SoccerLens Archives for January 2008

Spurs finally sign Pavlyuchenko, Berbatov to United or Bayern?

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Tottenham have finally signed Roman Pavlyuchenko from Spartak Moscow for a fee rumoured to be £12m. The player was photographed arriving at White Hart Lane yesterday and after passing a medical, he is now formally a Tottenham player as announced on the Spurs official website. Question #1: Will he succeed in England?

08-09 Carling Cup 3rd Round Draw

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Carling Cup 08/09 3rd round draw: Arsenal v Sheffield United Brighton or Man City v Derby County Burnley v Fulham Portsmouth v Chelsea Blackburn Rovers v Everton Rotherham United v Southampton Swansea City v Cardiff City Ipswich Town v Wigan Athletic Stoke City v Reading Leeds United v Hartlepool United Watford v West Ham United Manchester United v Middlesbrough Liverpool v Crewe Alexandra Aston Villa v Queens Park Rangers Sunderland [.

Hull want Campbell for 7m - should United sell?

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Hull chairman Paul Duffen on the club's £7m bid for young Manchester United striker Frazier Campbell: "We've put a £7m bid on the table to Manchester United. The complexities of their situation are that it depends on them getting one in, that one might well be Bulgarian. As I said all the way through the summer we need [.

Handballs and Handballs - some perspective on Paul Scholes and Manchester United

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As handballs go, Paul Scholes vs Zenit St Petersburg was as clear as staring into the sun. Regardless of what the situation was at the time (United losing, clock running down, no clear path to a comeback in sight, etc etc) you can't excuse one of your senior-most players spiking the ball into the opposition's [.

Arsene Wenger: Legacy at the Crossroads

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Football management produces stereotypes, geniuses, interesting characters and complete enigmas, in equal measure, but trying to fit Arsene Wenger into a single category is a challenge. I should preface this piece by declaring that, as a Man Utd fan, given the fierce rivalry of recent years and some of the unsavory scenes at the end [.

Transfer Rumors (30 August 08): Bayern bid for Berbatov?, United offload Saha to Everton, Liverpool’s Riera deal almost done, and more

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We're into the final weekend of the summer transfer window, and it's sure to be a wild weekend. Well, maybe. Whatever the case may be, I'm back to give you the latest transfer news and rumors, and there is something to report on with Dimitar Berbatov, but I don't know if it's what [...]

What Arsene really said, and why Chelsea, Liverpool and United have nothing to worry about

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Wenger is frequently misquoted (once or twice by yours truly as well) but this is a royal cockup. Arsene was asked about UEFA's plan to propose to the EU that football clubs that run on an operating deficit or those who are unable to pay wages based on their current revenues and have to finance [...

Manchester United v. Zenit St. Petersburg - Super Cup - Live Blog

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Manchester United v. Zenit St. Petersburg Stadium: Stade Louis II, Monaco. Date: Friday 29 August 2008 Competition: UEFA Super Cup Kickoff: 19:45 BST, 14:45 EST It's time, once again, for the annual showdown between the reigning Champions League winners and the UEFA Cup holders. This year's match will pit Manchester United against Zenit St.

The Bayern Munich-Tottenham-Manchester United triangle, with Larsson the wildcard

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The madness never stops. Now Bayern Munich are rumoured to be interested in Dimitar Berbatov, with the Bundesliga club supposedly cutting in line ahead of Manchester United (to whom Tottenham are less than keen on selling their star forward). I don't believe it for a second, especially since Bayern have 3 very good strikers already in Klose, [.

Keegan remarkably realistic about Owen

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It's easy to see why Keegan is well-liked - he's articulate, he's forthright, he gets people excited and he's as realistic as they come. Keegan on Owen: "Look around football and look what's happening, and I'm afraid a club and a manager not wanting a player to go sometimes is not enough. I think I can honestly [.

Interview with ITV.com’s Marc Webber

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Last week I talked to ITV.com's head of content, Marc Webber, about ITV's new website, their focus on football (and especially football video) and how he saw the online football industry shaping in the future. You can catch the interview here. "Interview with ITV.com's Marc Webber" was originally published at Soccerlens.

Aston Villa sign Milner from Newcastle - will he ever play for England?

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Aston Villa have announced the signing of James Milner from Newcastle United - the England U-21 international has penned a four-year deal at Villa after passing a medical at Villa Park. Villa have been after Milner for a couple of years now - and the youngster finally forced the issue by handing in a transfer request [.

With Madrid confused on United and Robinho, will Chelsea get their man?

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Ramon Calderon is a man who has serious problems with putting his finger on reality. It could be that the pressure of presidency at the greatest club in the world is getting to him. Or it could be the age. Or the cocaine... In any case, he's been speaking to the press again (what with the [...]

Man City, Tottenham, Pompey and Villa get easy UEFA Cup ties, Everton get one of the toughest

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The 2008/09 UEFA Cup first round draw was conducted today with the first leg to be played on Thursday 18 September 2008 with the second leg to be played on Thursday 2 October 2008. Five days after the second legs the draw will be held for the group stage, the fixture dates for which are 23 [...]

Saha to leave Manchester United for Everton?

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Manchester Evening News say that a 2-year deal has been agreed between the two clubs and that the move will happen, subject to a medical. This comes right after Manchester United released Dong Fangzhou (apparently he didn't sell enough shirts in China - best of luck D) and with Ferguson saying that he's less optimistic about [.

Would Henry ever play for Manchester United?

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There's a story going around that Henry had a medical yesterday with a move to Manchester United on the cards. The story is bollocks, but the subsequent reaction to the story raised a couple of interesting points. One, would Henry ever play for Manchester United? I think that if Barcelona didn't want him, if he didn't want [.

Loans too expensive for Liverpool, Stanley Park construction delayed

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The global credit crunch - you'll be hearing about that in football for some time - means that borrowing money for Stanley Park's construction is too expensive and as a result Liverpool are going to delay construction till things get better. It's not a catastrophe, but it's hardly a confidence-building measure, is it?

Primera 07-08 Attendance Map

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The 08/09 Spanish Primera kicks off this weekend, a brief warmup before the international break for World Cup qualifiers. Bill Turianski does a nice preview of the season, looking at attendance figures from the 07/08 La Liga season. Notes: With Real Zaragoza gone (and replaced by minnows Numancia), the average attendance is set to drop this season.

Weekend Predictions: Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton and Villa to win, Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle and Man City to lose

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I've never really understood the need for foreign travel. It makes no sense to leave a perfectly good country for a significantly poorer one; although this is never a real problem for the Welsh. When I have capitulated to convention, I have found the experience quite pleasurable. I particularly enjoyed my timeshare in an [.

Serie A 07-08 Attendance Map

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The Serie A 08-09 season kicks off this weekend with a host of tasty fixtures (the highlight of the opening weekend being the Fiorentina v Juventus game on Sunday evening). Bill from billsportsmaps.com has a map showing the 07/08 attendance figures of all 20 teams playing in the Serie A this season. Notable highlights: Attendances are low [.

Manchester - Vidic might not be happy, but we love it!

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Nemanja Vidic was quoted as saying some not very nice things about Manchester this week, which he has since denied, although some have doubted how sincere his denial of the comments were. "I will never stay to live in England, that's for sure," Vidic is quoted as saying. "You only get a brief glimpse of sunlight [.

Who can Arsene buy with 30m?

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Danny Fiszman is adamant that Arsenal's finances are in rude health and there are plenty of funds available, all Wenger has to do is ask and they'll be given to him. Apart from the ass-covering angle of this statement (blame the manager, not us), the question that arises is this: who can Arsenal bring in if [.

Arsenal v. Newcastle United - Live Blog - English Premier League

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Arsenal v. Newcastle United Stadium: Emirates Stadium Date: 30 August 2008 English Premier League Kickoff: 17:30 GMT, 12:30 ET Newcastle will hope to continue their early season success at the expense of Arsenal.  Soccerlens will be bringing the action to you live!  Join us 15 minutes before kickoff for the live blog.

Transfer Rumors (29 August 08): Man City complete SWP deal, Tottenham in for Veloso, Everton and Spurs after Larsson, and more

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There are only a few days left in the window, so I'm sure there's a lot in store for what I hope will be a frantic few days in transfers. Today, there's plenty to report on from around Europe, as clubs are trying to finalize their squads with the new season still fresh or [...]

Curbs out of West Ham? Is there anyone better?

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Rob Smyth (we disagree on a lot of things) thinks that Curbishley should be given a chance at West Ham with his first-choice XI and a full-season so that he can be 'judged' on merit. He's right about a lot of things (Rob, not Curbs) - West Ham fans want to be entertained (for the prices [...]

Shaun Wright-Phillips returns but can he shine for City?

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It's taken 3 years, but Shaun Wright-Phillips has finally admitted that it was a mistake for him to move to Chelsea. It doesn't matter that he's the last person to do so - by returning to Manchester City SWP has made a commitment to play regular football over the next few years in a bid [...]

Transfer Window: Good or Bad?

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I've heard several people say that the transfer window is 'bad' for football in England, after reading Paul Fletcher's article on it this morning I thought it's worth commenting on the matter. For the record, as a football fan I'm all for the transfer window - it keeps the transfer madness locked up to a few [.

How much will England and Liverpool miss Gerrard?

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Steven Gerrard will undergo groin surgery in a bid to have an injury-free season and will miss two league games and two England World Cup qualifiers in the process. How much will they miss him? If you look at Liverpool's fixtures you'll see them playing away at Villa Park on Sunday 31st August and home to [.

Transfer Rumors (28 August 08): Arsenal after £12m de Guzman, City to get SWP for £8.5m, Newcastle to reluctantly grant Milner £10m Villa move, and more

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We're rapidly moving towards the end of the summer transfer window, and the mad dash to get deals done continues. Still waiting for news on a couple of big names, but there's plenty to report as is, so let's get to it, shall we? England The Sun says that Arsenal are interested in Feyenoord midfielder Jonathan [.

UEFA Champions League 08-09 - Group Stage Draw LIVEBLOG

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The draw for the 08-09 Champions League group stages will take place today in Monaco to pick groups at random (I suppose the drama makes for good viewing on TV, eh). Soccerlens will cover the draw LIVE and give you the groups as they unfold. Also, we will get to see who wins the 2008 UEFA [...]

Croatia Squad for Kazakhstan and England home World Cup Qualifiers

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Croatia's coach Slaven Bilic announced a 22-man squad on Wednesday for their opening World Cup Group 6 qualifiers next month. Croatia play two matches in Zagreb, hosting Kazakhstan on Sept. 6 and England four days later. Goalkeepers Stipe Pletikosa (Spartak Moscow), Vedran Runje (RC Lens) Defenders Vedran Corluka (Manchester City), Dario Simic (Monaco), Robert Kovac (Borussia Dortmund), Josip Simunic (Hertha [.

Manchester United 0-2 Zenit St. Petersburg - Super Cup - Live Blog

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Manchester United 0-2 Zenit St. Petersburg (Poggrebnyak 44′, Danny 59′) Stadium: Stade Louis II, Monaco. Date: Friday 29 August 2008 Competition: UEFA Super Cup Kickoff: 19:45 BST, 14:45 EST It's time, once again, for the annual showdown between the reigning Champions League winners and the UEFA Cup holders.

Should Milner, Ferdinand and Berbatov be criticised for wanting to move?

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Anton Ferdinand jumped ship from West Ham to Sunderland this week. James Milner turned in a transfer request at Newcastle United, presumably so Aston Villa can snap him up before the transfer window ends. Dimitar Berbatov is reported to be holding 'crisis talks' with Tottenham officials who themselves are waiting for Pavlyuchenko to sign (or [.

La Liga Rountable: Who will win the 08/09 Primera?

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Raphael Honigstein, Guillem Balague and Gabriele Marcotti discuss the upcoming Spanish football season and give their predictions on who will be winning the 2008 / 2009 season. Raphael Honigstein: Gentlemen, let's talk about Spain now. Guillem, your prediction? Guillem Balague: Real Madrid to finish runners-up, fighting with Villarreal and Sevilla.

Transfer Rumors (27 August 08): Chelsea after Luis Fabiano, Liverpool agree Riera fee, Tottenham set to sign Pavlyuchenko, and more

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I'm back to give you another rundown of the latest transfer news and rumors from the world of football, and while I don't know what Dimitar Berbatov ate for breakfast, I do have plenty else for you, including a bit about who his current club are set to sign. England The Sun says that Chelsea [...]

If Style Won You Silverware…

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Who would win the Premier League? The Champions League? The FA Cup? Would Manchester United and Chelsea still fight for the title? Will Arsenal and Liverpool be dumped out of Europe by Villa, Everton and Tottenham? Which is the best kit in England? in Europe? Oliver Fowler finds out... Scotland Champions & FA Cup - Partick Thistle The two colours [.

Stevenage struggle to get started

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Many a pre-season favourite for the title have struggled to start their campaign in the manner that the media hype would suggest, but few have done so quite as spectacularly as Stevenage Borough. Returning manager Graham Westley had made a number of eye-catching and proven signings over the summer, including Lee Boylan and Mark Albrighton from [.

Is Football Bad For Your Health?

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Football has a pretty big role in terms of UK culture, and never more so since the birth of Sky Sports and the Premier League, enhanced even further by Euro '96. We're now at a point where around 29 million people attend live games and that's not even taking into account the millions more who [...]

Transfer Rumors (26 August 08): Falcao for Tottenham, City in for old boy Wright-Phillips, Arsenal’s Senderos secures Milan loan move, and more

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We're one day closer to the end of the transfer window, and as expected, there's a mad dash by many to make moves happen before time runs out. So, let's get a move on and get started with today's transfer roundup. England Tottenham are reportedly set to make a £7m move for Colombian striker [...]

Manchester United v Zenit Saint Petersburg - UEFA Super Cup 2008

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Manchester United will look to wrap up their second trophy in less than a month as the reigning UEFA Champions League holders take on UEFA Cup holders Zenit St. Petersburg in the UEFA Super Cup on Friday at Stade Louis II in Monaco. Last year, European champ AC Milan took home their fifth Super [..

Portsmouth 0-1 Manchester United Highlights

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Portsmouth vs Manchester United Highlights (0-1) "Portsmouth 0-1 Manchester United Highlights" was originally published at Soccerlens.com - Football News.

Why Liverpool should be 2 points ahead of Chelsea and why West Ham should have lost by 4 goals…

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After the second weekend of the new season, there's only one Premier League team left with a 100% record, according to the Right Result. Chelsea miss out on the chance of joining Liverpool on two wins out of two as Blues keeper Petr Cech's blatant push on Emmerson Boyce at a first-half corner should have earned [.

Premier League Round 2 Winners and Losers - Chelsea and Liverpool stay perfect, Arsenal and Tottenham disappoint

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There's still one more fixture left to be played in the second round of Premier League fixtures, but it's time to take an early look at the winners and losers from the weekend's action. Chelsea and Liverpool have gotten their title challenges off by taking maximum points from their first two league ties and [.

Transfer Rumors (25 August 08): Robinho can get Chelsea move for 45m, Everton looking to make multiple moves, West Ham accept Ferdinand bid, and more

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Well, we're into the last week of the summer transfer window, so there's going to be a mad dash to the finish for several sides looking to make some big signings before the window closes. Some people are going to get their wishes fulfilled, while some are going to end up out in the [...]

SL Week in Review - Rivalries, Barry-gate, David v David, and more

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Just in case you've missed anything on SL over the last several days, here's a quick recap of some of the top topics from the last week. Football Rivals You Love to Hate Scott the Red takes an in-depth look at top football rivalries in the UK. Can Scholes Join Ronaldo, Ferdinand, and Van [...]

Transfer Rumors (24 August 08): United make final Berba bid, Newcastle interested in Malouda, Chelsea finally offload Sheva, and more

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We've moving towards the last week of the transfer window, and there are still some transfer sagas yet to be resolved. While there's little new news on any of them in today's roundup, there is a fair amount to report on, with the Premier League and Serie A stealing all of the headlines today. [...]

Liverpool appoint Mrs Redknapp as assistant manager

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‘Onest ‘Arry Redknapp appears to be feeling the pinch of the credit crunch. Obviously Lord Stevens' enquiry into bung-taking in football found no evidence he was anything other than an upstanding member of the football community, but in a summer in which Portsmouth's transfers have been limited, possibly he has struggled with an income below [.

Tottenham 1-2 Sunderland - Live Blog

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Tottenham (Jenas 73′) 1-2 Sunderland (Richardson 55′, Cisse 83′) Stadium: White Hart Lane, LondonDate: Saturday 23 August 2008 Competiton: English Premier League Time: 15:00 BST, 10:00 EST Sunderland picked up a huge win at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur. Soccerlens had the action live!

Tottenham 0-1 Sunderland - Live Blog

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Tottenham 0-1 Sunderland (Richardson 55′) Stadium: White Hart Lane, LondonDate: Saturday 23 August 2008 Competiton: English Premier League Time: 15:00 BST, 10:00 EST It's the second week of Premiership football and Tottenham Hotspur will take on Sunderland at White Hart Lane. Soccerlens has the action live!

Transfer Rumors (23 August 08): Real give green light to Robinho’s Chelsea move, Arsenal’s Senderos close to Milan move?, and more

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It's the weekend again, and while we sit back and take in the second round of Premier League action (or follow whatever league it is that's your favorite), there's still plenty to talk about on the transfer front as we move closer to the end of the transfer window. England Real Madrid have finally relented [.

Golden Argentina in Beijing (Olympics 2008)

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Four years after the gold in Athens, another 1-0 scoreline confirmed Argentina as Olympic football champions. In 2004, the match-winning goal had been scored by a certain Carlos Tevez; this year in Beijing, salvation came from above. "Little Angel" Di María flapped his celestial wings and delivered a fatal blow to finalists Nigeria, exploiting an [.

Manchester City v. West Ham United - Live Blog

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Manchester City (Sturridge 65′, Elano 70′ 76′) 3-0 West Ham United Stadium: City of Manchester Stadium Date: Sunday 24 August 2008 Competition: English Premier League Kickoff: 16:00 BST, 11:00 EST Manchester City thrashed West Ham, 3-0, to pick up a big [...]

Tottenham v. Sunderland - Live Blog

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Tottenham v. Sunderland Stadium: White Hart Lane, LondonDate: Saturday 23 August 2008 Competiton: English Premier League Time: 15:00 BST, 10:00 EST It's the second week of Premiership football and Tottenham Hotspur will take on Sunderland at White Hart Lane. Soccerlens has the action live! Click below for the live-blog.

5 ‘Box-Office Superstars’ Manchester City will try to sign

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First Ronaldinho, now Henry - it seems that Manchester City, like it or not, are hell bent on making a star signing that who can help raise the club's profile across the world. Jo and Kompany are starts, but to really get things going Cook and co want a BIG name. With that in mind, here [...]

Football Rivals You Love To Hate

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I hate Liverpool and I hate Liverpool fans. This isn't to say that I don't have a mate or two who is afflicted with Liverpool support and this isn't to say that as a rule I believe all individual Liverpool fans are scum of the earth, but I can guarantee the image of thousands of [...]

Can Scholes join Ronaldo, Ferdinand and van der Sar in UEFA’s 2008 Team of the Year?

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Every year UEFA nominates the best players in club football in Europe with the final awards presented on the eve of the end-of-August UEFA Super Cup. Last year we saw AC Milan's Kaka, Maldini and Seedorf take the plaudits with Petr Cech rounding off the four and in the process denying Milan a clean sweep.

Wenger talks about Barry - isn’t that wrong?

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Question for Arsenal fans: Now that Wenger has said commented twice on Gareth Barry (here and here) Will you: accuse him of trying to unsettle the captain of a league rival? encourage Villa to file a complaint against Arsenal - especially since they have more evidence of Wenger breaking Premier League's K8 rule than Spurs ever did against Ferguson?

4 things to remember about the 2008 Olympics

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The 2008 Olympics will end on Sunday 24th August (with the 08 Olympic football final on Saturday) and there's been lots to talk about this time around, from the politics to the environment to the questions about age to the outstanding performances and the odd funny moments. What will you remember most about Beijing 2008?

Transfer Rumors (22 August 08): Arsenal confirm interest in Barry, Man City getting some Kompany, Sheva stalemate for Chelsea and AC Milan, and more

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The amount of time left in the transfer window gets shorter, and so do the amount of transfer tidbits to talk about. Even though there isn't a great deal to report on, you know I'll be here to deliver it, true, false, or absolutely outlandish. Arsene Wenger has confirmed his interest in Gareth Barry, but [.

Weekend Predictions: Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd and Newcastle to win, Tottenham, West Ham, Everton and Man City won’t

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The Olympic Games have been a real disappointment. The only event that I was desperate to watch was the diving, but it turned out to be a few lunatics jumping into a pool. My tissues did come in handy when Paula Radcliffe limped over the line in the marathon - that was pure comedy gold. Britain [...

Manchester City v West Ham United - Live Blog

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Manchester City v. West Ham UnitedWeek 2, English Premier LeagueStadium: City of Manchester StadiumTime: 16:00 BST, 11:00 EST Manchester City will take on West Ham United in a Week 2 clash between two squads desperate for respectability this year. Soccerlens will be bringing the action to you live! Join us 15 minutes before kickoff [.

Manchester City v. West Ham United - Week 2 - English Premier Leagu

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Manchester City v. West Ham UnitedWeek 2, English Premier LeagueStadium: City of Manchester StadiumTime: 16:00 BST, 11:00 EST Manchester City will take on West Ham United in a Week 2 clash between two squads desperate for respectability this year. Soccerlens will be bringing the action to you live!

Tottenham v. Sunderland - Week 2 - English Premier League

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Tottenham v. Sunderland Week 2, English Premier League Stadium: White Hart Lane Time: 15:00 BST, 10:00 EST It's the second week of Premiership football and Tottenham Hotspur will take on Sunderland at White Hart Lane. Soccerlens will be bringing the action to you live! Join us 15 minutes before kickoff for the live-blog.

Manchester United 1-1 Newcastle United - Week 1 - English Premier

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Note: I have not watched this match yet. I am doing a dry-run using some new software so I'll be ready to go this weekend. Manchester United (Fletcher 24′) 1-1 Newcastle United (Martins 22′) English Premier League, Week 1 Stadium: [...]

Manchester United v. Newcastle UnitedEnglish Premier League, Week 1Stadium: Old

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Manchester United v. Newcastle UnitedEnglish Premier League, Week 1Stadium: Old Trafford, England Match Time: 16:00 BST, 11:00 EST

Match Preview:

Another exciting Premiership season is upon us! I'll be doing matches every weekend (hopefully), and I'm looking forward to watching a whole lot of football.

Golden Argentina in Beijing (Olympics 2008)

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Four years after the gold in Athens, another 1-0 scoreline confirmed Argentina as Olympic football champions. In 2004, the match-winning goal had been scored by a certain Carlos Tevez; this year in Beijing, salvation came from above. "Little Angel" Di María flapped his celestial wings and delivered a fatal blow to finalists Nigeria, exploiting an [.

Arsenal get Silvestre, Manchester City get Kompany - what the ….?

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While Arsenal bagged a 31-year old defender who couldn't make the grade at their fiercest title rivals, Manchester City went ahead and snapped up one of the hottest young defenders in Europe. Something tells me that someone messed things up here. You'd expect Kompany to be going to Arsenal, Silvestre heading to City.

Floating Football Pitch - Singapore points to the future of sports entertainment

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Singapore's ‘Marina Bay Floating Stadium' is a fascinating idea - to quote Times Online: "...an intriguing feature in an area which is set to become a waterfront city following its current redevelopment. The floating stadium is currently carrying the title of ‘the world's largest' and, although the 30′000 capacity seating area is housed on land, the [.

Transfer Rumors (21 August 08): Arsenal tie up Silvestre deal, One out, two in at Chelsea, Sunderland ink Cisse, and more

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I'm back to give you all the latest in transfer news and rumors from around Europe and elsewhere, and after we all take a moment to digest/laugh at/make some sort of remark on the coincidence of Dimitar Berbatov signing a Manchester United shirt, you can get start getting caught up on today's headlines.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - the fairytale football club?

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A quick glance at the Bundesliga table will show you that after the first round of matches, an unfamiliar name currently parades at the top of it – 1899 Hoffenheim. The story of the club rooted in the village of Hoffenheim in the South-West Germany is a remarkable one. For the romantics it is a [.

United don’t want Huntelaar, Madrid aren’t interested either

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The rumours linking Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to Manchester United are doing rounds all year long and have been doing so ever since Ruud van Nistelrooy was rumoured to be leaving the club. This season they've linked Huntelaar to Real Madrid as well, presumably because people think Madrid are thinking of replacing RvN or at least getting [.

Queiroz fingers Ronaldo as future Portugal striker - will that work for United?

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Portugal's new manager Carlos Queiroz has said that expects Cristiano Ronaldo to lead Portugal's front line when he returns from his post-surgical rest. "I see only one position for Cristiano Ronaldo to play. And I hope he will be playing 90 percent of the game on the attacking line." Could Ronaldo play the same role for Manchester [.

Hoffenheim score 20 in a game - what can English teams learn from them?

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1899 Hoffenheim scored 20 goals past lower league opposition SC Reilingen in a friendly on Tuesday. Now that's probably not better than what Australia did a few years ago but it does have a lesson in it somewhere? Is it: Pick your pre-season opponents really carefully to boost your team's confidence (Arsenal)?

Bentley v Beckham - which David would you pick for England?

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England play the Czech Republic today in their last 'friendly' before the World Cup 2010 qualifiers begin. The time for experimentation is over and the team you'll see lining up for England tonight will in all likelihood be 80-90 percent the same as the one set to line up against Andorra and Croatia in September [.

How to scare Arsenal fans to death

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...link a 31-year old, injury-prone, error-prone defender to the club and make him look like Wenger's first choice partner for another 31-year old, injury-prone, error-prone defender. They're both pretty fast though (fast enough to escape from Man City / Sunderland and Chelsea, respectively), although it'll be interesting to see if Wenger says 'I didn't see [.

What’s worse - United selling to City or to Arsenal?

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Usually selling a player to your fiercest rivals would be considered a controversial decision at best, and an absolute travesty at worst. Think of the outrage at Tottenham when Sol Campbell went to Arsenal, Fergie's insistence on keeping Heinze away from Liverpool, the stick Lampard gets (ok, that's a different story but still), the stick [.

So Mr. Blatter - are Real Madrid slavers too?

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Sepp Blatter was happy to call Ronaldo a 'modern-day slave' when asked about Manchester United's refusal to let the player follow his 'dream' to play for Real Madrid. Now that Real have done the same for Robinho and 'killed' his 'dream' to move to Chelsea (to Ronaldo's credit he took it like a man and best [.

Irresistible Argentina power past Brazil

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Just like a sheet of paper from a page-a-day-calendar, Argentina ripped Brazil out of the stack, crunched it up, made a little paper ball, did a few juggles and then backheeled it into the trash. Everyone was anticipating this game as the final-before-the final in these 2008 Beijing Football Olympics, and boy did we not [.

Meet Galaxy’s new boss…same as the old boss

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Bruce Arena is a tired retread who ran out of ideas ages ago. Bruce Arena is just the tonic the LA Galaxy needs to salvage its disastrous two and a half year run, during which it has managed to miss the play-offs in each year. Or both, depending upon whom you ask. Tim Leiweke, the President and the [.

Transfer Rumors (20 August 08): Robinho’s Chelsea move not happening, Arsenal move for Silvestre, West Brom splash club-record cash on Valero, and more

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It's a pretty short day in transfer tidbits, since most of the focus today is on the international action going on everywhere, but there is still a decent amount of news to report on, so let's hop to it, shall we? England Thanks to Real Madrid's insistence on not wanting to even entertain the possibility of selling [.

Terry is England Captain

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Fabio Capello has named John Terry as England captain - and this appointment is expected to last at least till the end of the World Cup qualifiers, and most like through to the end of John Terry's career / Capello's reign as manager). I'm not happy - of course not - but I can take [...]

Do you bet on football?

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Online football betting has grown at a very fast pace in the last decade - and beyond the numbers, you can see the proof in the splurge of football betting and football prediction games that have sprouted up in the last two years alone. So here's a question for our readers - do you bet on [...]

Everton going to Asia

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Everton is increasing its presence in the Asian market following the an agreement with Total Sports Asia to distribute official Everton Mobile content throughout Asia (excluding China). Total Sports Asia is an independent full service sports marketing, management and consulting company and will act as Everton's mobile content rights distributor in the region.

Soccerlens goes to the other Wembley: The magic of the FA Cup

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There's nothing quite like walking towards an FA Cup game, seeing the now-famous arch of Wembley Stadium and getting a shiver of excitement down your spine as you make your way to the ground. You wonder if the players at Wembley FC get the same thought as they make their way towards the distinctly less [.

Soccerlens goes to Paris - How good (bad) is French football?

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And so, after a year-long absence from a soccer stadium (the last live match I watched was Chile vs. Nigeria, FIFA U-20 World Cup Quarter-Finals, and only because the tournament took place in Canada), I courageously donned my "soccer fanatic" shirt and went to see Paris Saint Germain vs. Bordeaux Saturday, Day 2 of the [.

Transfer Rumors (19 August 08): Blackburn make bid for Joaquin, Chelsea’s Ivanovic set for Milan?, Rangers go after yet another midfielder, and more

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I'm back to give you all the latest top transfer news headlines, and while there are no official signings to report today, there are several potential ones to report, along with some rumors as to who could be on the move and to where. England Blackburn have reportedly made a £9.5m bid for Valencia winger Joaquin.

Liverpool owners get it right for once

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As Rafa himself has said, the owners and the chairman are responsible for the delay in getting Barry over to Anfield, and in this case you have to admit that like them or not, they might have a point. Sure, you should back your manager in the transfer market but for Liverpool to pay 18m for [...]

Who’s Better: Finnan or Arbeloa?

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Rafael Benitez has preferred Alvaro Arbeloa in the right-back position in recent times over Steve Finnan, and to be honest, it's not a move that's made much sense. On ability they are roughly equal, and Finnan has the added advantage of experience that helps him read the game better and not only defend better but [.

Does Shinawatra even care about Manchester City?

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Manchester City are being thrashed in the press because of Thaksin Shinawatra - and as long as the owner keeps silent about what's going on and the financial situation surrounding the club, he's going to keep getting thrashed. A billionaire taking out 30m loans against future TV earnings to manage operations is clearly suffering from severe [.

Why do Arsenal players criticise their teammates?

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This isn't a slight against Arsenal, any Arsenal player or the Arsenal manager - more a question about Wenger's management methods. At times in the last two seasons it's almost as if William Gallas never stopped talking to the press. He'd talk about the players, the team, himself, the manager - anything that was put to [.

Everton and Middlesbrough suffered from bad referee decisions

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The 2008-09 Premier League season kicks-off with the Right Result team back in action and as always there were some big talking points. Everton were familiar subjects of Right Result judgments last season and the Toffees are off to an early start this term, being hard-done-by in their encounter with Paul Ince's Blackburn Rovers outfit.

Is it time to panic yet?

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The first weekend of the 08/09 season saw Tottenham lose away to Middlesbrough, Manchester United held to a draw at home to Newcastle, Portsmouth destroyed in a game that will be as remembered for Chelsea's tactical superiority as the lack of effort from Pompey players and Everton lose at home to a Blackburn side that [.

Liverpool start without style but at least have 3 points in the bag

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Another year, another chance to see whether Liverpool really do have a side capable of prolonging a Premiership challenge beyond the first round of carol singers. And on today's showing at the Stadium of Light, where Fernando Torres' 81st minute thunderbolt secured a scarcely deserved three points, it is tempting to conclude that for all [.

Wenger: Arsenal not like Chelsea, better than Tottenham and Liverpool

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Wenger's position at Arsenal has been over the years an object of respect, envy and curiosity. How does he get them playing so well so young? How can they keep winning even with a threadbare squad? How come he's not out of a job yet? More and more people are asking that last question in recent [...]

Soccerlens Site Update

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An update for regular Soccerlens readers (and those who're subscribed to the RSS feed). We have a few new sections on the site that you might not be aware of: Fixtures Results Tables Live Scores Fixtures and results are also broken down by team, so you can get team-specific info if you want. Live scores are a work in progress [.

Transfer Rumors (18 August 08): Blackburn close on Grella, West Ham accept Sunderland’s Ferdinand bid, West Brom to sign Spanish midfielder, and more

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There's not a lot to report on in today's transfer roundup, and nothing in the way of major rumors, but given early results in England and elsewhere, several clubs could be looking to move quickly to make some vital reinforcements before it gets too late. England Blackburn are set to sign Torino midfielder Vince Grella [.

Brazil v Argentina, 2008 Olympics, Semifinal

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Argentina will take on Brazil on Tuesday, 19th August 2008 in the 2nd 2008 Olympic football semi-final (first semifinal preview - Nigeria v Belgium - here). There's enough bite in the mere mention of Brazil v Argentina without me needing to hype the match up - but there are a few talking points here: We all [.

What are Spurs, United and Berbatov dreaming of?

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Dimitar Berbatov has taken over from Cristiano Ronaldo as the 'big' story of the transfer window, and last week there were a flurry of news reports claiming that Berba was 'on his way' to Old Trafford and would line up for the Red Devils on Sunday. All of them false - unfortunately so for Manchester United [.

Glory Fans - Not So Bad After All?

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As a child, the summer holidays brought about a family trip to a campsite in Europe. We'd get in the car to travel down to Dover and I would always be wearing my United shirt. After hours and hours of driving, we'd pull in at our designated tin can and the holiday had begun. It wouldn't [...]

How easy was it for Chelsea to beat Portsmouth? Too easy

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The most striking facet of today's game at Stamford Bridge wasn't the scoreline, the fact that Chelsea could afford to win 4-0 without Ballack (injured at the 37th minute), Essien or Drogba, or Deco's assured performance or the fact that this Chelsea has a swagger that the the Chelsea of 04/05 and 05/06 had.

Manchester City, Newcastle United, Celtic - please take Silvestre!

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Mikael Silvestre is a good defender - fast, reliable, able to play left back or center-back and very experienced. He'd be an excellent asset for any mid-table side in the top leagues in Europe. At United he's part of Fergie's support cast and does well when called upon. Thing is, letting him go will give the [.

Tottenham and Manchester United searching for Berbatov

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Where is Dimitar Berbatov? According to eyewitnesses, he was last seen playing for Tottenham in their opening day defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough. However, an insider at Tottenham Hotspur (who spoke to us at the condition of anonymity) revealed that Spurs are using an 'exact double' for Berbatov these days because they just can't find [.

How the Dutch sabotaged England’s Euro dreams

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An astonishing leaked interview with former England boss Steve "Umbrella" McClaren has made it clear to British football authorities that the man they entrusted with England's dismal Euro 2008 qualifying campaign was in fact a Dutch spy, sent in to sabotage English football. The interview (shown below) is thought to have been taken when McClaren was [.

England squad for Czech Republic friendly

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England take on the Czech Republic at Wembley on Wednesday, 20th August in their last friendly before the World Cup qualifiers begin in September. Surprises? Darren Bent misses out with Emile Heskey recalled and Paul Robinson comes back as well. Bentley stays in the squad as does David Beckham, and Theo Walcott will be pushing for [.

Newcastle cannot, should not, dare not, sell Owen to Spurs

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In some ways Michael Owen has been a liability at St James' Park - sky-high wages and repetitive injuries, not to mention his burning ambitions to play in Europe and win league titles (no offense but I think he knows that's not happening with Newcastle this decade) which has created a LOT of speculation around [.

Transfer Rumors (17 August 08): Middlesbrough snap up Hoyte, Newcastle after Saviola, Rangers close on MLS midfielder, and more

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There's not a great deal to report in today's transfer roundup, since it's Sunday, but with the Premier League season having kicked off, it's about as clear an indicator as the transfer window is getting closer and closer to its end. England Middlesbrough have completed the 3m signing of Arsenal defender Justin Hoyte.

Arsenal and Man Utd to beat Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea in the youth stakes

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Where will the next generation of home grown Premier League stars come from? Nextsoccerstar.com predicts who will be the winners and losers in the 'youth' stakes this season.... Disclaimer: This is a prediction of which club is most likely to give their young players a chance this season, not predictions of where each team will end [.

Transfer Rumors (16 August 08): Berbatov and Alonso want out, Zenit drop Arshavin valuation, Newcastle finally seal Coloccini deal, and more

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It's the weekend again, but as always, I'm back to give you the latest top headlines from the transfers world. There is quite a lot to talk about, so before you get on with whatever your plans are for the weekend, make sure you're up to speed on who's heading where, who might be [...]

Manchester United 08-09 Squad Numbers

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United's squad numbers for the 2008/09 campaign have been registered with the Premier League and there are some notable inclusions, especially for the younger players. Newcomers Fabio and Rafael have been handed the number 20 and 21 shirts respectively, while young strikers Danny Welbeck and Federico Macheda will wear no.

Premier League 07-08 Attendance Table

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A look at the average attendance figures for the current 20 Premier League clubs for the 07/08 season: For more sports maps, especially the 08/09 premier league map, head over to Bill Turianski's excellent billsportsmaps.com."Premier League 07-08 Attendance Table" was originally published at Soccerlens.

50 “Guaranteed” Predictions for the 08-09 season

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The predictions are divided into 5 categories - the press, the players, the game, the teams and everyone else (fans, agents, management). You're welcome to add your own predictions in the comments, discuss the predictions I've made or come back later on in the season and check how many I got right (I'm going for [.

Redknapp: Portsmouth’s bad players won’t leave!

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Peter Storrie told us earlier this month that money's tight at Pompey - Harry's now revealed the real reason behind it - Portsmouth's inability to kick out the deadwood from the squad. Not sure if he's pointing a finger at a particular player (David Nugent anyone) or not, but it's possible that Portsmouth would have fought [.

Rafa: Parry responsible for Barry

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The Liverpool gaffer didn't pull one of his 'I'm only here to talk about football' moments but he comes pretty close with a 'don't talk to me about players, don't blame me for Barry, talk to Parry and the owners'. He stops short of saying 'blame the bosses' but he doesn't need to say it, [...]

Barton’s Cigar Did WHAT?

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You keep hearing about how Joey Barton stubbed a lit cigar in the face of a team-mate (way back in 2004 - someone should have caught a hint then), right? Well, the player who got 'poked', Jamie Tandy, is now suing Barton for causing "major psychiatric deterioration" which ultimately forced him out of the game [.

Match of the Week: Bayern Munich v Hamburg SV

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Bayern München open the 2008/2009 Bundesliga season at home against Hamburger SV on Friday, 15 August. The defending champions have failed to beat Hamburger SV in Munich since January 2005, a total of three matches. Only three clubs have managed to avoid defeat at Bayern for four matches or more. Werder Bremen have done it twice, [.

Olympic football host nations - usually not good at youth football

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Olympic host China's performance in the Football tournament was similar to that of other hosts in recent Olympic Games. China, like five of the last six host nations were knocked out in the group phase. Since 1920, only Spain (1992) have hosted the Olympic Games and won gold in Football: Performance of host NOC in Olympic Men's [.

Arsenal 2008/09 Season Preview

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I left writing my season preview for Arsenal until as late in the day as possible. The season kicks off on Saturday with a home tie against West Brom, and the trepidation I felt mid-July still hasn't disappeared. Wednesday night's result in Holland in the Champions League third qualifying round was a good early test for [.

Weekend Predictions: Arsenal, Tottenham, Sunderland, Chelsea, United to win, Liverpool, City and Newcastle to lose

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Gerry McDonnell returned from his holidays on Thursday evening drunk, overweight and sporting a god-awful beard. He missed preseason, but we have no hesitation in sticking him straight in the starting lineup for the opening weekend of the Premier League. Let's hope his 're-entry' into society goes better than Joey Barton's rehabilitation (or lack thereof).

Transfer Rumors (15 August 08): Barcelona to make Berba bid?, AC Milan interested in Liverpool’s Alonso, Arsenal accept Boro’s Hoyte bid, and more

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It was going to be a pretty short day in transfer news and rumors, but there's a reason I stay up a little late, so that I can catch the early Friday rumors around Europe. So, there are a few extra tidbits in today's roundup which make things a little more juicy than they [...]

Fifa order Mutu to pay Chelsea £13.68m in compensation

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Modern football guarantees that silly season is always on, 12 months out of 12. Former Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu was sacked in 2004 after failing a drug test for cocaine. After a four delay (in claims, counter-claims, appeals, etc), Fifa's Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) awarded Chelsea a hefty compensation.

Transfer Rumors (14 August 08): United and Tottenham still hammering out Berba deal, Spurs make final Arshavin bid and could go for an old boy, Aston Villa make

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Well, I'm back again with the latest in transfer news and rumors, and unfortunately for our regular readers, there's nothing to report on in Liverpool news again, because I wasn't about to report the latest in the Gareth Barry saga (he's not going to Liverpool, apparently, which isn‘t new news) only to have it turn [.

Safe or Not? The 08-09 Manager Sack Race

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Last season the manager sack race got a bit ridiculous with many managers under severe pressure and some getting fired despite being backed in the transfer window and a few dismissed without being given a full season to show what they could do at the club. New owners and heightened expectations (both a product of more [.

Will everyone at Chelsea get 5-year, 130k / week deals?

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Oh, how Robinho must be itching to join Chelsea. Where else would you get a 5-year, 130k / week contract that makes you 'set for life' by the time you retire at the ripe age of 34 before getting into coaching / playing a washed-up celebrity on TV / pretend to be a pundit while [...]

Should League Champions Get Automatic Champions League Entry?

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Liverpool take on Belgian league champions Standard Leige today in their first leg of Champions League qualification. The contest revives an interesting and often-visited debate - is the Champions League a competition for 'champions' or merely the most marketable teams in Europe? Liverpool are favourites for the clash and with good reason - they've got a [.

49% fans blame Ronaldo, 28% blame the Press

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Last week Soccerlens asked readers who they blamed for the torturous summer-long United-Ronaldo-Madrid saga. The results are detailed below: Out of a poll of 636 readers, 49% (309 readers) laid the responsibility at Cristiano Ronaldo's feet, with his refusal to 'clarify his position' (or rather, his desire to move and initial refusal to accept United's position) [.

Anderton: “Tottenham can succeed without Keane and Berbatov”

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Former Spurs winger Darren Anderton has backed his old club to improve on last season's eleventh place finish, despite some high profile departures this summer. Robbie Keane was sold to Liverpool for £20.3m last month, while fellow front man Dimitar Berbatov is expected to complete a move to Manchester United before the big Premiership [.

Manchester City: Frantically weaving a larger basket case

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Even Thaksin Shinawatra's ego wouldn't go so much as to proclaim himself the Messiah, yet for a brief period he was held in such regard at Eastlands. His takeover of the club last summer, coupled with a supposedly huge cash injection and the installation of Sven-Goran Eriksson as coach led many City fans to start [.

Transfer Rumors (13 August 08): Berbatov on brink of United move?, Chelsea to up Robinho bid, Tottenham sign backup keeper, and more

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There are still yet a few long-running transfer sagas yet to be resolved, but one of them could be within the next few days, and that's the headline that kicks off today's transfer roundup. England Reports are rampant that Manchester United will sign Dimitar Berbatov in a £28m deal by the end of this week.

The Premier League’s Top Clubs May Benefit from England’s Failure

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England's stars may have been watching the European Championships from their living rooms in sadness and disbelief this past summer, but their pain could turn to gain when the new Premier League season gets underway this weekend. After woefully dismal failures against Russia, Macedonia and twice Croatia in their qualifying campaign, the nation's heroes had [.

Has MLS Robbed American Competitiveness?

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Freddy Adu did not develop well in MLS We're constantly hammered with one side of the coin including Sunday at the conclusion of the US-Netherlands match on NBC by Marcelo Balboa: we hear constantly that Major League Soccer is responsible for the US being more competitive in major international tournaments.

English Double Standards: Clattenburg v Shinawatra

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The English Premier League has never been known for a lack of discipline, even when Robbie Savage was in it. While discussions rage about the ability of officials to control matters on the field, fans should never doubt the impossibility of the situation facing them. You only have to look away for an instant and [.

To Boo, Or Not to Boo, That Is The Question

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Do you boo players from your own club? If you do, how can you sleep at night? To boo a player playing for your club is seen as the ultimate act of betrayal by some and a birthright by others. If you have paid your hard earned cash to watch a well paid player flop around [...]

The Most Wanted Footballers in England

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"The rain may be coming down but keep your heads up boys," booms out the voice across the astroturf pitch as a group of young men trudge towards the goal at one end of the pitch. Except this goal is a little different from the type you'd normally expect on an inner-city rubber crumb pitch [...]

Transfer Rumors (12 August 08): Liverpool after another Hungarian youngster, Aston Villa close on Cuellar, three-way battle for Appiah, and more

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It's time again for another look at the latest transfer headlines from around Europe, so buckle up for the ride. England Liverpool, who have a growing Hungarian contingent at the club, are looking to nab another Hungarian starlet in 17-year old defender Otikba Kenneth. Rumor Rating: 5 - If things pan out for all [.

Galaxy lose Gullit and Lalas, do they need patience or a fresh start?

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Galaxy owners take charge, Gullit and Lalas out, buzzwords are 'fresh start', 'responsibility' and 'playoffs'. Cobi Jones takes over as interim coach. Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG (Galaxy owners): "We are stepping up and doing what we need to do to straighten this thing out. There are two good people that for different reasons aren't part [.

We can’t all be Arsenal…

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I love watching football, I love playing football (although it hurts too much now) and I love coaching football. When I watch football I can see all the good ideas and all the mistakes. When I play football I know exactly what I should do and where I should be but my body won't do [...]

10 Tricks Clubs Use To Keep Players

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This summer (much like every summer before it) football sees a mad dash for the good and not-so-good footballers around the world which is reported on/fueled by the can-do-no-wrong-with-free-speech press and their always-telling-the-truth journalists. It can turn ugly, especially with players' heads being turned by the thoughts of more money, greater glory and managers doing their [.

The FA Introduce New ‘Respect’ Initiative On Opening Weekend

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The ‘Big Kick-Off' has brought with it a big kick-off for the FA's new respect for referees campaign. Branded ‘Respect', the campaign has been prominent during the opening weekend of the Football League season, and equally so at the Premier League's curtain-raiser, the Community Shield. The new initiative has been promoted heavily; Manchester United and [.

The Future is Bright for Manchester United

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If everything the media wrote was true, then Arsenal would be the greatest football side to ever grace the planet and Manchester United would falter with their "old" squad every season. This, however, is the media's most common misconception, and one that Arsenal fans quote quite often. After growing sick of hearing that Arsenal are [.

Should Fergie keep playing Ronaldo as a striker?

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This whole pre-season for Manchester United has been dominated by two issues: Ronaldo and the search for a striker. Here is another take on those two issues; why Ronaldo is or will be the best striker in the world. While it is not exactly the world's greatest discovery to understand that a player who scored [.

Transfer Rumors (11 August 08): Chelsea-Kaka deal on?, Villa to make bid for Chelsea’s Cole, Pompey sign Tottenham’s Kaboul, and more

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Well, it's the start of a new week, and this week carries a great deal of excitement, as we're only a week away from the start of the Premier League season. Today's transfer roundup isn't as packed as I would have expected, but there's plenty to run through, so you certainly won't go lacking. [...]

Transfer Rumors (10 August 08): United to offer 20m for Henry, Chelsea to make improved Robinho bid, Silva in Liverpool’s sights, and more

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In today's roundup, we're giving the latest on quite a few rumors that we've heard throughout the summer that are still in the news for one reason or another. But, we do have some relatively fresh rumors to report on that are sprinkled throughout the bunch. England The Daily Mail, which is sometimes more [.

Transfer Rumors (9 August 08): M’Bia claims strong Everton interest, Boro interested in Arsenal’s Hoyte, Saha to replace Zigic at Valencia, and more

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Since it's Saturday, it's a pretty short day in transfer news, but whether it's 5 bits or 50, you know I'm going to be here to deliver them piping hot to you. England Rennes midfielder Stephane M'Bia claims he could be moving to Everton soon. The 22-year old, who's currently with the Cameroon squad [.

Andy Hunter has no shame

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It's not enough to be embarrassed on an international scale by predicting complete bollocks in an effort to bait readers and then have the exact opposite happen 24 hours later. No, we must persist. Must. Write. More. Bollocks. There's no new contract, and there are 2 years before talk of a new contract even becomes [.

Chelsea and Spurs sign Arshavin, Arsenal and United get Huntelaar, Liverpool get Barry and Villa as Chelsea sell everyone

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A run down of the summer silly season can leave newspaper readers in no doubt: there have been a lot of big-money transfers already. Depending who you believe, both Chelsea and Spurs have signed Andrei Sergeyevich Arshavin at least four times, for fees ranging from about £20 million to about £50 million.

Serie A 08-09: A 6-horse title race?

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The Serie A 2008/09 promises to me an exhilarating season as crap teams have become mediocre teams, mediocre teams have become good teams and good teams have become... very good teams. Milan has introduced a new regime by ousting Alberto Gilardino and a series of other players and bringing in the Brazilian army.

The Peter Kenyon Effect

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Following Abramovich's arrival, Chelsea were hardly the most popular club on the planet so the decision regarding who should be appointed Chief Executive, you'd assume, was given careful consideration. After all, this particular candidate was not only going to be responsible for increasing Chelsea's commercial income but was also going to be the club's main [.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool to fail again, United to complete treble

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Last season's Premier League was a two horse race up until almost the last kick; had Chelsea not conceded that 91st minute goal to Wigan, if they'd managed to hold out 2 more minutes at 4-3 against Spurs, and if Paul Scholes had been rightly red carded for his body check against Wigan at 0-0 [...]

USA Does Its Job, Gets 1-0 Victory Over Japan

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The United States of America got off to a great start at the Beijing Olympics, getting a great opening result in a 1-0 win over Japan.Stuart Holden scored for the US, who needed this win badly before playing the other 2 teams in its group, Nigeria and the Netherlands. Lets take a look at some [...]

Sheffield Wednesday takeover talks at ’significant stage’

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Geoff Sheard, the man leading the consortium which is trying to buy Sheffield Wednesday, claims that he could be in full control within days. This comes after supporters group Wednesdayite, agreed to sell their 10% claim in the club. Sheard has also already agreed deals with Owls director Geoff Hulley, Keith Addy and ex-chairman Dave Allen [.

Will your club respect referees this season?

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Who'd want to be a ref anyway? All that stomping around, shouting and getting angry – and that's from the players and supporters. So what happens when an amateur star-studded football team tries to play 11-a-side without a ref? About the same as what happens to any football game played without a ref – chaos and [.

Transfer Rumors (8 August 08): Chelsea make bid for Robinho, Aston Villa sign two defenders, Hamburg interested in another Liverpool forward, and more

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The weeks seem to be flying by these days, as we're already at the end of another one. After a summer that has been both long and short at the same time, the seasons are set to begin soon in Europe‘s top leagues (the SPL and Ligue 1 both get underway this weekend), and [...]

Manchester United 0-0 Portsmouth (Manchester wins 3-1 on Penalties) - Live Blog

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Manchester United 0-0 Portsmouth (Manchester wins 3-1 on penalties) F.A. Community Shield August 10, 2008 Wembley Stadium 15:00 BST, 10:00 EST For the rest of today's games, get the live scores here. 2007-2008 Premiership Champions, Manchester United, defeated 2008 F.A. Cup Winners, Portsmouth, 3-1 on penalty kicks to win the Community Shield!

Transfer Rumors (7 August 08): Ronaldo staying at United, Liverpool put big price tag on Kuyt, Newcastle sign one defender, in for another, and more

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It's a pretty light day in transfer news and rumors, which is a little surprising seeing as how we're in the thick of the week. But, there are still a good few tidbits to report on from around Europe. Before I get started, I'd like to give well-wishes (and so should all of [...]

Soccerlens: Fans More Fickle Than Ronaldo

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Soccerlens has launched a scathing attack on football fans around the world, branding them irrational and childish. Soccerlens owner and Ahmed Bilal went so far as to call them a "senseless, directionless mob who enjoy being manipulated by the media.". Speaking exclusively to Soccerlens (go figure) on the Ronaldo saga, Bilal questioned the loyalty of so-called Manchester [.

Studs-Up - Football Comic Strip

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Disclaimer: If you don't have a sense of humor, this isn't for you. Everyone else, read on! As football fans, we can get extremely frustrated or annoyed with some of the news that we have to read everyday, not just when it comes to the clubs that we support, but with stories that just won't [...]

Bundesliga (Minus Bayern Munich) Best XI

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Because I like to give you guys something to talk about, it's time for another edition of '[insert league/competition here] XI].' This time, the focus is on the Bundesliga, which is set to kick off in a week and a half when Bayern Munich take on Hamburg SV on the 15th. The Bundesliga, whether [...]

10 Is The Magic Number

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10 is the magic number of the Beautiful Game. Any player who dares wear it on their back has to be something special. That FC Barcelona have handed Lionel Messi the magical number 10 shirt vacated by Ronaldinho is no surprise. From a stringy, spotty faced oik to the most exciting player on the planet, [.

CAS: Barcelona can keep Messi away from Olympics

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Barcelona do not need to release Lionel Messi for the 2008 Beijing Olympics football tournament, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced on Wednesday. Werder Bremen and Schalke have also won their appeal to prevent Diego and Rafinha from going to Beijing. Regardless of where you stand on the club v country debate, there are [.

Should Scolari give Sheva a chance?

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It's been a good month for Chelsea and Luiz Felipe Scolari.  The new manager of the Blues has overseen a successful pre-season campaign including a morale-boosting 19 goals in 5 matches, while off the pitch Felipao has brought in Deco as the club's second signing of the summer behind Jose Bosingwa, whilst also seemingly retaining the services [.

Paul Merson: The Soccerlens interview

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Paul Merson speaks to Soccerlens about England's chances in 2010, Alan Shearer, and why any Germany game holds special memories for him. Watching a 40-year-old Paul Merson take to the field a couple of months ago against Scotland Legends you could see, despite his lack of pace, the touch and the vision that saw him become [.

Transfer Rumors (6 August 08): Zenit raise Arshavin asking price, Tottenham’s Ashton bid rejected, Liverpool back in for Riera?, and more

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You know we can't have a transfer roundup without mentioning at least one of the summer's drawn-out transfer sagas, and that's what we start today's roundup with. England The Andrei Arshavin saga goes on and on, as Zenit St. Petersburg are now holding out for at least £21m from Tottenham, who don't really want to [.

Predictions for Leagues 1, 2 and the Blue Square Premier

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The wait is nearly over. Although the Premiership may not kick off for another week, the real action of the football league starts this weekend, and the race for the respective titles is, in most cases, as close as it's ever been. So, leaving the Championship aside for one moment, let Soccerlens be your guide to [.

Note to Rafa: Leto doesn’t deserve a work permit

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Managers tend be to stereotyped into a number of categories. Mourinho and Ferguson have been typecast as the 'motivational' types (regardless of the tactical acumen of both managers) while the likes of Rafa Benitez (and to an extent, Juande Ramos) have been categorised as supreme tacticians (regardless of whether they are better in that department [.

Team England or Team GB - The London 2012 Debate

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Politics and sports seldom mix, especially when sport is seen as a tool to gain political leverage (either by those using it or those protesting against it). And when the sport is as widespread and as passionate as football, with the politics as acrimonious and divisive as those of Great Britain, mixing the two is a [.

Can The Special One Lead Inter to Champions League Glory?

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What do two (well technically three) straight Serie A championships buy you? Not job security, if you're Roberto Mancini. For all of the recent success that Inter Milan has had domestically, such success eluded them continentally in the Mancini regime, and many before him. Not bringing home the titles on the biggest stage is a good ticket [.

Transfer Rumors (5 August 08): Villa and Corluka to Tottenham, Arsenal bid for Alonso, Everton still in for Milito, and more

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It's a relatively light day today in transfer news and rumors, but there's still plenty to talk about in today's roundup. England The Sun says that Tottenham are set to make a £32m move for Valencia's David Villa, and at the same time, will let Dimitar Berbatov go to Manchester United for £30m. Rumor [.

Japan 0-1 USA - Group B - Olympics - Live Blog

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Japan 0-1 USA (Holden 47′) Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium, Tianjin, China Thursday August 7 2008 Kickoff: 17:00 China Standard Time (UTC + 8 ) The United States is taking on Japan in the opening round Olympic match in Group B. Both teams are probably in a must-win situation, especially since they'll have matches with group powers Nigeria and [.

Arsenal’s top-secret strategy for raising transfer funds

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Studs Up is a football comic strip by Chris Toy - you can find it (and subscribe to it) here. Manchester United and Tottenham find common ground in Arsenal...and money: Studs Up is a football comic strip by Chris Toy - you can find it (and subscribe to it) here."Arsenal's top-secret strategy for raising transfer funds" was [.

A Mexican Twist in the North London Derby

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The North London derby will have some new fans this upcoming season as many football fans in North America will be engaged in one of the world's great derby's for the first time. That's because perhaps the two best young players in the region, Giovanni Dos Santos (Gio) and Carlos Vela will now be part [.

Is Football A Simple Game?

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It is often said that football is a simple game. The fact is that most teams fail to make it look simple. The reason for that is because the team has to have a group of very talented individuals who are fit, strong, well organised and working together as a team, covering for each other [...]

Today’s Superstars and the Age of Maturity

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We hear it countless times these days: "If he's that good at this age how good will he be when he reaches his peak?" And if related to a player at the club we support, we drool and wonder at the prospect. It has been a long-held belief (based on the relative truism of history) that [...]

Transfer Rumors (4 August 08): Eto’o only wants four, (original) Ronaldo coming to England?, Tottenham in for Forlan, and more

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We're into a new week, and the Olympics are just a few days away. While they'll certainly be taking plenty of headlines, there's going to be a lot going on in transfer-related news, and you know that's what I'm here for. What's going in the transfer world today? Well, you'll find out right now. [..

Will big spending lift Barcelona past Real Madrid this season?

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Last season, Barcelona made it to the semifinals of the Champions League, but off-the-pitch distractions and inconsistent performances on the pitch saw the Blaugrana fail to keep the pace with rivals Real Madrid in the home stretch of the La Liga season and finish 3rd, a distant 18 points behind Real.

Soccerlens Forum Weekly Spotlight - MLS Expansion, Joey Barton, Premier League Predictions, and more

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Today, we're starting a new feature here on SL that you'll be seeing this time every week, as we take a look at some of the top discussions from the past week on the SL forum. If you're a regular reader of the site, and you haven't signed up for an account on the [...]

Who’ll Triumph in Beijing’s South American Showdown?

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Technically, there are 16 teams that are vying for the gold medal in the upcoming Olympic men's football tournament, and there are some sides that stand out, like the Netherlands, Italy, and the U.S., to name a few. But, without a doubt, the two sides that many viewers will be looking forward the most [.

Canaries in the Coal Mine

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It's been observed that the Brazilian women's football team could use a little luck. They've been nearly to the top in some huge games, including the 2007 World Cup (in which they lost 2-0 to Germany) and 2004 Olympics (2-1 to the US in extra time). But, alas, As Canarinhas find themselves in the group of [.

Argentina Ready To Rock The Olympics

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The Olympic Football Tournament is probably not going to be the highlight of your year as a fan. Be honest, football isn't what you'll be watching the Olympics for, after all. And with the European Championship and the Copa Libertadores having provided some brilliant football and no end of surprises, and the UEFA Champions League [.

Transfer Rumors (3 August 08): Barry-Liverpool deal on again, Manchester United holding onto in-demand Campbell, and more

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There's not a great deal of earth-shattering news to report on today, since it's Sunday and all, but hey, to spice things up on a rest day, we do have a never-ending transfer saga to update you on. See, I knew the whole Gareth Barry saga wasn't over, despite Aston Villa's insistence that Liverpool [.

08-09 Uefa Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

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08/09 Uefa Cup 2nd Qualifying Draw (first legs to be played August 14, second legs to be played August 28): NORTHERN SECTION Djurgarden (Sweden) v Rosenborg Trondheim (Norway) Manchester City v Midtjylland (Denmark) FC Honka (Finland) v Viking Stavanger (Norway) Queen of South v Nordsjaelland (Denmark) Ghent (Belgium) v Kalmar (Sweden) Aston Villa v FH (Iceland) Stabaek (Norway) v Stade Rennes (France) Haka Valkeakoski [.

Bayern Munich’s secret weapon for winning the Champions League

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Jurgen Klinsmann's vision for Bayern Munich will puzzle fans, underwhelm opponents (they underestimate the light show at their own peril) and make reporters sit up and look around uncomfortably. In a letter to the Bayern fans, Klinsmann wrote: 'FC Bayern is unique on this planet. Many clubs have been and gone on the international scene in [.

2008 Olympic Football’s Best XI

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The Olympics are less than a week away, but the football tournament will kick off with the start of the preliminary round on the 6th, two days before the big show starts. So, similar to the Euro 2008 Best XI that I did several months ago, I'm doing my part to give you a [...]

Transfer Rumors (2 August 08): Newcastle set to capture Coloccini, United not interested in selling Fletcher, Johnson’s Fulham move in limbo, and more

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It's a pretty short day in transfer news and rumors, so if you have plenty to do, then hey, you won't have to spend a lot of time on today's roundup. England Newcastle appear to finally have agreed a fee with Deportivo over defender Fabricio Coloccini. The two sides seemed to be at a [...]

Saving Private Barton: why the FA should help Joey and Newcastle

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Joey Barton's story is tragic - a promising and talented footballer who has made bad decisions, decisions that have now brought him to a crossroads in his life. Where he goes on from here and what he does with his career will depend a lot on how he views the past (whether he perceives himself [...]

Netherlands, Italy and England have the most players going to the Olympics

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The Olympic Men's Football tournament starts on Thursday, 7 August. The 16 qualified countries named their squads last week and most of the players play their club football in the Netherlands. The Dutch squad contains 13 players from the Netherlands, while Belgium has selected six players from the Eredivisie.

Arsenal, Liverpool, Juventus and Barcelona face easy ties in Champions League qualifying

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08/09 Uefa Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round - first legs to be played on 12/13 August, second legs on 26/27 August. Winners move to the Champions League group stages while the losers will play in the first round of the Uefa Cup: Anorthosis/Rapid Vienna v Olympiakos Vitoria Guimaraes v IFK Gothenburg/Basel Shakhtar Donetsk v Domzale/Dinamo Zagreb Schalke 04 v [.

Pavlyuchenko a boyhood Spurs fan and how Fabregas never played for Barcelona

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After a week in which Robbie Keane declared his undying love for Liverpool, David Bentley announced Tottenham Hotspur had ‘always had a piece of his heart' (presumably a piece he managed to ignore while he was playing at Arsenal), it was only inevitable that Spurs target Roman Pavlyuchenko revealed he has had the club's emblem [.

Top 5 Asian (AFC) Footballers

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Up until the 2002 World Cup in South Korea/Japan, Asian football didn't exactly get a great deal of attention. But, following South Korea's run to the semifinals and Japan's appearance in the final 16, the respect level for football in the region saw a great upswing. A growing number of Asian players have [.

To Boo Or Not To Boo…are fans too soft on Barry, Gerrard and Rio?

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Booing is generally an attitude that isn't tolerated by football fans, with the true die-hards feeling as though they should give their support to the players in their team, no matter what. However, it is this attitude which has allowed too many players to get away with too much, and it's time it changed.

Transfer Rumors (1 August 08): Spurs close on Russian striker, Portsmouth line up Muntari replacement, Silva set for Roma?, and more

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Well, we've not only quickly gone through yet another week, but can you believe it's August already? That means that we're inside the last month of the summer transfer window, and with that said, quite a lot of deals are getting done, and a lot of money is being spent. Who's doing the spending, [..