SoccerLens Archives for January 2009

Have Madrid finally got their man?

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I'm not talking about Cristiano Ronaldo. Not talking about Kaka. Not Benzema and not about Raul Albiol and Xabi Alonso.

I'm talking about Arsene Wenger. Scratch that, I'm actually talking about Manuel Pellegrini.

Throughout Florentino Perez' epic reign last time out, and at the very top of his hit list when he got reinstated to the role of Real Madrid president, he has coveted the Arsenal godfather more than any other.

Becoming a real football manager

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Instructions, mentality: attacking, passing style: short, tempo: quick. Ohh hang on a second, I can do this for real now.

Last weekend I completed my Football Federation Australia junior coaching license, so am now a 'proper' football manager. Sure I'll be coaching under 12's, but thats not what counts, I can pretend to be educated about the game, shout at my young winger to take more shots, and go to official FFA conferences.

Is it time for youth transfer fees in the US?

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US soccer has progressed to the level where like the rest of the world, MLS clubs should considering paying modest youth transfer fees to local clubs that develop the young players they select for their U16 and U18 academy teams.

Reimbursement in the form of scholarships would encourage local clubs to develop complete players instead of focusing on wins and also to invest in low-income players, further improving the vision of youth player development in the US.

Arsenal in rude financial health

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Arsenal Holdinga have announced pre-tax profits of £45.5m, with matchday revenue exceeding £100m for the first time and 445 of the 655 private apartments already sold to the tune of £172.4m.

When all is said and done, there is no indication that Arsenal lack in transfer funds or the ability to match wages offered by Chelsea or Manchester City.

Fan Loyalty: In Rafa We Trust!

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"Seeing these smiling faces is the greatest pleasure. They have been magnificent all season. They have been our 12th man. I have always said our fans are the best in England. Now I know they are the best in Europe too." (Rafa Benitez)

Yes indeed, Rafa Benitez may be many things but naiive he most definitely is not!

Premier League Predictions: Arsenal, United, City, Tottenham and Chelsea to win

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Did you read this column last week? If not, then you should have. It could have made you some money. Nine out of ten outcomes correct, five out of ten results spot on, I should be backing my instincts.

Of course last week was a one-off, a fluke. Or was it? Here are my predictions for this week's round of matches, tell me if you agree, and feel free to add your own.

Fantasy Football Week 7: Classy Defenders and Wing Wizards

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Seven goals, seven minutes of added time, seven players from the Big Four in the team of the week. Yes, the big boys claimed back their rightful place at the top of the Premier League table last week, the pretenders of Manchester City & Tottenham slotted firmly into their place. Wins for Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool & Arsenal meant it was a good week for the star names, as well as a few lesser ones too.

Campbell finds out League Two is not the Costa del Sol

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First they appoint a former England manager as their Director of Football, then they go and sign a former England international, surely this is any clubs dream, but evidently not in the case of Notts County.

We all thought it was too good to be true when the news broke of Sven Goran Eriksson appointment as the new Director of Football at League Two club, but then we heard money was involved, so, it wasn't such a shock anymore.

MLS refereeing: is Platini’s Fantastic Five the answer?

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Back in June, as Major League Soccer was finding its stride on the other side of the Atlantic, Michel Platini and UEFA confirmed that this year's Europa League would be the testing ground for a new officiating structure.

By adding an 'additional assistant referee' behind each goal line, Platini hopes to do away with the cheating which occurs in the penalty area, from a playful tug on the shirt at a corner to the game's crime of the moment, diving.

Soccerlens Podcast: Inside Sol Campbell’s mind, the Government v FA and European debate

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Hello and welcome to episode 21 of the world famous Soccerlens Podcast. Join ex-footballer Adrian Clarke and esteemed sports journalist Iain Spragg as they chew over all things football.

This week Clarkey and Spraggy produce a lively verbal kickabout that includes European football debate, a case for the FA's defence, a peek inside the mind of Sol Campbell, a frank assessment of Platini's latest brainchild, previews of the biggest games across Europe, answers to YOUR questions and a special bonus feature on what it's really like inside Sepp Blatter's FIFA HQ.

Roger Milla: History against African teams but expect upsets at the 2010 World Cup

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Roger Milla burst onto the big stage at the grand old age of 38 when he scored four never-to-be-forgotten goals for Cameroon at the 1990 FIFA World Cup Finals in Italy. Capturing headlines all over the globe for his impressive displays en route to a memorable quarter-final defeat to Sir Bobby Robson's England, Milla captured the hearts of the public with his spontaneous corner flag dancing routine in celebration of each of his goals.

Michael Owen: The Signing of the Season? An Inside Look at Manchester United’s Devious Deal

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Michael Owen has been a polemic figure throughout his career. At 29 years of age many critics claim that he is already past his prime; that his workrate has slowed, his injuries have multiplied and his goal scoring has come to a shuddering halt. Others believe that his best is yet to come; that he has plenty of energy left, that his injuries mostly come down to bad luck and that he is still, statistically speaking, one of the most lethal English strikers around.

Happy Birthday Daniel, Fancy a Free Chlamydia test?

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What Happened to the Traditional Scoreboard?

Tonight I made the short trip from my house to watch Nottingham Forest v Blackburn in one of the Carling Cup games many had identified to have the potential for a cup upset, the game itself was patchy with one of two niggly injury periods of two or three minutes, during one of these breaks in play I looked up to check the time and confirm my count of the score ( I made it 0-0 after 20 minutes).

Worst Goalkeeper Ever v Worst Striker Ever

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If you thought Ben Foster's gaffe last weekend was bad, then you haven't seen anything yet.

Here's how things really, really go wrong when a bad keeper meets a bad striker.



I can't decide who was worse here - the keeper or the striker?

"Worst Goalkeeper Ever v Worst Striker Ever" was originally published at Soccerlens.

Player gets knocked out…and then his ambulance crashes

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Universidad de Chile striker Juan Manuel Olivera is recovering after he was knocked out during a match and then the ambulance taking him to hospital crashed.

"It was a tragicomic situation," team doctor Patrico Delgado told Radio Cooperativa.

"He was a bit shocked at first but he has taken it all with a dose of humour.

A-League Review: Perth Glory wins in Goal Fest

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 A large number of good results this round, including an interesting match in Brisbane, with two disappointing defensive errors gifting a win to a deserving Perth Glory. Central Coast won the first ever Battle of the Coasts, in magnificent fashion. Sydney FC won by a narrow margin, but that seems to be a trend for the Sky Blues.

A weekend to remember

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Goals galore! Football is really back with a bang now!

Let us start off with the most competitive Manchester derby that has occured since football officially began in 1992. A lot of Red Devils out there have been begrudging the blue half of Manchester's new endless pot of resourses, and why not?

Standing Up for Football

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We've all been there. It's the last minute and your team is clinging on to a vital, undeserved win away from home. You stand and bellow support for your lads with their backs against the walls, frantically throwing themselves in front of every ball headed toward the goal to break your heart.

Can two wrongs make a right?

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Thanks to Eduardo, diving has once again risen to the summit of football's trendy topic list.

Whatever the rights or wrongs of the UEFA charge and its subsequent overturning on appeal, the majority view was Eduardo purposely exaggerated the challenge and the ensuing penalty was harsh on Celtic (even Arsene Wenger admitted as such).

The biggest Manchester derby in years – who will take the spoils?

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The clock is ticking down to the start of the most talked about Manchester derby in years.

A resurgent city have emerged like a phoenix from the flames when compared to the club of five years ago that looked as if fate would retire the blue half of Manchester to a Leeds like spiralling demise into the lower divisions.

Can Seattle Sounders win a debut double?

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Seattle Sounders burst in through the saloon doors in March, chewing lazily on tobacco as they stood proud in front of the regulars and declared their intention to take Major League Soccer by storm.

The old boys weren't pleased, but had to respect the Sounders' testicular fortitude. Columbus Crew scowled from a bar stool with MLS Cup perched on the counter.

Adebayor isn’t done with Arsenal players yet

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For more web comics on football, check out Studs Up by Chris Toy.
"Adebayor isn't done with Arsenal players yet" was originally published at Soccerlens.com - Football News.

Weekend Predictions: Chelsea to beat Tottenham, Manchester United to meet Manchester City, Liverpool to beat West Ham and more

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It feels like the season has really begun now, the international break is well behind us, the Champions League & the Europa League are in full swing, and the big clashes are starting to come thick and fast.

Here are my predictions for this weekend's Premier League fixtures - make sure you add yours to the mix and check out the podcast crew's predictions for this weekend's big matches across Europe as well.

A-League Preview: Can Brisbane Roar mount a serious championship challenge?

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Adelaide United vs Melbourne Victory

Hindmarsh Stadium

What will be a very tough encounter, on the basis of revenge. Adelaide losing in the finals of last season hurt, and will be out to challenge for the title this year. Adelaide so far have been underperforming, but only just however their performances are deserving of a better placing.

A-League Roundup: Sydney FC can’t capitalise on Gold Coast draw

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Adelaide United 1-0 Central Coast Mariners

Hindmarsh Stadium, 10,262

Adelaide finally won a match, their first since round 1, and in great style in front of ten thousand fans at Hindmarsh Stadium. Travis Dodd was back from injury, making some quick zippy runs in the midfield.

Filippo Inzaghi - a tribute to the man ‘born offside’

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Tuesday night we witnessed the everlasting phenomenom that is Filippo Inzaghi. Score a few goals. Check! Remind everyone he's still around. Check! We've been here before haven't we?

Being a rarely casual follower of Serie A these days, it's a bit of a shock when Inzaghi pops up to decide games.

Soccerlens Podcast: Dissecting Premier League’s homegrown rule, Ade’s a riot and big match previews

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Hello and welcome to episode 20 of the world famous ‘new look' Soccerlens Podcast. Join ex-footballer Adrian Clarke and esteemed sports journalist Iain Spragg as they chew over all things football.

What a week it's been! We've seen UEFA give the green light for players to dive, Emmanuel Adebayor do his best to cause a riot, Chelsea supremo Peter Kenyon finally doing the honourable thing, all 4 English clubs producing narrow Champions League victories and radical new Premier League and UEFA rulebooks have been revealed.

Fantasy Football Week 5 - Hail the Unsung Heroes

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Andy Reid, Jason Roberts, David Dunn. What do they all have in common?

No, it isn't that at regular intervals, their respective managers have prefixed the mentioning of their names with a string of expletives, bemoaning their inconsistency/fitness/existence. It isn't even that they have, at some stage of their careers, been signed for a sum that made most people remark "how much?

Podcast Predictions: United and City to draw, Chelsea to beat Tottenham and more

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Soccerlens Podcast duo Adrian Clarke and Iain Spragg make ten big match predictions each and every Thursday and competing against one another throughout the season to discover once and for all who the best tipster is! As well as a large slice of pride being at stake, Clarkey and Spraggy also have copious amounts of beer riding on the outcome.

Liverpool 1-0 Debrecen - Battling Debrecen undone by Kuyt

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Dirk Kuyt's first half effort handed Liverpool an unconvincing 1 – 0 win over battling Debrecen at Anfield.

Boss Rafa Benitez, celebrating his 300th game in charge of Liverpool, named an unchanged side to the one that beat Burnley 4 – 0 on Saturday – but it was the Hungarian champions that came closest to taking a shock lead, Peter Czvitkovics testing Pepe Reina with a stinging drive.

Get free tickets to Manchester United v Manchester City on Sunday

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It's the Manchester derby between United and City on Sunday and we've got two pairs of tickets to give away, courtesy of Betfair.

Betfair recently became the official betting partner of Manchester United and now we've teamed up with the world's leading betting exchange, to give you a chance of attending the big match.

Win free tickets to Manchester United v Manchester City on Sunday

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It's the Manchester derby between United and City on Sunday and we've got two pairs of tickets to give away, courtesy of Betfair.

Betfair recently became the official betting partner of Manchester United and now we've teamed up with the world's leading betting exchange, to give you a chance of attending the big match.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About The New Manchester City

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Just finished reading Dan Walker's column on BBC and his account of his time spent at Eastlands during the Manchester City - Arsenal game.

It's a great article, but if you're pressed for time, here are 5 things you didn't know about Manchester City (that Dan was kind enough to find out):

1.

Samuel Eto’o or Zlatan Ibrahimovic – That is the question

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With the upcoming opening round of Champions League fixtures imminent, perhaps the most mouth watering tie will see Inter Milan face the current Champions Barcelona. An intriguing contest on so many levels, not least to assess how the contrasting styles of both teams will fare, nor how the cross Mourinho seems to carry from his days with Chelsea will manifest itself when it comes to facing the Catalans once again in European Competition.

Football’s Going Home(-grown)

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The Premier League have introduced a home-grown player rule and a limit on squad sizes – both of which will come into effect from next season.

The 20 Premier League clubs have voted to introduce the measures which will see all teams limited to a squad of 25 of which eight players must be ‘home-grown'.

Arsene Wenger - Saviour of English football?

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‘If in doubt, get it out!' It's a cry heard from many a parent and even coaches every weekend around the country at junior football games.

It's a cry that can sum up in a nutshell the attitude English football has carried for many years. And looking at some of England's attempts to win major championships since 1966, it's a slogan that the national team should have had stitched to their shirts at times.

Crazy Arsenal fan burns his Adebayor shirt

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Emmanuel Adebayor evokes some interesting emotions wherever he goes. From his goal-scoring exploits for Arsenal to back-to-back interviews where he pledged allegiance to Arsenal before flirting with Barcelona, to his quite obvious Milan fantasy to his bumper contract at Arsenal to a move to Manchester the next summer, Adebayor had already entertained and infuriated Arsenal fans.

Throw the Book at Arsenal Fans

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Am I the only one who seems to think everyone in the country is missing something? At Eastlands on Sunday a steward was struck by missiles thrown by Arsenal's fans, and left unconscious by the pitch-side for five minutes. A disgraceful act that none of us want to see in football I'm sure you'll all agree.

Park extends contract with United, new shirts for Liverpool next year, and more

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While Liverpool were busy hammering out a contract with new sponsor Standard Chartered Bank, Park Si-Jung was busy wrapping up the finer points of his contract with Manchester United.

Park for United
Guess who's staying with Manchester United? It's Park Ji-Sung!

Life at Manchester United after Ronaldo – The story to date

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The season so far has had its ups and downs for the Reds. A shock defeat to Burnley certainly wasn't in the script, as the world looks on intently to see how the reigning Premiership Champions set about life after Ronaldo and ‘that' final in Rome, to defending their domestic crown to make it four League titles in a row and surpass the record of their long time Merseyside rivals Liverpool.

Barcelona, Chelsea and Real Madrid CL favourites ahead of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool

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The Sporting Index traders have priced up the outright Champions League win index and have installed the two big Spanish sides as the favourites.

Spain

The current champions, Barcelona, did spread bettors a big favour last season, comfortably winning La Liga, as well as producing an assured performance to beat Man United in the final in Rome.

West Ham To Win The Premier League?

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As I write this I'm watching Everton lose to Fulham at Craven Cottage and as a Liverpool fan it puts absolute delight in my heart to see Everton in the bottom three.

Of course, I know that they will not stay there because they are a fantastic team with a fantastic manager, but with five games of the Premier League season in the books (for most teams anyways), some people are already beginning to turn up their panic dials while others are beginning early celebrations.

Gerrard & Torres? How about Yossi & Dirk?

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It's one of the most tiresome cliches in football these days, yet one that most in the public eye can unilaterally agree on. Liverpool, they say, are a team of two players. No argument. G&T, Stevie & Nando, Gerrard & Torres.

Like the zonal marking debate, no conversation about Liverpool is complete without it.

Premier League Weekend Ups and Downs

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In a season which has already produced its fair share of talking points, the Premier League once more exploded into life after the two week recess, with a flurry of goals and a controversy set to dominate the back pages long after the match reports have faded.

On the up:

Manchester City

Let us forget for a moment the behaviour of Emmanuel Adebayor (more on which to follow) and focus upon an otherwise scintillating display of counter attacking football from Mark Hughes' team.

Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool leaders in Champions League prize money

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English football clubs pocketed an average of 160 million euros ($234 million) each in prize money in the last six Champions League seasons, almost four times as much as the Spanish figure.

Sports business consultancy StageUp has estimated that European soccer's governing body UEFA distributed more than 3 billion euros ($4.

Will the ‘Real’ Milan please stand up?

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The latest Serie A season is now three games in and although it is of course too early to make any firm predictions, some clear markers have already been laid down. Before the close of the window it was Juventus who took the lead as the big spenders in Italy, bringing in a number of players to strengthen the squad, not least of all the Brazilian Diego from Werder Bremen for £21.

Tottenham 1-3 Manchester United - Goal Videos

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Despite conceding a goal in the first minute Manchester United rallied back through Giggs and Anderson (yes, Anderson!) to make it 2-1 at half-time. A second yellow to Paul Scholes put their position under pressure but some smart defensive work and a superb goal (all the goals in this game were quite good) by Wayne Rooney meant that United took the three points - and set up next week's Manchester derby quite nicely.

Manchester City 4-2 Arsenal - Match Verdict and Goal Videos

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Today's City v Arsenal game confirmed what we already knew about certain players and, in context of the starts made by the two sides this season, gave us a fair prediction of the title / top 4 chances for both teams.

Adebayor is a c*nt. His tackles on Fabregas and RVP, his celebrations in front of the Arsenal fans, his general attitude towards the club that made him into what he is today, is quite disappointing (to say the least).

England qualify in style but let’s not assume the trophy’s coming home just yet

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England qualifications are not used to happen this way. Where was the last-gasp heroic goal, the nervous, stuttering qualification that went down to the wire, the sharpening of knives for the manager? Where was the unconvincing qualification, overlooked as assorted players and journalists chest-thumped that, having qualified, England could go onto win it, fooling nobody in the process?

Defoe or not Defoe - it’s not even a question

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Without wishing to pre-empt the entire article, Jermaine Defoe is a very good football player, not a world-class football player.

There is much empirical evidence to substantiate this, but what is most striking is that he has never scored more than 13 Premier League goals in a season (a record topped by more players than I care to list).

Arsenal and Manchester United favourites to beat Manchester City and Tottenham

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After an international induced Premier League hiatus, England's top tier returns with some standout games for spread punters to look forward to, featuring mouth-watering ties between North London and Manchester's finest.

As Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester United and Arsenal make the opposite journey to face Manchester City at Eastlands, one side from each game goes into the weekend with a 100% winning start – but probably not the two teams that most spread bettors would have anticipated.

DC United paying for battle on three fronts?

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DC United is Major League Soccer's most storied and most successful club. Since becoming a founder member of MLS in 1996, United have piled no fewer than twelve pieces of silverware into the RFK Stadium trophy cabinet, including four MLS Cups.

Many of United's finest players are still in the team, from habitual record breaker Jaime Moreno and creative ace Christian Gomez to legendary midfielder Ben Olsen.

Who are the best centre-backs in world football today?

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The unadulterated thrill of witnessing a magical moment of attacking inspiration is what keeps many of us hooked on the beautiful game but let us never forget that at the heart of every great football team is always a truly world-class central defender.

Red Rants interviewee and Manchester United ‘rock' Nemanja Vidic unquestionably falls into that category, so I thought it was the perfect excuse to examine the world of defending in search of the best centre-backs around today.

Soccerlens Podcast: England’s World Cup prospects, weekend predictions and poaching

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Join former Arsenal player Adrian Clarke and co-host Iain Spragg every Thursday on the new-look Soccerlens Podcast.

These two highly experienced journalists love to debate all the hottest football topics with their own unique style of banter, make spot on (or otherwise!) predictions for upcoming matches, while also providing insightful interviews with a whole host of leading football experts.

Michael Shields Pardoned - Why This Has Nothing to do with Football

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Today a four year legal battle that has dominated the national and international news has come to an end, Michael Shields has been pardoned by the British government following his conviction for attempted murder in a Bulgarian court. After serving time in both Bulgarian and British prisons Michael Shields will be freed in the coming days a thought that must have seemed a long way off following his conviction and 10 year sentence four years ago.

Calling Wenger and Arsenal: You cannot be Serious!

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Unless one has been in a coma for the past two weeks, they would have noticed the controversy surrounding the (just about) Croatian Eduardo's attempt to "deceive the referee" in Arsenal's Champions League Qualifier against Celtic and his subsequent two match ban by UEFA.

After the entire British Isles bar the red side of North London cried "cheat" at Eduardo, UEFA handed out a two match ban to Eduardo and one would have thought that justice has been served and the world can move on to other football controversies like Gael Kakuta and APOEL FC's presence in the Champions League.

Australian A-League Weekly Roundup - Round 6 Predictions

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Round 5 Review

Melbourne Victory vs Newcastle Jets 1-1
Etihad Stadium 15,168

Despite being able to sustain a high crowd, Melbourne weren't able to replicate that luck on the pitch, following another disappointing result, the defending champions sit 7th on the A-League ladder.

Football’s Greatest Clubs

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How does one go about measuring greatness in football? I mean real, obvious, blatant greatness; that rarest of qualities. Today "greatness" is such a woolly, over-used term that sometimes we lose its meaning and start labeling all sorts of mundane, workaday things as "great". The evolution of language has distilled its meaning, reduced its potency, but we still know greatness when we see it.

A Massive World Cup Qualification Preview

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Watch World Cup qualifiers live here.

International press conferences at the best of times tend to be mundane, by the numbers affairs filled with platitudes by the key figures within the national side. Not much changes when it comes to conferences prior to World Cup qualifiers, or even the finals itself, but within the words always lies a common train of thought: There are few, if any greater honours in football than representing your country at the World Cup.

Gray clouds hide happenings at Athletic

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With Grays Athletics' Chief Executive Mick Woodward standing down from his role at the club after a 10 year stint, which has seen Woodward taking over as manger twice and splitting fan opinion of his general running of the club. A new regime has been promised to take over the reigns of the Essex side, but with Woodward still having an invested interest, more questions than answers remain at the club with the seemingly revolving door.

Fan Loyalty (Part 1): Arsene Knows!

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It was Mark Lawrenson who once said that he didn't concern himself with the League Table until 10 or 12 games into the new season. Until then, Lawro suggested, no pattern has formed, as teams are finding their feet early on, often facing the challenge of introducing new players, managers or formations.

Chelsea have been caught tapping up several times in the last few years

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...so for FIFA to get tough on them, especially in wake of recent UEFA efforts to make a public display of intent to stamp out diving by banning Eduardo (which, incidentally, sets a nice precedent for post-match video reviews), is understandable, if not always 'fair'.




Studs Up by Chris Toy
"Chelsea have been caught tapping up several times in the last few years" was originally published at Soccerlens.

Ferguson on Eduardo - I’d have done the same as Arsene Wenger

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Speaking to the press on Thursday at UEFA's elite coaches forum, Alex Ferguson agreed that something has to be done to eradicate diving from the game and that UEFA took the decision on Eduardo to set a marker for the rest of the season.

But while the Beeb would have you believe (along with a fantastic photo) that Ferguson was backing UEFA's ban on Eduardo, what was far more interesting and relevant were his comments about Wenger's reactions to the ban.

Confessions of a Football Fanatic

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Walking into my room on a chilly Sunday morning, I sighed heavily, yet I was happy. I had correctly tipped Burnley to beat United. Who knew. I didn't get it all right; I had a few problems especially my A-League tipping. Mariners and Jets drew, so I only had 2 points from this round. Forgetting about that, I walked over to my desk, before clomping down on to my seat.

Talking ’bout a Revolution: New England heading for the playoffs

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post examining the prospects of the most likely challengers for MLS Cup. By not mentioning New England Revolution, I had quietly written the off - quite logical, given their poor start and the continued absence of Taylor Twellman - and condemned them to a season of disappointment and introspection.

Soccerlens Podcast: The Beckham Debate and Soccer Consumption in the USA

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On episode 18 of the Soccerlens Podcast, Stephen Darwin is joined by Pitch Invasion's Tom Dunmore and Jason Davis from MatchFitUSA to discuss US soccer consumption.

The show will be looking specifically at how soccer fans in the States receive their domestic and European/Worldwide soccer fix and there's also a discussion on whether David Beckham really is on a different galaxy with his desire to play in Europe.

Chelsea banned from making transfers till January 2011 over Kakuta case

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FIFA have banned Chelsea from signing new players for the next two transfer periods (that is, the January 2010 and Summer 2010 transfer windows). This comes as part of a decision by FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) on a contractual dispute regarding Gael Kakuta between Lens and Chelsea.

Did Liverpool, Blackburn and the rest miss out on this bargain £2m striker?

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As the transfer deadline drew to a close it seems French Side Monaco may have stolen the show with the move of the summer. While the big money moved the likes of Robben, CR7 and Kaka, it was the shock signing of Icelander Eidur Gudjohnsen for a measly amount of 2M Euros that may turn out to be the biggest return on investment

Yes 2M Euros, it's not a lot of money for a player of this pedigree.

Bicycle Kicks: A Season In The Saddle

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I may as well get this out in the open straight away: I'm a York City fan. One who is aiming to get to every single one of our Conference league matches next season, starting on Saturday. Those two sickening revelations out of the way, it's only fair to tell you that I'm planning to do the whole thing on my pushbike.

The injury curse - Lose them at your peril

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Every club has one. That vital cog that keeps the team wheels turning. With the season in its infancy, supporters up and down the land are still harbouring dreams of glory (or at the very least over achievement, given that short of a billionaire Sheikh turning up on your doorstep, thoughts of the title are confined to a privileged few these days).

Transfer Rumors (1 September 09): Tottenham sign Pompey’s Kranjcar, Everton land Dutch star Heitinga, Aston Villa made to wait on Man City’s Dunne, and more

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Unlike last year, when summer transfer deadline day saw some records broken and millions upon millions of pounds change hands, things were a lot quieter this time around.

But as always, it's just as much about who didn't move as it is about who did move, and there were plenty of misses to go with the hits.

The Transfer Deadline Day - How It Happened (Or Didn’t)

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07:00:00 - Skysports news' transfer count down clock is flashing red - just 10 HOURS TO GO before the apocalypse! (or the end of trading, we forget which). Let the madness commence!

09:00:00 - Hmmm... so..

11:13:40 - Former England star Trevor Brooking is undergoing a check-up at his local GP's - Could he be set for a return to the WEST HAM midfield?

England squad for Slovenia and Croatia games

SoccerLens at related • 4 views

Watch England v Croatia live here.

The England squad for the international break (a friendly against Slovenia on Saturday, September 5 and the World Cup qualifier against Croatia on Wednesday, September 9) sees Rio Ferdinand, Theo Walcott and David James miss out due to injury while Peter Crouch, Wes Brown and Aaron Lennon return to the fold.

Summer 2009 Football Transfers Lists

SoccerLens at related • 135 views

Soccerlens has brought you extensive transfer window coverage for several years now - and this year we're asking you to join us in compiling the most comprehensive transfer news database on the Internet.

Like before you'll have Eddie's excellent daily roundup of the latest transfer rumours and confirmed transfers plus regular updates to our transfer lists for 9 European leagues from Shahryar.