are quite opposite. Fabio Capello has a multitude of options for the right-side of midfield.

Lee Sharpe: The Soccerlens interview

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Manchester United fans from the start of the 1990s will probably remember Lee Sharpe. Arsenal fans of that era will probably remember him too, albeit in a less enthusiastic manner. In the 1990-91 season, Sharpe was an electric, precocious teenager who broke into the first team and making most of England sit up and pay attention.

One of the Cockney Mafia Out: Tony Jimenez leaves Newcastle

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One of Newcastle's so-called Cockney Mafia has left the club. Vice-president (player recruitment) Tony Jimenez has left the club "to pursue other interests". A statement released by Newcastle said: "Newcastle United can confirm that Tony Jimenez has left the club. Tony, who was appointed vice-president (player Recruitment) in January, has made the decision in order to [.

Proof that eight months is a long time in football

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This headline from the Telegraph's website proclaims that: "Juande Ramos has restored Tottenham's pride." It only goes to show how quickly things can turnaround in the cut-throat world of football. The story was written just eight months ago in February. Spurs fans might be divided on who to blame for their current situation, and whether or [.

England Expects - World Cup Qualifiers (Kazakhstan and Belarus) Preview

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It's great being an England fan. The despair and doom and gloom hanging over the team and indeed, over the entirety of English football, has been transformed into a genuine belief that we are going to win the 2010 World Cup on the basis of one performance in Croatia. It was an exceptionally good performance [.

Sweden v. Portugal - FIFA World Cup Qualifier - 11 October 2008 - Live Blog

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Sweden v. Portugal Stadium: Nya Ullevi Stadion, Gothenburg, Sweden Competition: 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, UEFA Group 1 Date: 11 October 2008 Kickoff: 19:00 BST, 14:00 ET Sweden will host Portugal in an important World Cup Qualifier. Both sides have been inconsistent so far, and need to win in order to take control of this group.

Country on a downer?

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As Scotland slid down 10 places from 16th to 26th in the latest round of FIFA's world rankings, is it possible that the country's hysteria over the exploits at both club and country level last term has finally died down? Consider the evidence; Rangers fell at the first hurdle as they were dumped out of Europe [.

Rio Ferdinand sticks it to Sepp Blatter

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Finally, someone outside the media prepared to give Sepp Blatter a piece of his mind! For while FIFA's president is notoriously happy to spout his opinion on any number of issues - especially if it involves criticising England or English clubs - he is rarely forced to have a taste of his own medicine.

Rangers fan’s house gets ‘Hoopy Birthday’ Celtic makeover

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A Rangers fan returned from a birthday weekend away to find his house, garden and even wheelie bin had been painted in green-and-white hoops by his prankster mates. The vans he uses for his bouncy castle business were also given the Celtic treatment and a banner proclaiming "Hoopy 25th Birthday" was put up on his [.

Do YOU remember the last time you beat Chelsea at the Bridge?

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Sunday was the day that the Aston Villa juggernaut was set to send the Premiership in circles by derailing what is turning out to be one of the most astonishing records in Premiership history. Instead of ranting about what Chelsea football club have done, this will be a more interactive article involving every football fan.

The Eternal Question: Lampard and/or Gerrard?

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With enforced absences making their meetings in the England some what fleeting of late, the Steven Gerrard/Frank Lampard debate has reared its ugly head ahead of the Kazakhstan match this weekend. As far as I am concerned the debate should have been over a long time ago. Gerrard and Lampard are undoubtedly England's two most talented [.

Owen will be back for England

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There's been a lot of talk about the omission of Michael Owen from the England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus but I think it's a mark of just how good a coach Fabio Capello is. Capello isn't afraid of making the big decisions which might mean favouring younger, hungrier players [.

Liverpool owners want Rafa to prove his worth

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Rafa Benitez has done an admirable job at Liverpool since taking over. He hasn't been brilliant - that would be Jose Mourinho's 3-year stint at Chelsea - but in his own way he has given Liverpool respect and bit by bit transformed them into formidable opponents in Europe. That he hasn't enjoyed similar success in the [.

Fifa World Rankings - October 2008

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Fifa's World Rankings for October 2008 were released today. The top 30 countries are listed below. Major changes see Russia move into the top 10, Scotland drop out of the top 20 and Romania take a stumble in their surprisingly high rankings. Here they are, updated 8 October 2008: Fifa World Rankings - Top 30 Spain Italy Germany Brazil (+2) Netherlands (-1) Croatia [.

Tottenham lose Pav for October

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Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko will be out for three weeks after suffering a partially torn ankle ligament injury. He was forced off due to injury during Spurs' defeat by Hull at the weekend and faces a race to be fit for the derby clash at Arsenal on 29 October. The loss leaves Tottenham with only Bent [.

Do Manchester United fans want Valencia?

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Wigan's Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios have been linked with Manchester United several times over the summer and while the transfer window is closed we're still hearing of United's supposed interested in the players. Yesterday there were rumours that Manchester United were preparing an 18m bid for the players, today we have Dave Whelan telling the [.

New sponsor for West Ham?

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West Ham's financial situation seems to be going from bad to worse. It is now almost certain that Gianfranco Zola will have to sell players in January. But they are still not exploiting a revenue stream since sponsors XL went bust so we thought we would set them up with Brighton and Hove Albion's old [.

Mission: Impossible - trying to stop the Tartan Army getting drunk

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Scottish police have launched a major operation to stop Scotland supporters getting plastered on their way to the the World Cup qualifier against Norway at Hampden on Saturday. Frankly, they would be better off throwing their resources into a major operation to win the World Cup for Scotland since their is more chance of the [.

Icelandic bank goes into receivership. The fun never stops at West Ham

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West Ham will have to change their name to Credit Crunch United at this rate because no Premier League club is feeling the pinch quite like the Hammers. Just weeks after shirt sponsor XL.com went bust, Icelandic bank Landbanki - of which club chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson is a major shareholder - has gone into receivership.

Should Tottenham fans be banned?

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FA chairman Lord Triesman thinks Tottenham fans guilty of shouting racist abuse to Sol Campbell in the Spurs v Pompey game earlier this season should be banned for life from all Tottenham home games. Triesman: "I abhor the treatment of Sol by fans of a club I've always loved. I hope the individuals will be identified and, [.

Fabregas - on Arsenal, Barcelona and friends

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For the record, I don't think Fabregas will be headed to Barcelona next summer or that he 'desperately' wants the move. It's not just because he owes Arsenal and Wenger, but also because he is more likely to suffer Henry's fate at Camp Nou than he is to be the missing link for Barcelona's everlasting [.

Save Newcastle United…from itself?

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Newcastle Fans United is a group of passionate Newcastle United fans who want to save Newcastle United by turning it into the first supporter-owned club in the Premier League. Like other fan-based club takeover ventures, there's a lot of heady optimism surrounding the idea but there are some serious questions that need to be asked.

Portsmouth draw AC Milan and full UEFA Cup draw

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The UEFA Cup draw has thrown up some mouthwatering ties for the English clubs involved. Top of the pile is Portsmouth, who have been drawn in the same group as AC Milan. Not to be outdone, Aston Villa are up against Ajax and Martin Jol's Hamburg, while Manchester City will take on Schteeve McClaren'sh FC [.

Soccerlens - Help For A Tortured Soul

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A letter in the Soccerlens postbag today came from a desperate sounding footballer. We have tried to give reassurance and sound advice to help him through what is clearly a dificult time. Dear Soccerlens, I am a twenty-eight year old footballer who has achieved a modicum of success in my career so far.

Julian Dicks cost Liverpool more than Robbie Keane did

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Soccerlens is a big fan of statistics, as Scott the Red's in-depth rundown of last season's Premier League data showed. In fact, statistics show that 83 per cent of all Soccerlens writers are fans of statistics. So when we heard that statistical evidence had been uncovered which proved that Julian Dicks was more expensive than [.

Rotherham take the positives where they can

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The foot of the league table saw a small but significant event last weekend. While Tottenham Hotspur supporters fretted about scoring just two points so far this season, Rotherham United fans were celebrating finally moving onto one point after a 4-1 victory over Grimsby on Saturday. This mean the Millers are the first of the three [.

Arsenal denied a legitimate goal, Manchester United helped by referees again

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Another week of Premier League action and another week of Blackburn Rovers and Steve Bennett getting involved in Right Result rulings. It's the third match they've each have had Right Result involvement already this term with both parties coming together in Manchester United's visit to Ewood Park... much to the ire of Blackburn boss Paul Ince.

Is Michael Owen’s England career over?

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When England were playing Andorra and Croatia it was fair enough for Fabio Capello to think that Michael Owen was not fit enough to feature for England given his injury and illness problems. But despite playing six games for Newcastle and scoring five goals since then, he has not done enough to earn a recall [.

One more question, why is Juande Ramos still in a job?

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The answer, it seems, revolves around that nice juicy contract that the Tottenham Hotspur manager but his signature on not so long ago. What under-fire chairman Daniel Levy is discovering at the moment is that when you pay a manager £5 million a year and then want to sack him you have to pay him [..

Ex-Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick jailed for death crash

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Goalkeeper Luke McCormick has been jailed for seven years and four months for killing two children in a motorway crash. The former Plymouth Argyle player admitted causing the deaths of Arron Peak, 10, and Ben Peak, eight, and driving with excess alcohol. The brothers died in a collision on the M6 near to Stoke-on-Trent on [.

Liverpool fightback proves they mean business this time

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Liverpool's 2-3 win over Manchester City yesterday was without doubt one of the finest games in Premier League history. The Reds pulled off the sort of comeback they had previously reserved for 1990s clashes with Newcastle United and Champions League finals! Granted Liverpool's revival was given added impetus when City had Pablo Zabaleta dismissed, but [.

Stat Attack - The Best and Worst of the Premiership 2007/2008

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98% of statistics are made up. Whilst I believe you can find football statistics to support pretty much any argument, I do have a definite interest in them. I like the seemingly pointless facts commentators make us aware of during the dull part of the game and I enjoy looking at percentages and averages to [.

England Squad for Kazakhstan and Belarus, 11 and 15 Oct 2008

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England play Kazakhstan at Wembley on Saturday 11 October before traveling aboard to play Belarus next Wednesday on 15 October. With 2 wins in their first two World Cup qualifying games England are expected to win the next two qualifiers as well, even though expectations that the wins will be in some style are probably [.

Joe Kinnear’s Wikipedia page gets f***ing defaced

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Newcastle caretaker manager Joe Kinnear has found himself undermined, unwelcome, unhappy and now the victim of Wikipedia graffiti in his first week in charge. His foul-mouthed tirade against journalists at a press conference is still providing plenty of internet entertainment for those who get their kicks out of this sort of thing!

Why Liverpool and Everton owners don’t want ground-sharing

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Liverpool cannot afford to build Stanley Park, the owners content to ride out the global credit crunch (whether that's a few months or more likely, several years) instead of taking outside help in form of investment or partnership. Everton are facing considerable difficulties of their own in moving to Kirkby.

Are Arsenal out of the title race?

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One point against Sunderland is a lot better than no points against Sunderland, but a 1-1 draw was not the result Arsenal fans would have been looking for against the Black Cats, particularly given their slip-ups already this season. The result means that they will probably have slipped out of the European places by the [.

Unhappy Rangers fans force Coronation Street script change

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Writers on soap opera Coronation Street have been forced to make changes to their script after dozens of complaints about anti-Rangers line by one its characters. In a recent episode Scottish character Tony Gordon said: "I could no more be interested in Rosie Webster than I could support Glasgow Rangers.

Newcastle fans are not For Kinnear

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Joe Kinnear - the man who has single-handedly raised the number of expletives in football by 2387 per cent in one week - is now finding that even his name is a swear word on Tyneside! http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ6eJjK1qWc "Newcastle fans are not For Kinnear" was originally published at Soccerlens.

Right Result Report: Liverpool top, Newcastle 13th, Blackburn in relegation zone

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With the season being six games in there has already been plenty of comment passed on the performance of match referees. Goals that weren't, dodgy penalties and blatant offside's have all featured so far. Right Result have published a report the Premier League looking at how the table would be different at the start of October [.

Newcastle pin their hopes on Joey Barton

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You know things are bad when you are hoping an ex-convict with a nasty violent streak and a drink problem is going to save your team. But that is exactly the situation Newcastle United find themselves in as Joe Kinnear puts his faith in another Joe. The caretaker boss thinks Barton is exactly what the Magpies [.

Roy Keane to launch bid for Patrick Vieira?

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Which is a bit of a turnaround because it used to be 'Roy Keane to launch for Patrick Vieira'. And vice versa. But a lot of today's newspapers have the same story that Keano is desperate to bring his old nemesis to the Stadium of Light to boss Sunderland's midfield. The Frenchman is currently in Jose [.

Chelsea v. Aston Villa - English Premier League - 5 October 2008 - Live Blog

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Chelsea v. Aston Villa Stadium: Stamford Bridge, London, England Competition: English Premier League Date: 5 October 2008 Kickoff: 15:00 GMT, 10:00 ET Aston Villa will try and break injury-depleted Chelsea's home unbeaten streak. Soccerlens will be bringing you the action live! Log on to the site 15 minutes before kickoff for the live blog.

Proof that Sir Alex Ferguson really likes Paul Ince

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Sir Alex Ferguson has a reputation for many things. Chomping away during matches like a cow who has been told its grass will be taken away tomorrow, drinking whisky until his nose looks like it is suffering quite severe bruising, and shooting his mouth off to anyone who comes close to offending him in some [.

More swearing from Joe Kinnear

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You have seen him swear on Football Focus, you have heard his foul-mouthed tirade against this country's finest newspapermen, and now Newcastle caretaker boss Joe Kinnear wants to prove he can mix it up with a few hand gestures. Here he is sticking it to the man during his Nottingham Forest days. No wonder he [.

Uneasy Relations

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Show me an Aston Villa fan keen to criticise owner Randy Lerner, and I'll show you a man desperate to be miserable. The improvements made under the American have been profound both on and off the pitch. Manager Martin O'Neill has been backed in big money transfers for Stiliyan Petrov, Ashley Young, Curtis Davies, Luke Young, [.

I’m a Berby Girl…Ouch

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It may appear unfair to a cynical minority, but nepotism remains as common as Coleen McLoughlin. I certainly have my father to thank for my first job – he was a kerb-crawler. Dimitar Berbatov also has his father to thank for his career. His Dad instilled a passion for team sports. Terry Venables has tried [.

Why doesn’t David Moyes just sign his contract?

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There has been mutterings for some time now about David Moyes' unsigned Everton contract. Not too many Evertonians would dispute the fact that their manager has done an excellent job when you compare the club's current expectations to those they had when he took over. He has built up the club and seems to be [.

Joe Kinnear - keep your head down and collect your pay cheques

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As soon as Joe Kinnear was appointed Newcastle caretaker manager, we knew it was bad news. And while Soccerlens promises you Football News You Can Trust, we cannot claim that this was one of those instances where we went against the crowd to bring you the real story. There were not too many people outside [.

Sunderland v. Arsenal - English Premier League - 4 October 2008 - Live Blog

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Sunderland v. Arsenal Stadium: Stadium of Light, England Competition: English Premier League Date: 4 October 2008 Kickoff: 15:00 BST, 10:00 EST Arsenal will try and put last weekend's shocking loss to Hull City behind them by taking on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Soccerlens will be bringing live coverage of this match!

A tale of two knee ligament injuries

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The Premier League's big two both felt the effects of their Champions League ties this week. While Manchester United's trip to AaB Aalborg and Chelsea's to CFR Cluj looked equally straightforward on paper, United comfortable picked up three points on Tuesday while Chelsea could only manage a draw last night.

Did Zenit St Petersburg bribe their way to silverware?

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Russian mafia bosses bribed Zenit St Petersburg's UEFA Cup opponents last season to ensure they won the competition, according to a Spanish judge. Baltasar Garzon claims to have uncovered evidence that Bayern Munich were paid to throw their semi-final against the Russian side. The Spanish press have today reported that Bayern received vast amounts to lose [.

Vote of no confidence for Tottenham and Newcastle

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This season has already had its fair share of talking points and as a neutral, watching Newcastle and Tottenham struggling so badly is one of the most surprising developments so far. One thing the sides have in common is that both sets of players are so completely lacking in confidence. Newcastle started the season well and [.

The Bundesliga road steamer - more haste, less speed

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In the last few years, the Bundesliga has raised its profile in a very professional manner. Both the economy and its partners have come to appreciate it as a strong brand that, for all its economic appeal, has never lost sight of its genuine potential offering fans a fascinating competition and great emotions.

Common sense anyone?

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The F.A. have announced that lucky punters will be able to buy common sense by the bag from their headquarters as of this Saturday, after they have decided no one in the football world has any use for it any more. With the backdrop of multi-billionaire takeovers, Djibril Cisse's haircuts and Alan Hansen's "technical analysis", the [.

Is Dimitar Berbatov looking for that “dream” move to Real Madrid?

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The site of Dimitar Berbatov sulking around the pitch/bench/training ground has been a defining image of English football for the past year. And we all knew exactly the reason why he was being such a grumpy Bulgar at Tottenham. Now he has his "dream" move to Manchester United, why is he still as miserable as [.

Respect. It’s a four letter word.

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It's unlikely Aretha Franklin was much of a soccer fan - let alone appreciative of the hapless officials - when she asked us to give her respect, but you sense the men in black may soon need to resort to blasting out the soul classic before the game to get their message across. The refereeing debate [.

Chelsea sign 12-year-old Jeremy Boga

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Chelsea have agreed a deal with 12-year-old French starlet Jeremy Boga. Boga plays for junior side ASPTT, based in Marseille, but he has now agreed to make the switch to West London. It's not a 'transfer' per se (forbidden by the rules) - Boga's father works in London and that has made things a lot easier for [.

The kid with the best story to tell at school today

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Playground banter never changes too much over the years. Last night's football, tonight's football, girls and plans for the weekend will probably be forming the basis of a few hundred thousands conversations this morning. But one pupil at a school in Huddersfield will be able to tell the story of how he became the Football [.

Alan Shearer is the worst man for the Newcastle job

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Update: Yesterday Alan Shearer reiterated his desire to get into management as Bobby Robson endorsed his case for the soon-to-be-vacant Newcastle post. The following article, published on 6th September 2008, clearly highlights the folly of such a move. Few clubs have supporters quite as adept at knowing who they want to be their next manager as [.