SoccerLens Archives for January 2009

WPS Kicks Off In Style

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The biggest footballing story of the weekend wasn't Scotland's defeat against Holland, it wasn't Northern Ireland's win against Poland, it wasn't Spain and Holland getting close to World Cup qualification, it wasn't even Beckham's 109th cap or the new England kit. The biggest footballing story, by far, was the launch of the Women's Professional Soccer league [.
WPS

Breaking down the candidates to host World Cups 2018 and 2022, new England home shirt revealed, Wayne and Coleen Rooney expecting first child, and more

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International football had the spotlight this weekend, and if you happened to miss anything while you were illegally watching all of the weekend's action, here's your chance to catch up on a few things that you may have missed. Who Will Host World Cups 2018 and 2022? There are a lot of candidates in the [.

2009 Premier League Unsung Heroes XI

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Rafa Benítez makes good copy for sports writers these days even when he doesn't say much. His latest soundbyte arrived today when asked who his vote for PFA Player of the Season would be. Unsurprisingly, he went for his skipper, Steven Gerrard. Agree or not with the Spaniard's choice, it is certain that Gerrard will be [.

Soccerlens Podcast Episode #4, a history of World Cup worries, Guus Hiddink gets a little discombobulated, and more

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While you see how Brazil stars get amped up about World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Peru, get caught up on the stories in an international-centric roundup. I'm guessing my invitation got lost in the mail somewhere between continents... Soccerlens Podcast: All About the World Cup The fourth episode of the Soccerlens Podcast features host Stephen [.

Who Will Host World Cups 2018 and 2022?

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11 candidates have made official bids to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. Nine of the candiates are interested in staging the tournament in either 2018 or 2022, while two are just bidding for 2022. Those to apply for both were England, Russia, Australia, the USA, Japan, Mexico, Indonesia and joint bids from [.

How To Solve A Problem Like Wayne Rooney

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I was sitting in the East stand the day Wayne Rooney scored that thunderbolt against Newcastle back in 2005. We were coming to the end of what had been our worst season for our while, winning nothing and finishing third, the first time since the Premiership begun that we had gone two seasons without winning [.

South African team forced to abandon training for sponsor’s ad

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The South African national team's Wednesday training session didn't go exactly as planned. Apparently the team were due to record a tv commercial for their sponsors but despite having the schedule decided six months go, no one had bothered to tell the coach or his team. South Africa's coach Joel Santana had to coaxed into agreeing [.

A World Coup? Host Nations and World Cup Catastrophes

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A World Cup is undoubtedly the most anticipated and celebrated event on the football calendar. Every four years we are treated to a feast of football that comprises of the picturesque stadiums, the fanatical fans and the scintillating action unfolding on the pitch. Although with politics and sport often inextricably linked, there has rarely been [.

Soccerlens Podcast - South Africa 2010

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On the fourth episode of the Soccerlens Podcast, Stephen Darwin is joined by journalist and broadcaster Gary Andrews and also Daryl Grove, who is the general manager of theoffside.com and also the worldcupblog.org, as we discuss all things World Cup 2010. In particular we will be looking at the potential winners and losers of the finals and we [.

Manchester United and Chelsea solidify summer plans, Newcastle owners kicks out journalist, UEFA discuss squad limits and luxury tax, and more

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Even though the focus is on the international scene for the next week, there's no shortage of club-related news to keep you updated on. So, while you get caught up on the latest news about your favorite club, our female readers can get distracted for a minute by Theo Walcott's unmentionables. Manchester United [.

Soccerlens Podcast - The Resurrection of Women’s Soccer

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On the third episode of the Soccerlens Podcast, Stephen Darwin is joined by ESPN Soccernet's Jacqueline Purdy as we discuss the new Women's Professional Soccer league set to kick-off later this month in the USA. In particular we look at the role of Tonya Antonucci in re-establishing the professional game of soccer in the States and [.

UEFA charges Macedonian club FK Pobeda over match-fixing allegations

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Uefa has charged Macedonian club FK Pobeda over match-fixing allegations relating to a Champions League qualifying match in 2004. FK Podeba's president and one player have also been charged after irregular betting patterns were reported. The match was against Armenian side FC Pyunik and took place on 13 July 2004.

Manchester United rattled and Liverpool on the up, but it could change so quickly…

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Not that long ago I was writing about how Rafa baffled me- and in no way is this intended as a retraction of that sentiment. In fact, I think the last few weeks have proven this. But what on earth has happened at Liverpool since that hammering of Real Madrid at Anfield (I ask with [...]

Türkiye’s World Cup Qualification Faces a Spanish Hurdle

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Football this weekend turns from its domestic league scene to the international stage as countries again vie for coveted and limited spots in next year's World Cup. Perhaps for clubs like Manchester United, without a point in their last two Premiership matches, the international break is like a godsend.

Battle for the Bottom: Who will survive the Premier League drop?

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With every round of  fixtures, the league is set into its desultory motion once again. Everything shifts, the bottom half of the league hails its customary shuffle and then the cards are dealt out again. Every week it seems that they are dealt out differently. The cards are flipped over and a [..

OFF! Fans And Players Clash, Referee Sends Off An Entire Team In Argentina

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Last week we saw an angry fan shoot a player dead. This week we hear of the entire away team (including the subs bench) being red carded by the referee for brawling with the local fans in Argentina. The game was between Barracas Bolivar and General Lamadrid in the Premira C, and with 60 minutes on [.

World’s highest-paid footballer tipped for Man United or Chelsea, Michael Owen responds to your letters, Arsenal’s foundation for future success, and more

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While you see what it takes to get an entire team sent off (only in South America, right?), catch up on what you may have missed around the way on Tuesday, along with a few links that I didn‘t get to fit into yesterday‘s roundup. Ibrahimovic to Move to Manchester United or Chelsea [...]

10 Crazy Fans Who Shook The Footballing World

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Being a football fan isn't all champagne and skittles you know. Whilst some may see the glory, the celebrations, the bunking in, and the excitement as the perfect life, there are some drawbacks. The damage the game puts on your mental health is immeasurable I have lost count of the occasions I have pronounced [.

Michael Owen leads from the front in one very important category

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Michael Owen may have come in for some stick in recent weeks, with the Guardian (amongst others) pointing out that his contribution of three passes (one mis-placed), a tackle and no shots doesn't exactly make him the saviour of a floundering Toon side.  Newcastle fans have every right to complain about the lack of games [.

It’s time Capello gave this Bolton trio an England call-up

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Under Sam Allardyce Bolton were a team full of players from a whole host of international destinations.  Gary Megson has changed all that around though and has a core English element to his team.  Granted Bolton haven't been great to watch or indeed performance wise this season but three of their players have really stood [.

Arsenal’s Golden Generation: Will Wenger’s squad ever live up to the high expectations?

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"Man Utd had a golden generation with Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, the Nevilles and Butt and they won together because they stayed together. This team can have similar success. Normally big clubs do not educate young players any more." Arsene Wenger As shocking as it may seem, earlier this season, fans and the media were [.

MLS Season Openers: Results versus reality, USL Islanders blow past MLS in CONCACAF, and Garber promises two more franchises in 2012.

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Our last column, inspired at 2AM, carefully selected winners for MLS season openers. Some were slightly off, and today we discuss why these results went topsy and what to expect down the road. 1) NY Red Bulls @ Seattle Sounders Result: Seattle 3-0 New York Prediction: New York 3-2 Seattle Excuse: Seattle is a strong team, Sigi Schmid [.

The Curious Case Of Michael Owen

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Following on from Neil Jones's article about Newcastle's current plight, I wondered about the plight of a man once dubbed 'The Boy Wonder' by Liverpool fans. Michael Owen. We are now into the final stages of the Premier League campaign, with a title race back on, and all four English clubs are into the last eight [.

Capello announces England squad, Premier League’s worst referees, Manchester City want former United striker, and more

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While you watch a potential controversy start to brew, catch up on what else you may have missed on Monday. England Squad for Slovakia and Ukraine Named The England squad for the friendly v. Slovakia and the World Cup qualifier v. Ukraine has been announced. Any surprises? Right Result Table Sees Chelsea Top, Middlesbrough Safe If [.

Scarborough rise from the ashes

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As the business end of the season approaches, one promotion has already been sorted. Scarborough Athletic's 2-1 win at Teversal in the Northern Counties East League First Division saw them secure promotion to the Premier Division and need just four more points to clinch the title. For Seadog supporters, it's a day they thought they may [.

Michael Owen owes Newcastle a lot more than a passing glance

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Michael Owen really does owe something to Newcastle United. The striker who has scored 40 goals in his international career has not yet signed a new deal, fueling speculation that he will be parting ways with the club when his contract ends in the summer. He has refused to assure fans that his [...

Chelsea top, Liverpool ahead of United on goal difference, Arsenal still trailing Villa and Boro safe from relegation

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After 30 games, the top 3 are separated by just a point, West Brom are as good as relegated and Aston Villa have just about thrown away their chance to qualify for the Champions League. Of course, this is the Right Result league table (which accounts and adjusts for points lost due to refereeing errors), so [.

Liverpool pull within point of Manchester United, Newcastle destined for relegation, Ronaldo’s struggles continue, and more

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While you debate on how the weekend's headlines should be arranged, catch up on what those headlines were. Liverpool Maul Aston Villa, Close Gap on United The English Premier League title race is on in full force heading into the international break, as Liverpool mercilessly tore through Aston Villa to move within a point of [.

England squad for Slovakia and Ukraine

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England are in pole position to qualify from Group Six for the 2010 World Cup and they'll move one step closer to that target when they beat Ukraine at Wembley on Wednesday, April 1st 2009. A win in this fixture will give England 5 wins out of 5, and with tricky away ties to Croatia and [...]

Relegation looms for Newcastle as Arsenal waltz clear of Villa and Everton

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Football really can be a cruel game can't it? Just when Newcastle fans think that the world really can't get any more anti-Magpie, they have to endure this. A defeat that is harder to swallow than a Toblerone that has been in the fridge for a fortnight. Ok so football fans rarely find any defeat [..

Soccerlens Shirts

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At Soccerlens Shirts you'll find some of the best football tshirts around, starting with our first offering, the Evolution tshirt. The Soccerlens Evolution t-shirt is a remake of the popular 'evolution' shirt and is (hopefully) the first of many cool football shirts that we'll be releasing over the coming months.

Advantage Liverpool as Manchester United see red and Chelsea lose to Tottenham

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Well that was embarrassing... Manchester United have broken all sorts of records this season - defensive records, champions league records - and then they've had moments like the Liverpool game last week and Fulham today, where they conceded one of their worst defeats in a long time and have now conceded 6 goals without reply, including [.

The Big Boom: Why the Northwest will change the MLS as we know it

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You had to believe MLS commissioner Don Garber was grinning from ear to ear as he surveyed the sea of green and blue blanketing the lower bowl of Seattle's Qwest Field for Thursday's inaugural match between the newly minted Seattle Sounders and the New York Red Bulls. The American football stadium, which is now also [.

Liverpool and Chelsea face off, Gazza regrets not joining Manchester United, Gerrard assault charge dropped, and more

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While Cristiano Ronaldo ponders life after football, get caught up on what you may have missed around the soccer blogosphere on Friday. UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal Draw Revealed The draw for the Champions League quarters took place yesterday, and once again, Liverpool and Chelsea will meet in Europe.

That’s No Ordinary Rabbit

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Germany coach Joachim Loew has criticised the lack of speed in the Bundesliga compared to the Premier League. Loew is concerned the lack of speed and sharpness in Germany's top flight will hinder his team's bid to capture the World Cup crown in South Africa. "The fact that the play is much faster in England [.

Chris Kirkland is the answer to England’s No. 1 question

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Titus Bramble should be given a place in the next England squad. Those were the bold words of Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland following his team's weekend victory against Sunderland. An audacious view in many minds, but what about the keeper himself? Surely he should feel hard done to if he is not standing in the [.

NYRB v. Seattle: The Post Mortem

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I'll be brutally honest: this was probably one of the worst NYRB performances I've ever seen. No heart and no real interest from the first whistle. Three-nil was a flattering scoreline - it should probably have been four or five. It's going to be a very long and humiliating season if this is the [.

Liverpool v Chelsea - Deja Vu all over again

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You could almost see it coming. Of course the Champions League draw was simply filled with teams who evoked memories of glorious encounters from days gone by. Whether it was Arsenal last year, or Barcelona in 2007 or Porto en route to the UEFA Cup in 2001, or Bayern Munich in 1981, there was a [...]

Liverpool to beat Villa, Arsenal to beat Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea to draw, Man Utd and Man City to win and more

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The big story in the buildup to this weekend's Premier League fixtures has been that the title race is back on, what with Liverpool and Chelsea in good form and Manchester United playing poorly in their recent games. Although Arsenal have put to bed the notion that the Big Four could be separated this season, [.

Liverpool v Aston Villa Preview - Sunday 22nd March 2009 - Premier League

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Liverpool vs Aston Villa Sunday 22 March 2009, Anfield Kickoff: 16:00 Liverpool Liverpool defeated Manchester United 4-1 away in their last league outing, The Reds' second straight league win since losing 2-0 to Middlesbrough. In their last five [...]

Tottenham v Chelsea Preview - Saturday 21st March 2009 - Premier League

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Tottenham vs Chelsea Saturday 21 March 2009, White Hart Lane Kickoff: 15:00 Tottenham Tottenham Hotspur beat Aston Villa 2-1 away in their last league outing, the Spurs' fifth successive league game without a loss. In their last five matches, Tottenham have won three and drawn two, picking up eleven points from the fifteen on offer.

Newcastle v Arsenal Preview - Saturday 21st March 2009 - Premier League

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Newcastle vs Arsenal Saturday 21 March 2009,  St James' Park Kickoff: 17:30 Newcastle Newcastle United drew 1-1 with Hull away in their last league outing, their fourth straight league match without a win. In their last five, Newcastle have won one, drawn two and lost two, picking up five points from a potential fifteen.

Fulham v Manchester United Preview - Saturday 21st March 2009 - Premier League

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Fulham v Manchester United Saturday 21 March 2009, Craven Cottage Kickoff: 15:00 Fulham Fulham FC defeated Bolton Wanderers 3-1 away in their last league match, their first win in four league outings and their first victory on the road this season. In their last five, Fulham have won two, drawn one and lost two, picking up seven points from the [.

Hertha Berlin - Rabbits Or Title Contenders?

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Germany coach Joachim Loew has criticised the lack of speed in the Bundesliga compared to the Premier League. Loew is concerned the lack of speed and sharpness in Germany's top flight will hinder his team's bid to capture the World Cup crown in South Africa. "The fact that the play is much faster in England [.

2008-2009 Champions League UEFA Cup Quarter/Semi-Finals Draw - LIVEBLOG

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With now only 8 teams remaining in each respective tournament, UEFA's headquarters in Nyon (Switzerland) will host the draws on Friday afternoon for the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals of the 2007/08 UEFA club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup. The UEFA Champions League draw will be made at 12.

Zola’s Blowing Bubbles at Upton Park

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Thanks to Elijah Woods' acting in the 2005 football hooligan movie Green Street, 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles' has become one of the most recognised club anthems in English football, behind that of Liverpool's' 'You'll Never Walk Alone.' Unlike the words uttered by thousands of Hammers on match day, West Ham's dreams are not about to fade [.

Liverpool to beat Aston Villa - they haven’t won in March since 2006!

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On Sunday, 22 March, Aston Villa travel to Liverpool to take on the Reds. Manager Martin O'Neill has not won a Premier League match in March as Villa's manager. His side has drawn five and lost six of 11 PL matches in the month of March since he took over at the club.  His last victory [...]

Promotion/Relegation for Major League Soccer?, Top 10 Divers in Football, Cesc Spit Row Continues, and more

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While you try to find a way to join the club and sue West Ham, catch up on what else you may have missed on Wednesday. Could MLS Expansion Open the Way for Promotion/Relegation? With the addition of franchises in Philadelphia and two more cities soon to be named, MLS is expanding to an 18-team [...

Do we really need a European League?

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I spend pretty much all my free time scouring around football websites (yep, I'm cool) and the other day I saw an article with an interview with Michel Platini talking about the possibility of a European League.  I must stress, no plans are in place to implement such a league but they are considering it [.

Rafael Benitez is king of Anfield till 2014 - but will Liverpool sign the right players?

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So finally it has been confirmed. Rafa Benitez will stay at Liverpool for another five years after he agreed a contract extension that will keep him at Anfield until at least 2014, putting to an end (some of) the speculation that has haunted the corridors of the club for the past eighteen months or so.

20 Most Bizarre Incidents Ever in Football

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Football can be a funny old game.  Just when you think you have seen everything another moment comes along that makes you shake your head in disbelief. These may not always be the moments that define the game (although they sometimes do), but they sure as hell are the memories that seem be ingrained in our [.

Done Deal: Rafa Benitez signs contract extension at Liverpool through 2014

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If you hear a lot of noise coming from the North West corner of England this morning, don't worry, it's just the entire red half of Merseyside breathing a huge collective sigh of relief. That sigh is of course in response to the wonderful news if you were one of the many Liverpool fans that [...]

Torres and Vidic provide us with a sub-plot of epic proportions

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Amidst what was an intriguing encounter between two of Britain's most illustrious clubs, another battle was unfolding, that equally intriguing, and equally integral to the outcome. Many believed that the die, which is this year's title, had already been cast. The trophy would be spending another season with its current residence (Manchester United), and that [.

Football Fan Shoots Player Dead

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An Iraqi football fan shot dead a player of the opposing team as he tried to score an equalizing goal in the final minutes of a match last Saturday. The shooting occured in Hilla (100 km south of Baghdad) during a match between local teams. According to police accounts, as soon as the player, Haider [.

MLS predictions - out of the gate

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The MLS season opens with fireworks Thursday night for the Seattle Sounders inaugural game at Qwest field against New York Red Bulls. The Seattle Sounders management did everything right to create a model club, including stealing 2008 MLS Cup Champion coach Sigi Schmid from Columbus Crew. The supporters group, FC Alliance can vote out the [.

West Brom: The Worst Good Side Ever

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It must be hard being Tony Mowbray, and not just because you have to wake up every day and see a face that really, honestly, resembles an owl. Not just because you have a voice and demeanour that suggest you are at least double your forty-five years. And not just because the West Brom side [...]

Sheffield United still making laughable claims against West Ham

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I talked earlier about the settlement between West Ham and Sheffield United and how misguided the focus on it was - but comments from Warnock and the legal counsel representing Sheffield United players who both want to sue West Ham for damages take things to a whole new level. Here's a manager and a group of [.

Why does the press protect Fabregas?

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The tabloids have been depressingly unimaginative this morning. They lacked perspective (no mention of Fabregas' past misdemeanours and no discussion / description of Gallas' disputed goal,) and repeat the exact same quotes and writeup everywhere. In fact, and this is sad considering how much I value the Guardian / BBC over the tabloids, only the [.

Football’s shift to technology could have negative effects on the game

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Let's face it, the game of football is a high-pressure affair. Throw in two clubs playing a local derby or a must-win match, a crowd full of supporters going absolutely mental and a ball and you have yourself a potential recipe for disaster. That's not to say that every match between rival clubs or nations is [.

The love affair is over: It’s time for Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United to part ways

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There's been this misconception amongst football fans in England that Cristiano Ronaldo 'got Wayne Rooney sent off' at the last World Cup. Whilst I'll take Rooney's word for it, that it was his lack of balance after being repeatedly fouled which lead his football being placed in an unfortunate location, the fact of the matter [.

Counting down the best one-club goal scorers in Serie A history

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After watching Pippo Inzaghi's 300th career goal yesterday against Siena, and then reading Daniel Chung's interesting article on one-club footballers, I was curious about all-time goal scorers at the same Italian club. During a career that has spanned many clubs, Inzaghi has 62 with Milan. Please note that that these figures count goals scored in the [.

Conference title goes for a Burton

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For the Conference champions-elect to lose at Ebbsfleet may be regarded as misfortune. To lose at home to Salisbury in the same week looks like carelessness. What started as a hiccup for Burton Albion when they drew again Woking a few weeks ago is becoming a full-on wobble that may derail their title ambitions and, [.

Gabbi Agbonlahor boo-boys need to take a look in the mirror

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Not so long ago, Gabriel Agbonlahor must have looked at himself in the mirror whilst getting ready for another enjoyable training session with Aston Villa and thought, "this is the life". He was firmly established as Villa's number one attacker, made his England bow in the impressive 2-1 win over Germany in Berlin, and was [.

The Great Debate: The Best Young Goalkeepers Of 2009

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In a review I wrote on the Top 20 Young Footballers to Watch in 2009 (2009 Top Young Players) there was a notable absence of goalkeepers. This was not done deliberately but, in truth, most of the young players that catch the headlines between the ages of 16 and 20 are invariably flare players: strikers, [.

Neilly There: Has Aston Villa’s time run out?

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It was only weeks ago that Aston Villa were in the ascendant seat to break into the ''Big four'' party and gate-crash the European giants. Every member of the team has had input into the goal tally and seven players have scored four or more. Reluctantly and perhaps unjustly, the Villains look set for a battle with Merseyside's Everton for 5th spot of the Premier League after slumping out of European scene.

Chelsea top the RR league ahead of United and Liverpool as Arsenal trail Villa by 5 points

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Although there's only one Right Result decision this week, there are dramatic changes in the league table. At the Riverside, there was a text book example of the interfering with an opponent criteria of the offside law. Portsmouth's goal in the key relegation tussle at Middlesbrough should not have stood as David Nugent was in [.

Rooney hates Liverpool? We don’t care

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Wayne Rooney is a unique case. And not just for obvious reasons either. Not just because his barrel chest and primitive looks mask a deftness seen in few English footballers since the days of Glenn Hoddle & Paul Gascoigne in the late 80s. Not just because he seems to have a unique hold over referees [.

Liverpool can win Premier League AND Champions League

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Or how YOU can play your part in helping Liverpool win the Double: Studs Up - Chris Toy "Liverpool can win Premier League AND Champions League" was originally published at Soccerlens.com - Football News.

Serie A Title Race: Ranieri and the Special One face off

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With ten matches left, the title race is heating up in the Italian Serie A. The only real contenders left that can still tame the Inter lion and triumph are Juventus. With a game in hand, Inter are just 4 points ahead of Juventus after Juventus's 4-1 demolition of Bologna at home in Turin. Inter's next [.

United 1 Liverpool 4 - Fact

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The alarm bells were ringing in my head before kick off. Not only had Xabi Alonso failed to recover from his midweek calf strain, but Alvaro Arbeloa had aggravated his hamstring injury in the warm up, meaning Jamie Carragher had to do the graveyard shift at right back, with Sami Hyypia coming in to face [.

One big Messi: Coming to grips with the extinction of the one club footballer

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On the nights that testimonials are played for AC Milan's Paolo Maldini and Real Madrid's Raúl Gonzalez, those sitting and the stands and watching on television will be seeing the final curtain coming down on a phenomenon that appears to be on the verge of extinction: the one club footballer (if such a term even [.

Life after Curbs: Charlton Athletic’s road to rock bottom

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After 15 years of heartache, success and a little more success, Charlton Athletic Chairmen Richard Murray announced to a stadium of Addict fans in 2006 that legendary boss Alan Curbishley would be leaving his post at the end of the season. The announcement, made on the April 29th before a Premier League fixture, stunned thousands of [.

Liverpool stun Old Trafford - can Manchester United recover in time?

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Wow. The last time I saw United get this humiliated was against Chelsea three years ago, and even at 1-0 down Liverpool showed shades of the 04/05 and 05/06 Chelsea side with an impenetrable defence, the narrow midfield supplemented by wide attackers and the two players at the top, England's joint-best attacking midfielder tucked in behind [.

SL Daily: Beckham’s threesome, Tottenham dogbowls, Barcelona underwear, United boners and German thrillers - it’s all happening now!

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While you feast on the irresistible Melissa Satta and Ronaldo's new / ex girl Karina Bacchi, here are some links to keep you entertained this weekend: The Premier League Manchester United Show Liverpool take on Manchester United today while Chelsea host Manchester City tomorrow. It's supposed to be an important weekend for the title race.

10 reasons why Wolfsburg will win the Bundesliga

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Let's face it, sleep-deprived patents should rightly be treated with Friday-night Bundesliga games and word is, it is also highly popular among self-loathers, too. To falsify my hardly existing expectations - hello, it was S04 playing after all - Wolfsburg vs. Schalke was yet another typical, entertaining game, the bittersweet essence of the Bundesliga.

The not-so-Special One: Why we love to hate Jose Mourinho

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It doesn't matter where Jose Mourinho goes these days, there always seems to be someone lurking in the dark (most likely a journalist) that's ready and willing to jump out and make a story out of the Special One. Consider for a minute the encounters in the past between Sir Alex Ferguson and Mourinho when he [.

Europe’s biggest stage is quickly becoming England’s playground

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Before 1999 when Manchester United lifted the Champions League you had to go back to 1984 for another British winner when Liverpool won it.  It then took another six years before another English side lifted the trophy (Liverpool again in what might have been the best final ever), but since then there has been a [.

Chelsea v Manchester City Preview - Sunday 15th March 2009 - Premier League

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Chelsea v Manchester City Sunday 15 March 2009, Stamford Bridge Kickoff: 13:30 Chelsea Chelsea beat Portsmouth 1-0 away in their last league outing, continuing a run of four straight Premier League matches without a loss. In their last [...]

When will football move from ‘making examples’ to ‘making real progress’?

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By the time Tevez-gate comes to a painful, life-sapping, grinding end, West Ham will be hailed as the prime example of how NOT to conduct football transfers. Tevez will cost West Ham a further £10m over 5 years, and then there's the possibility of a points deduction imposed by the Premier League. But enough about Tevezgate, [.

Chelsea v. Manchester City - English Premier League - 15 March 2009 - Live Blog

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Chelsea v. Manchester City Stadium: Stamford Bridge, England Competition: English Premier League Date: 15 March 2009 Kickoff: 13:30 GMT, 9:30 ET Surging Chelsea will look to re-assert their title credentials as they host Manchester City! Soccerlens is bringing you the action live! Click below for the live-blog and feel free to leave comments below!

Arsenal v Blackburn Preview - Saturday 14th March 2009 - Premier League

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Arsenal v Blackburn Saturday 14 March 2009,  Emirates Stadium Kickoff: 15:00 Arsenal Arsenal beat West Brom 3-1 away in their last league outing, ending a run of five straight league draws and continuing a run of fourteen straight league matches without [...]

Manchester United v Liverpool Preview - Saturday 14th March 2009 - Premier League

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Manchester  United vs Liverpool Saturday 14 March 2009, Old Trafford Kickoff: 12:45 Manchester United Manchester United defeated Newcastle United 2-1 away in their last league fixture, their 11th straight league win and 16th successive league match without a loss. In their last [.

Chelsea v Manchester City - Sunday 15th March 2009 - Premier League

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Chelsea v Manchester City Sunday 15 March 2009, Stamford Bridge Kickoff: 13:30 Chelsea Chelsea beat Portsmouth 1-0 away in their last league outing, continuing a run of four straight Premier League matches without a loss. In their last [...]

FootyTube 2.0 Review

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Let's be completely honest here, one of the single most annoying things in the history of mankind is trying to find a proper football video on YouTube. Sure, we can all claim that once in a blue moon we've seen a recap of a match we missed or a must-see goal that decided a match, [...]

SPL2 – revolutionary or just a face lift?

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If you live outside of Scotland, the chances are that you pay little or no attention to the domestic game of football played in this beautiful and historic country. In all fairness there are probably a number of Scots themselves who prefer to divert their gaze further south of the border to ensure they receive [.

Soccerlens Podcast - The State of Scottish Football

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On the second episode of the Soccerlens Podcast, Stephen Darwin is joined by the Guardian's Scottish Football Correspondent Ewan Murray as we take a closer look at all the prevalent issues currently at the forefront of the beautiful game in Scotland. In particular we look at the SPL's proposal to create a new SPL2 division and [.

Why the Bundesliga beats the Premier League’s house of cards

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There seems to be the general consensus in the world of football today that football clubs in general have never been stronger in this dreadful economy. Companies like Sky and Setanta are paying a king's ransom for viewing rights, while current players complain when their weekly contracts are less than £80,000-a-week.

Three’s Company: Who’s destined for the Premier League drop?

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Another turbulent Premier league season is slowly grinding to a halt and although the Manchester United vs. Liverpool match is the highlight of the forthcoming weekend, the relegation battle should certainly not be overlooked. The title race is definitely the phrase on people's mouths and should Liverpool grab the opportunity to pull back precious [.

Can Liverpool do the ‘Double’ over Manchester United?

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Liverpool take on Premiership table leaders and the English, European and World Champions Manchester United at Old Trafford, having beaten the Red Devils earlier this season 2-1 at Anfield Road. If Liverpool beat Manchester United, they will join Arsenal as the only team to have completed three double victories over Man Utd in the Premiership era.

Weymouth FC’s Beer suddenly doesn’t taste so good

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You have to feel for fans of Weymouth FC, you really do. A couple of weeks ago we told you how they'd been saved from collapse at the 11th hour by businessman Stephen Beer, who agreed to put £300,000 into the ailing club. Except the Terras are now back to square one after Beer suffered a [...]

The Bloody English and Champions League Predictions

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Like a broken record, the football media industry (of which we are undeniably a part of) will rotate through the following topics between today and the end of the Champions League season: The dominance of English sides in the Champions League in recent years and reasons behind it. The gap between the top four and the rest [.

Women’s Professional Soccer Launches National Camp Program

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Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) and UK International Soccer Camps (UKISC) have announced an annual "WPS Camps" initiative that debut in the summer of 2009 throughout North America. WPS Camps will feature a variety of weekly camp options for various age groups with the mission to create a challenging and dynamic training environment, while allowing players to [.
WPS

Manchester United v. Liverpool - English Premier League - 14 March 2009 - Live Blog

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Manchester United v. Liverpool Stadium: Old Trafford, England Competition: English Premier League Date: 14 March 2009 Kickoff: 12:45 GMT, 8:45 ET First-place Manchester United will look to end Liverpool's title aspirations once and for all as the two heated rivals will clash at Old Trafford! Soccerlens will be bringing you the action live!

Beckham’s ménage à trois is no fantasy

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Anyone who's heard all they can take about David Beckham/AC Milan/LA Galaxy needs to pour himself a drink, sit down and relax because this drama is just winding up. Settled? Good, because the stage is set for one scandal after another right through November 2009. Get comfortable. Cue the lights: Beckham commits to AC Milan till May, [.

No Deal or No Deal: The story of Adrian Ilie and Terek Grozny

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Twenty-two minutes isn't long. Yet who knows how precious those short moments were to Ronaldo, finally back on a football pitch last week in Corinthians' 2-0 cup win over Itumbiara. After a year spent wrestling with the aftermath of more surgery and rehabilitation, and with the hurried panting of time becoming almost as loud in [.

Liverpool Put Four Past Real to Go Through in Europe, Why the Big Four Succeed in Europe, Luton Town’s Fight for Survival, and more

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While you still try to comprehend what Bayern Munich's historic annihilation of Sporting, catch up on what else you may have missed on Tuesday. Liverpool Crush Real Madrid to Advance to Champions League Quarters Business as usual and then some for Liverpool, as they advance to the Champions League quarters once again, with a resounding [.

Luton Town: Looking for a silver lining in a game full of pain

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Luton Town fans could have been forgiven for deciding to give this season a miss. At the start of the season they were docked 30 points due to financial irregularities in regards to the club's payment of agents via a third party and their inability to agree to a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to exit [.

Support for the 6+5 Rule, Ronaldo Off the Mark in Brazil, Top 15 Craziest Yellow and Red Cards, and more

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The start of a new week usually means our attentions are turned away from the frivolous and back to the serious, and if you were occupied with work (or pretending to work) on Monday, allow me to catch you up on what you may have missed around the vast interweb. Could the 6+5 Rule [...]

Juventus v Chelsea Preview - Tuesday 10th March 2009 - Champions League

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Juventus v Chelsea Tuesday 10 March 2009, Stadio Olimpico di Torino Kickoff: 19:45 Juventus Juventus lost 1-0 away to Chelsea in the first leg of the Chelsea - Juventus fixture, their first loss in nine games of this season's competition (including preliminary rounds). They have won four (one away from home), drawn four (three away from home) and lost [.

Liverpool v Real Madrid Preview - Tuesday 10th March 2009 - Champions League

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You can follow the Liverpool v Real Madrid 2nd Leg Live Blog here. Liverpool v Real Madrid Tuesday 10 March 2009, Anfield Kickoff: 19:45 Liverpool Liverpool defeated Real Madrid 1-0 away in the first leg of their Champions League [...]

2009 VIVA World Cup Preview: Can Padania repeat?

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If you haven't heard of the Viva World Cup, don't worry, you're in the majority. Started in 2006, the event was first planned to be held every two years, but things changed this year as the New Football Federation-Board decided to run the event on a yearly basis. The tournament allows nations unaffiliated with FIFA [.

Ligue 1 Review: PSG dreaming of champagne on the Champs-Élysées

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Arithmetic took center stage with number "7″ as second place PSG travelled away to ninth place Lorient this past weekend. Living up to his number jersey number, 32-year-old Ludovic Guily scored his 7th league goal as he volleyed in Guillaume Hoarau's carefully headed pass. The 1-0 result see PSG close the gap on Lyon as [.

The Bundesliga Review: The only Liverpool player with title aspirations

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Hertha Berlin striker Andriy Voronin, on loan from Liverpool,  continued his heroics by scoring his first Bundesliga hat trick to send the Old Lady four points clear atop the Bundesliga. Confidence couldn't be any higher for Lucien Favre's men as they traveled 125 km to face Energie Cottbus in Das Ost-derby.

Could the 6+5 rule revive the game of football?

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Let me just nail my colours to the mast, I'm an Arsenal fan who is for the 6+5 rule, a paradox I hear you cackle. I'm a football purist and I believe that the essence of club football is that clubs are agents of the communities they take the name of, and that they should [...]

08-09 FA Cup Semifinal Draw - Rigged or Luck?

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The FA Cup 'draw' is supposed to be fair (your mileage may vary) but there are times when the ties end up looking completely rigged (by man or a God with a sense of humour, that's for you to decide). And so it is with Manchester United being drawn against Everton, leaving Chelsea to face either [...]

Liverpool 91%, Manchester United 67%, Chelsea and Arsenal 58% sure of progressing to last eight of Champions League

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All English clubs mathematically assured of quarterfinals If all mathematical favourites progress in the Champions League, the quarterfinals will consist of four sides from England, a club from Germany, one from Portugal and teams from Greece and Spain:   When looking at the history of European competition in a two legged knockout round format, all 51 teams that [.

Top 15 Craziest Red/Yellow Cards

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"Footballers are stupid, give them a bit of responsibility and watch them mess up" -Brian Clough Clough was a manager who prided himself on discipline, he may not have been squeaky clean, but rarely would you see one of his Derby or Nottingham Forest players pick up a needless, or avoidable, yellow or red card.

SL Podcast: Ep. 1, Cristiano and Steven Kiss and Make Up, Back and Forth Becks, and more

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The weekend's gone again, and in case you missed anything over the last few days, I'm here to catch you up. Soccerlens Podcast: Episode 1 The Soccerlens podcast made its debut on Friday, and host Stephen Darwin and guest Neil Jones discussed a number of topics, including what it takes to win a league title [.

Liverpool v. Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League - 10 March 2009 - Live Blog

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Liverpool v. Real Madrid (Liverpool leads 1-0 on aggregate) Stadium: Anfield Stadium, England Competition: UEFA Champions League Date: 10 March 2009 Kickoff: 19:45 GMT, 15:45 ET Liverpool will host Real Madrid in the second leg of their Round-of-16 UEFA Champions League tie. Liverpool hold a 1-0 advantage, which means Real Madrid will have their work cut out for them [.

Klinsmann: Staying Alive

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Even the highest dose of "Aspirin" from pharmaceutical giants Bayer AG will do little to "Aleve" the migraines of Bayern Munich. What a difference a week makes. It was all bear hugs and high fives after Bayern Munich trashed Sporting Lisbon by five un-replied goals in midweek UEFA Champions league play.

Liverpool take note - Atleti show up Real’s deficiencies

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It was literally impossible to avert one's eyes from last night's pulsating Madrid derby anyway, but there is little doubt that Señor Rafael Benitez will have seen plenty to warm himself amidst a freezing Saturday night on Merseyside. In front of a baying Bernabeu crowd, a contrast to the usually silent demands, Real & Atletico went [.

Manchester United v. Inter Milan - UEFA Champions League - 11 March 2009 - Live Blog

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Manchester United v. Inter Milan Stadium: Old Trafford, England Competition: UEFA Champions League Date: 11 March 2009 Kickoff: 19:45 GMT, 15:45 ET Manchester United will play hosts to the Special One and Inter Milan with a trip to the Quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League at stake! After a scoreless draw in the opening leg, the stakes will be [.

Manchester United Asia Tour - Man Utd Tour Asia In Summer 2009

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Manchester United will tour Asia this summer with several pre-season friendlies scheduled in China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea. The pre-season tour is United's second in three years and is part of a concerted effort by the Premier League to tap into the massive Asian market (in essence, to create enough interest to get people to [.

Premier League Asia Trophy

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The Barclays Asia Trophy, also known as the Premier League Asia Trophy, is a Premier League-sponsored four-way football tournament held every two years in Asia since 2003. Originally known as the FA Premier League Asia Cup, the Asia Trophy is held once every two years in odd years, to avoid conflicts with the FIFA World [.

Liverpool’s Asia Tour - Liverpool Tour Asia in Summer 2009

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Liverpool will be playing a series of friendlies in East Asia between 17-26 July as part of their 2009 preseason tour. Liverpool will visit and play in Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong, with the national teams of Thailand and Singapore along with a team from Hong Kong expected to be their opponents.

Making Sense Of The Beckham-Milan-Galaxy Arrangement

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So...David Beckham will be playing for Milan this season as they stumble towards the finish line hoping that the front two will stumble even more. At this point Milan have more to worry about from the chasing pack with Fiorentina, Genoa and Roma a few points behind with 12 games in hand (Serie A league [.

Is Sepp Blatter right to have concerns over the Premier League?

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The FIFA President has never been a big fan of English football, but his latest comments should cause a bit of debate.  Blatter has said he is concerned about the Premier League being the strongest in the world because other leagues can't compete in terms of finance and the English game has too many foreigners.

Soccerlens Podcast - Winning (and Losing) Titles

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What does it take to win a league title? On the first episode of the Soccerlens Podcast, Stephen Darwin is joined by blogger Neil Jones as we take a closer look at all the ingredients of a successful title chase and the different factors that can affect a title race. In particular we look at [...]

Messi Gives Props to Ronaldo, Is It Time Up for Wenger?, Ashley Cole Gets Drunk and Stupid, and more

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As quickly as it came in, another week has come and gone. And while many of you will be trying to speed through your Friday so that you can run off and commit all sorts of debauchery, take some time to catch up with what you missed on Thursday. Not like you'll remember [...]

Peter Crouch & Elite Youth - Charity Begins At Home

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We fall over each other in talking about the dumb things footballers do, and we laugh / cringe at the not-so-cool things they do, so why shouldn't we jump up and cheer when they actually do something good? Peter Crouch isn't going to Africa (nothing wrong with it Rio, calm down). No, he's working in London [.

David Beckham Should Stop Blogging. Like. Seriously.

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Hello everybody... That's not me greeting you lovely folk, that's D to the B riding the double-A of the V himself, (Sir - so far it's optional) David Beckham. We're honored to have Mr Beckham grace us with his superstar blogging skills, so let's cut to the chase and see what he has to say, mmmmmkk? Well, [.

The ‘Cheryl’ Cole

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Football is driven by exaggerated caricatures. The 'role model' Kaka, the 'inspirational' Gerrard, the 'lazy' Ferdinand, the 'fat' Lampard, the 'brilliant' Messi, the 'petulant' Robinho, the 'balding / granny-shagging / goal-shy / striker-who-plays-better-elsewhere-on-the-pitch / everton man' Rooney, and so on.

Football Violence & Top 10 Worst Football Riots

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Football is a passionate game. That is like saying cliff-walking is a dangerous one. Plenty of sports have their passion, but to me, football's remains the most tribalistic. How many people do you know who can transform from run-of-the-mill Mr. Average to vein-through-the-head Mr. Angry, and all because of a contentious penalty decision.

How To Stop A Penalty

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Ah...Penalties. Easy for the goalkeepers - they're expected not to save them but are heroes if they do - but terrifying for the penalty-takers (think Terry, most England internationals in since 1990 and of course, the man whose career is unfairly associated with that penalty miss, the great Roberto Baggio) since you're expected to score [.

Madrid get ready to harass Arsenal, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and their fans

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Real Madrid will have their next presidential elections on July 5. The club's members must confirm the election date (at the next assembly on March 29) before it becomes official. The confirmation is expected to be a formality, so for all intents and purposes Real Madrid's Summer 2009 transfer window starts today.

Dalglish Speaks Out About Hillsborough, Campbell Wants Racism More Harshly Punished, Manchester City Craving Some M&M, and more

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One of the reasons I never succeeded at sports, besides having no discernible talent, was my affinity for anything that smelled and tasted delicious. That hasn't changed much, if at all, but fortunately, my job doesn't require me to be in tip-top physical condition. So, while I wait for my breakfast brownies to [.

Aston Villa, what is your problem?

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It was the 88th minute of the game and Aston Villa were 2 goals up against Stoke City. Nobody saw a comeback coming, probably not even Stoke. But out of the blue the Potters popped up with 2 goals and drew the game. This all took place at Villa Park on Sunday in what turned out [...]

Barca-Miami Project Implodes: Claure Blames Beckham

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Marcelo Claure, Bolivian co-investor of the proposed Barca Miami franchise said David Beckham's possible exit from MLS would terminate Barcelona's aggressively marketed bid into MLS. "The economic picture changes if David Beckham does not return to MLS," Claure told El Deber. "Today, I would say that [Barca Miami] will not happen.

Brian Laudrup - A God Amongst Men

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In the modern age in which we live, many people doubt the existence of a higher being looking over us; nevertheless, people follow many different Gods with many different names - Allah, God, Zeus. Personally, I am an atheist. But I have however had the privilege of seeing a God walk amongst us, the likes of [.

Ukraine 2012 Bid in Serious Trouble?

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Ukraine's Euro 2012 bid is in jeopardy following serious economic and governmental woes. It's something that may not be on the minds of many international soccer fans right now given the organizational headache that is South Africa 2010, but Ukraine, one of the hosts for Euro 2012, is in serious financial and political trouble, according to [.

Adidas TV - Adidas launches adidas.tv for ‘official’ Adidas videos

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Adidas rolled out their Adidas.TV video service last week, designed as a central hub for sharing Adidas videos across the internet. Adidas.TV is designed as a global hub for video content produced by the athletic footwear giant and its partners, and the broadband site boasts channels devoted to specific sports.

King The Villain and Ronaldo The Victim

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Every team has at least one player who dives, or at least goes to ground too easily. They're the player who has you cringing when the slow motion replay comes up on the screen and you see that whilst your man is on the ground, writhing in pain, that actually no contact was made. Until we [...]

Barça’s Slipup: Shades of Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle?

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A league tie between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid is often a fiesta of goals and carries a degree of unpredictability as to which side will emerge the winner. This past weekend's encounter at the Estadio Vincente Calderon in Madrid certainly did not fail to live up to the usual expectations of an Atleti-Barça match.

Ukraine’s Euro 2012 Hosting Hopes in the Air, England’s New Crest, Rijkaard to Chelsea Rumors Pick Up Steam, and more

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Miss any of the good stuff on Monday? In case you did, you can get caught up below. Could Ukraine's Euro 2012 Bid Be in Trouble? Ukraine are set to host Euro 2012 along with Poland, but with things look rather unfavorable economically and politically, could there be a change in hosts? What's the Most Exciting [.

Weymouth look to end the months of Terra

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There very few teams that would view a two-nil defeat away at York City as a cause for celebration but Weymouth will view this as progress of sorts. A week ago, the crisis club were forced to field a youth team and were hammered 9-0 at home to Rushden and Diamonds. With the majority of Terras [...]

Manchester United Win Carling Cup Final, Atletico Madrid Outlast Barcelona in La Liga Thriller, Soccerlens’ March 2009 WAG of the Month, and more

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It's the start of a new week, but the end of the weekend brought a few thrilling results. So, while you recover from your celebratory binge/drowning of your sorrows, catch up with Sunday's best, and be glad that Clint Dempsey, like Ryan Babel, raps only as a hobby. Manchester United Win [...]

Save The Man In Black

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Let me ask you a question. How would you feel, having to stand in front of forty plus thousand screaming people, see an incident in a split second, and then have to make a decision against those people. Well this is what our referees have to face in the premiership week in week out. True, [...]

The True European Champions

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The champions of Europe! Surely this should mean that this team is the best in Europe. But how can this be when chances are this team qualified for the competition by finishing only second or third in their domestic league, so arguably they are not even the best in their own country. I know the Champions [.

Steven Whittaker - Anthem For A Domed Youth

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I admit to a strange fascination with Rangers defender Steven Whittaker. His uncertainty as to best position, his hot-cold form swings from European master of the wizard dribble (cf. Lisbon, 2008) to leaden footed novice baffled by the Scottish game (cf. too many to mention), to debate over the size of his transfer fee.

Turkish Memories of Euro 2008

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Only eight months ago the Turkish national team (Milli Takim) were taking the European Championships by storm with a brand of "never say die" attacking football and last minute heroics (or controversy depending on who you ask) as they made a name for Turkish football in Europe and across the world. It was yet another [.

Liverpool’s Title Hopes in Tatters, Chelsea Dress to Impress (or Else), Legendary Football Managers, and more

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It's Carling Cup final day, and while you get ready to root for Manchester United's quadruple hopes to fall, here's what you missed yesterday. Liverpool fans, I suggest you come back Monday. Liverpool's Topsy-Turvy Week Ends with Crushing Defeat Draw at home to Manchester City, win at Real Madrid, lose at lowly Middlesbrough.

Football Legends

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The words "legend" and "legendary" are quickly becoming two of the most overused words in the English language. In fact, fans of "How I Met Your Mother" will know that it's actually become a catch-phrase. The fact that Barney Stinson (played wonderfully by TV legend - and I mean that sincerely - Neil [.

Carling Cup Final 2009: Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

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Date: Sunday 1st March Venue: Wembley Stadium, London Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside) Assistant Referees: Peter Kirkup (Northamptonshire), Andy Butler (Lancashire) 4th Official: Andre Marriner (West Midlands) The 49th Carling Cup Final sees Sir Alex Ferguson once again go head to head with his good friend Harry Redknapp in a cup competition.