Stoke City record signing, Kenwyne Jones, is a player in need of form. He enjoyed a promising
start to life in the Barclays Premier League when then Sunderland manager, Roy Keane, took him to
the Stadium of Light. He caught the eye with some great performances up front, even earning himself
the honor of being linked with big money moves to the League's elite clubs including Liverpool,
Chelsea and Tottenham.
Remember England's tumour-inducing performance at this summer's World Cup? No? Don't worry,
slipping into a state of catatonic denial is a perfectly understandable human reaction after being
exposed to such barbaric torture and, given his close proximity at the time, it's only natural that
manager Fabio Capello suffered the same psychosomatic response.
West Ham manager Avram Grant has admitted that he is interested in Tottenham striker
The Hammers have sputtered out of the gate, losing to Aston Villa, Bolton, and Manchester
United. While giving up three goals in each defeat is a major cause for concern in itself, but so
is the fact that West Ham have scored only once thus far and also managed only one goal in their
Carling Cup win over League Two side Oxford United last week.
AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has hinted that the club could make a move for Manchester City
AC Milan wrapped up a deal for Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic over the weekend, and the
Rossoneri received excellent contributions from Alexandre Pato, Ronaldinho, and the ageless Pippo
Inzaghi in Sunday's season-opening 4-0 rout of newly-promoted Lecce.
One of the tories of the summer transfer season has finally reached it conclusion, as Barcelona
have completed the signing of Argentina captain Javier Mascherano from
The 26-year-old midfielder today underwent a stringent five-hour medical that was conducted at a
Barcelona hospital and at the Nou Camp, and he passed with flying colors, green-lighting the
completion of his move.
Peter Crouch tried his hardest to stop it going in when playing away on Saturday in Stoke. On
this occasion he was successful. Not because it didn't go in. It did (we think). He just didn't get
caught. Tedious innuendo aside though, are we certain it went in? Lots of cameras and lots of
angles tell us that it most probably did.
Anderson Luis de Abreu Oliveira or simply, Anderson, is a midfielder who is somewhat lost in the
cimmerian shade of Old Trafford. The dread-locked 22 year old wreaks of talent, but has regressed
rather than progressed during his three years at Barclays Premier League giants, Manchester
Steven Gerrard turned 30 in May this year. Therefore, it can be said that he has entered the
twilight of his illustrious career. The reign of captain Stevie G is almost over. But alas,
Liverpool fans, there is no need to fear or fret, because Rafael Benitez, before he left, made what
I'm sure will prove to be one of the best ever signings in English football.
Thursday 26th August 2010
Aston Villa 2 â€“ 3 Rapid Vienna (Rapid Vienna win 4-3 on aggregate)
The nightmare returned to Villa Park tonight as the Villains crashed out once more to Austrian
outfit Rapid Vienna. It was exactly one year ago that Vienna came to the Midlands and managed a 2-1
defeat which saw them through on away goals.
After having taken a look at the Bundesliga final tables over the last two decades, one thing is
clear: although it's not impossible, it'sÂ unlikely that any clubÂ outside the top six in last
season'sÂ competition will be in contention this season. In order to win the title five of those
clubs will have to focus on being better than reigning champions and Champions League runners-up
Spurs fans will no doubt have to pinch themselves numerous times this week, maybe even dunk
their heads in a bucket of ice cold water (to wake themselves up, not to ease their hangovers) as
they joined Europe's elite set of football clubs on Wednesday, and did so with a swagger, taking
apart the Swiss outfit Young Boys.
After a busy summer for Quique Sanchez Flores, in which six (well five, Tiago was there on loan
last season) new players arrived at the Calderon, the hard work now begins.Â This FridayÂ Atletico
MadridÂ will face Internazionale in the European Super Cup before starting the 2010/11 La Liga
campaign against Sporting de Gijon only three days later.
1-BLACKBURNVS ARSENAL The early kick off
this weekend is at the Ewood park where the big Sam's Blackburn will entertain the north London
giants Arsenal. After a bizarre goal against Liverpool that earned arsenal a late draw at anfield,
they hammered blackpool by six goals to nil.
Liverpool undoubtedly find themselves in a predicament this season while trying to convince
world-class stars like Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard that the club has a future while clearly
suffering against Manchester City.
Since the Reds' defeat at the hands of City last week, many have jumped to rule-out Liverpool's
return to the top of the Premier League.
Following his missed penalty, and in predictable fashion, Nani is being slated by a
select few of the Manchester United supporters, but these type of antics not only get old quick,
but they are usually not justified.
Yes, this is the same player received all sorts of praise from supporters and critics following
his mature performances in the second-half of last season.
Whenever someone thinks about the Champion League they almost immediately think about either the
1999 Champions League final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich in Barcelona, or the 2005
final between Liverpool and AC Milan in Istanbul.
They are without doubt two of the most memorable finals in recent years, and often have fans
bickering about which final was the best.
European soccer differs from major professional sports in North America in many ways, but one of
the most significant is the way in which players move about from team to team. There is no draft in
soccer, there are no trades in the classical sense, and players can move from one league and one
country, to another multiple times over the course of their career.
As reported here, Tottenham have been in talks over a move to land former Chelsea, Arsenal, and
Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra, who could be surplus to requirements at Real
Madrid. (The Guardian)
Analysis: Diarra's wages could perhaps hinder this one, but could there be a â€˜hey, I
helped you get those wages in the first place' discount for Harry Redknapp?
Two games played. Two games won. 12 goals scored. Fine, they only beat West Brom and
Wigan (two favorites for the drop) but they didn't evenÂ get into second gear to ease six goals
past the aforementioned teams. The Community Shield was simply a blip for them, as many of their
stars were only returning from a rest and looking to regain match fitness.
When you think about, and I mean really think about it, I mean take in
everyone you come across on a day-to-day basis, an overwhelming number of British human
beings are fucking morons and it is these thick-necked meatheads, whether by accident or design,
that make up roughly all of The Sun's target audience.
Liverpool are nearing a deal for Fulham left back Paul Konchesky, according to
Daniel Agger started at left back for Liverpool against Arsenal and Manchester City, while Fabio
Aurelio started last weekâ€˜s Europa League win over Trabzonspor, but it appears that manager Roy
Hodgson has continued the pursuit of reinforcements on the left.
The dawn of a new Premier League season suddenly seems to have seen a buy one, get one free on
goals thus far. The first 19 games of the season have produced 51 goals but it's the drubbings that
are so apparent.
In the first two weeks of the season there haven been four 6-0 games and even a 4-0 victory for
relegation favorites Blackpool.
We've moved into the third week of the campaign and an interesting match day was in store and
what a match day of League Two football it turned out to be. After 5 0-0's the previous week, fans
were treated to an amazing 42 goals in 12 fixtures this week. Comebacks and thrashings were at the
plenty and it is a testament to the league the quality which was on display.
Hearts set the bar high for the weekend on Saturday lunchtime when they
hammered Hamilton Accies 4-0 at New Douglas Park. The Jambos got off to a flyer
and opened the scoring through Calum Elliot on 6 minutes. Elliot has previously been victim of the
Tynecastle boo-boys but he curled home a lovely left-foot shot high into the net to set Hearts on
Since Sheik Mansour took ownership of Manchester City in 2008 there has a been a lot of negative
press aimed at the East land's club. Since then they have spent millions upon millions on players
left, right, and center. They even made ridiculous claims that they were going to sign Fernando
Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo and Cesc Fabregas back in 2008.
There were plenty of points to be had in round two of the Soccerlens Fantasy Football Game. Not
one, not two, but three teams won 6-0, with two players scoring hat-tricks and no less than seven
players scoring braces. Unfortunately only two of these men were selected for my team, the
Tottenham are in talks over a move for Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra,
and according to the Guardian, talks are believed to be going in the right direction.
If the deal comes to pass, Diarra would be reunited with manager Harry Redknapp, who he played
under for a little less than a year at Portsmouth before departing for Madrid in a Â£20m deal in
Lyon have agreed a deal to sign playmaker Yoann Gourcuff from Ligue 1 rivals
The seven-time champions have agreed to pay 22m (18m) in three installments by the end of
December 2012, and Bordeaux could receive up to 4.5m (3.7m) more if or when Lyon sell the France
international at some point.
When Real Madrid, a bastion for unabashed, unfocused hyper-spending in the modern game, can't
keep up with the competition anymore then you know something's going slightly awry.
Real coach Jose Mourinho has publicly admitted that even he cannot compete with
Manchester City's imperious financial position anymore, after watching one of his choice summer
transfer targets disappear into the Eastlands ether from before his very eyes.
Arsenal are closing in on a deal for Sevilla center back Sebastien Squillaci,
according to the Guardian. The Gunners have agreed a Â£5m fee with the Spanish side, and the France
international has made his way to London for a medical.
It was reported last week that Arsenal had made a bid for the 30-year-old, but in confirming the
bid, Sevilla sporting director Ramon Rodriguez said the offer wasn't good enough.
Brazilian boss Mano Menezes called up his second group of players this Friday morning in Rio de
Janeiro. More new names such as youngster Phillipe Coutinho, who's gets his first opportunity as a
senior player, and Hulk, the Porto striker who had only one opportunity with Dunga.
Goalkeeper Gomes from Tottenham Hotspur comes back to the National Squad to join Daniel Alves,
Thiago Silva, Ramires and Robinho as the only 2010 World Cup returnees.
The thought going into yesterdays game at Craven Cottage â€“ a place we haven't had a League win
for three seasons â€“ was that avoiding a repeat of last season's debacle (0-3, Scholes had a
shitter etc) would have been ideal.
But that naÃ¯ve view would have altered immediately after a glance at the top of the table that
read â€˜6 points' and â€˜For: 12, Against: 0' next toÂ Chelsea's name.
The list of Newcastle United forwards that have donned that famous No. 9 shirt down the years is
a pretty formidable one.
The exploits of club legends such as Jackie Milburn, Malcolm 'Supermac' Macdonald, Andrew Cole,
Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer have all served to weight that particular squad number with such
significance that it becomes increasingly obvious as to why so many eyebrows were knowingly arched
when a precocious, often volatile, 21-year-old in the lengthy shape of Andy Carroll was entrusted
with the continuation of the mantle.
Tottenham announced today that they have completed the signing of former Chelsea and Arsenal
defender William Gallas.
The 33-year-old chose not to renew his contract at Arsenal after four seasons with the Gunners,
and he has now joined their North London rivals, penning a one-year deal with an option for a
AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri has admitted that he's interested in Barcelona striker
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but it appears that such a deal would be unlikely.
The Swedish hit-man left Inter Milan for Barcelona in a blockbuster cash plus Samuel Eto'o deal
last summer, and he had a decent first season at the Nou Camp, scoring 21 goals and assisting on
nine more in 44 appearances in all competitions, including 16 in 29 La Liga appearances (23
Roy Hodgson's reshaping of his new Liverpool squad is gathering pace, with news that midfielder
Alberto Aquilani is on the verge of completing a season-long loan switch to Juventus. And reports
in Italy and Holland also claim that Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt could be poised to follow the Italian
out of Anfield, with European Champions Inter Milan interested.
The Reds, as we all know have not been backed by a billionaire owner who can afford many
mistakes done in the transfer market. Signing players properly is of top priority when you're in
financial turmoil. Recently, before the resignation of Rafael Benitez, we saw him take a lot of
criticism for failed transfers.
Manchester City could soon be set to finally part ways with Robinho, and in the
process, recoup most of their record investment on the Brazilian. Turkish giants Besiktas have
submitted a formal offer of Â£26m for the former Real Madrid star, with Â£16m up front and a
further Â£10m in performance-related add-ons.
Days after Craig Bellamy's surprising move to hometown club Cardiff City, another well-known
footballer has signed on the dotted line with a Championship club, as legendary Dutch midfielder
Edgar Davids has agreed a pay-as-you-play deal with Crystal Palace.
The 37-year-old Davids hasn't played competitively since his second stint at Ajax came to a
close at the end of the 2007/08 season.
Real Madrid playmaker Rafael Van der Vaart said that if he were to leave Real,
he would be open to a switch to Manchester United, who he views as the only club who wouldnâ€˜t be
a step down from Real. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: United have been linked with VDV for quite a while, and given that they still
haven't quite filled that spot for a new creative midfielder and Real have just signed another one
(which likely further limits the amount of limited opportunities he was already going to get), the
opportunity's there for United to make a move and land him at a decent price.
Barcelona's Zlatan Ibrahimovic is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the world.
But David Villa's move to the Spanish champions has unsettled the Sweden forward, who has been
linked with a host of clubs.
Ibrahimovic came to Barcelona at the back of a season when the club was able to win the treble
before adding trophies to their cabinet in the following year, winning the quadruple in a memorable
Juventus have completed the signing of Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani on
a season-long loan deal.
Aquilani signed from AS Roma in a Â£17m deal last summer, and he was expected to make a big
impact at Anfield. However, as was the case during much of his time at Roma, injuries played a
decisive factor in Aquilani being unable to meet those expectations.
After undergoing a summer makeover the ever popular Soccerlens Podcast makes it's long awaited
comeback this week hitting the airwaves with a new name "3 Up Front" and we have a
feeling you're going to love it!
Award-nominated hosts Adrian Clarke and Iain Spragg return for the new campaign with renewed
enthusiasm and will take their place alongside charismatic football writer and author Iain
Macintosh in a beefed up, belter of a new-look show that will cover all the hottest debates and
talking points every week.
You might already know that a negotiations team from Western Gulf Advisory (WGA), the
Bahrain-Swiss based investment company which recently made a formal approach to Blackburn Rovers,
were at Ewood Park on Monday, 16 August at 10am to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with
Blackburn Rovers, and to discuss the potential business and investment strategy including the
transfer of new players.
Aston Villa midfielder James Milner is finally on the verge of completing his
big-money move to Manchester City. The 24-year-old England international has undergone a medical at
Eastlands, and it's only a matter of time before the deal is officially completed.
After extensive negotiations and many bumps in the road, Villa and City agreed a fee of Â£16m,
and the deal will also include City midfielder Stephen Ireland, who's rated at
Real Madrid have won the race for rising German star Mesut Ozil, as the they
announced today that they have reached a deal for the Werder Bremen playmaker.
Thanks in part to impressing at the 2010 World Cup, as he played a key role in helping Germany
finish third in South Africa, Ozil was linked with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea,
Arsenal, Barcelona, and Real this summer, and with only one year left on his contract with Werder
Bremen, it's looked like a certainty that he would depart for one of those destinations before the
end of the summer.
The first week of the Soccerlens Fantasy Football Game is in the record books. After agonizing
over my fantasy football team selection late last week, I report back with a weird mix of pride and
disappointment that the Soccerlen All-Stars finished fourth in their 11 team league with 45
As I write this, the Arsenal Fan Share website is down, thanks to poor choice of web hosting
(they really went cheap here) and a deluge of traffic from excited Arsenal fans thinking that they
could finally own a piece of their club now and stop those dirty Russians / Yanks from taking
The Arsenal Fan Share scheme is a nice PR move (notice how journalists were quick to call it
'Barcelona' style ownership structure without even knowing what Barcelona's ownership structure
looks like), and ultimately the implementation of a modified MyFootballClub scheme on a Premier
Fabio Capello gave David Beckham the chance to end his international career at Wembley but Becks
denied. Don't make the same mistake as he did. It's not like you're The David Beckham (if you are,
you shouldn't be reading this).
Qualifiers will take place all over England throughout September and early October.
Red cards, goalkeeping errors, and late goals It's Arsenal, only with more
I watched the Tottenham-Manchester City game on Saturday, but despite it being an open, exciting
match I didn't enjoy one minute of it. Such is the life of a a football fan, you are destined to
view every game in the context of your own team.
Celtic kicked off the Scottish Premier League season on Saturday afternoon with
a tricky trip to Inverness to take on the SPL newcomers. After disappointment
against Braga, the pressure was already beginning to build on new manager Neil Lennon and his new
Tangerine. Tangerine. Living Reflection from a Dream.
Pretty much every single pundit and commentator had Blackpool's Premier League stay pegged as a
very short one. Almost everyone picked them to finish last and be relegated back to the
Championship. In fact, before the start of the season, Racingbase had their odds of going down at
One year on, and Newcastle United are back in the Premier League. One season in the Coca Cola
Championship saw ChrisÂ Hughton's men pick up a record 102 points, and make a dramatic return to
the top division.
The days of visitingÂ GlanfordÂ Park, The Riverside andÂ PortmanÂ Road are gone for a year at
least, and if we're lucky, we might never take the plunge into the lower ebbs of English Football
Manchester United kick off the new football season with a home game against the newly-promoted
Newcastle United (welcome back, Geordies).
Here's a look back at a largely successful pre-season, which saw United launch their shirt
sponsorship with Aon, play (and win) pre-season matches across North America and get valuable match
practice under the belts of the squad players.
In the last year, there has been a sharp drop in the number of Brazilian players in the five
major European leagues (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France). Though Brazil remains the most
represented nation among expatriates, the number of footballers from this country has fallen by 24
between the 2008/09 and 2009/10 seasons, decreasing from 163 to 139.
UEFA has announced the nominees for the UEFA Club Football Awards with a total of 12 players
shortlisted both for the positional awards and for the overall prize of UEFA Club Footballer of the
The UEFA Club Football Awards will be presented during the UEFA Champions League group stage
draw in Monaco on Thursday 26 August, with three players apiece in contention for the best
goalkeeper, best defender, best midfielder and best forward awards.
There will be no Premier League, Championship, League One or League Two football played on
Saturday, September 4th. All four of England's top divisions are taking the weekend off because of
the international break. But that doesn't there will be no football.
Non-League teams will still be in action, and the Non-League Football Day campaign is
encouraging all football fans to go and support their local non-league team.
The relationship between major brands and football is now firmly established. Brands crave the
exposure that being associated with a major football club, player, competition or organizations can
bring, and everyone in the latter group either wants or needs the money that brands will pay to
David Beckham's turbulent sixteen year career at international level looks all but over. Fabio
Capello has deemed the former Manchester United and Real Madrid man as "too old" and will no longer
be seeking his services as he begins to groom younger talent into his England set-up.
The manner of Capello's revelation is somewhat ignorant and obnoxious.
Welcome to the review of this weeks League Two action. After a fantastic opening weekend
featuring 25 goals and plenty of action it was a more sombre second weekend in League Two featuring
only 15 goals. The fixtures this weekend seemed to be matching teams of very similar ambitions and
calibers and it showed, especially in the five 0-0's which will be covered in more detail
Recently, our friends over at Republik of Mancunia caught up with Manchester United's
right-back, Rafael da Silva. They asked him about the upcoming season, Fabio da Silva, Alex
Ferguson's decision about no more signings and the strength of the Premier League.
He believes that Fergie has an amazing group of players and he can handle them very well.
1. Manchester United are only six points short of earning 1500 in the Premier
League. With an average of 2.15 points per game, Alex Ferguson's side are unsurprisingly the most
successful team in the league's 17-year history.
2. Kevin Davies needs to commit 34 more fouls to take his Premier League
career total to 800.
I appreciate that there is nothing more tiresome (or tragic) than listening to somebody harp on
about the decisions behind the selection of their fantasy football team. "I've got Lampard in the
middle, you've gotta have Lampard and double points if he's captain! I just didn't
know whether to pick Carlton Cole or Bobby Zamora upfront!
You've installed Sky, your fantasy football team is picked and you've even placed some bets on
how the opening day will play out.
But have you considered how the whole season itself will play out? What will the fate of the
Barclays Premier League be after the bloodthirsty English press are done ravaging it for 10
Celtic winger Aiden McGeady has completed his move to Spartan Moscow.
The Russian side has made McGeady the most expensive export ever in Scottish football, landing
him for around 9.8 million pounds, and the Ireland international has penned a four-year deal with
the capital club.
Manchester City are finally nearing the finish line with their big-money move for Inter Milan
striker Mario Balotell, as the 20-year-old has flown to Manchester for his
Balotelli, who made his senior debut for Italy in Tuesday's friendly defeat against the Ivory
Coast, was reported as wanting a salary of 180, 000 pounds a week, which threatened to throw a
wrench into the deal.
Five long summers ago, in the magnificent arena that is the Millennium Stadium, legend has it
that Arsenal won a trophy. That trophy was the FA Cup and they did so by beating Manchester United
5-4 on penalties. Back then Arsenal had men such as Vieira, Henry, Ljungberg, Campbell and Gilberto
If you read the five reasons why you should play the Soccerlens Fantasy Football Game, then you
should be ready to sign up and pick your fantasy team. To help you do that I'm going to take you
through the process step by step, explaining how I picked the Soccerlens All-Stars
The bitter disappointment for the Italian National Team poor figure at the FIFA WC 2010 is just
the tip of the iceberg of a crisis that involves all Italian soccer, including clubs. Inter's win
in Champions League came without a single local player on the pitch, but at the same time saved
Italy's fourth spot in the top European competition also for 2011-2012 edition.
Wantaway midfielder Javier Mascherano is still a Liverpool player for the time being, but Roy
Hodgson has already swooped for his replacement, landing Juventus midfielder Christian
Poulsen for 4.5 million pounds.
Mascherano has openly stated his desire to leave Anfield, and a reunion with Rafa Benitez at
Inter Milan or a move to Barcelona could be in the cards soon.
Celtic have opened discussions with Manchester City over a loan move for Craig
Bellamy, according to Celtic manager Neil Lennon.
The Welsh forward is coming off of his finest season in several years, as he scored 10 goals and
assisted on eight more in 26 Premier League starts, along with notching a further four assists in
City's run to the Carling Cup semifinals and a goal in the FA Cup.
It's always a pleasure announcing new contests here at Soccerlens, and, working together with
Concave, I can say with confidence that we have the easiest and best contest for you awesome
readers. We couldn't have made it more simple for you to win a free pair of football boots this
month. All you need is the football boots you already own, a digital camera, and a bit of writing
This is a two part article. Continuing from Part I of Football in Italy: Crisis, Problems &
Financial Crisis at Club Level
As we said in the first part of this article, Italian soccer crisis does not involve the
national teams only, clubs have big problems too. Inter's executives decided to sell some players
due to the UEFA "Financial Fair-Play" that will be operating in the future, and Balotelli himself
probably will sign for Manchester City.
The blogs are getting backed up with all of the 2010-2011 kit releases, especially since every
Premier League club has made the executive decision to release new home and away
kits this season. This season clubs got a makeover from the biggest brands in the world, with Nike,
Adidas, Umbro, Puma, Reebok, Le Coq Sportif, and more being in action displaying some of the best
kit design ever seen, and probably some of the worst ever seen (consideringÂ some of the away and
A pre season, unquestionably overshadowed by an ongoing transfer saga of last season's best
player and a managerial departure doesn't look good on paper just days before the start of a
season. Despite this Villa fans should still be upbeat about the campaign ahead hoping for a bright
future under a new regime.
I was looking around on the internet for random stuff and ended up on a certain Break.com.
Looking around at videos of people getting into stupid accidents and saw an interesting related
video's thumbnail. It had an Italian 'football player' going down after a hard tackle from the
CSKA Moscow winger Milos Krasic has agreed personal terms with Juventus, but a
fee still has yet to be agreed between the two sides.
The Serbia international has been at the top of Juve's list throughout the summer, but a deal
hasn't been easy to come by. It's looked recently like the deal could be dead, but with Krasic
having agreed his contract with the Serie A giants, the deal could finally be near completion.
The shocking news that Martin O'Neill has resigned as manager of Aston Villa is sparking rumour
after rumour regarding his departure. Many Villa fans will see this as a dark day in the clubs
history with the Ulsterman bringing Europe and Wembley back into their lives.
A true managerial great has now left the club who must now embark on the difficult task of
replacing the Irish talisman.
A couple of months ago we stumbled across a Monday night game across the river at Aveley. The
game was in the Championship Manager Cup, a trophy for the Ryman's League teams. Eidos had kindly
sponsored the trophy, which on a good day we see 150 people paying to watch a cup tie.
The cup final, played in March was won by Ryman's League One side Leatherhead who beat
Wealdstone from the league above on penalties.
Around 3 months ago and during the summer as well to a degree, many people were getting
premonitions of Manchester United on a decline. Some of these people also predicted a decline when
Robson, Cantona, Keane and van Nistelrooy left. Yet we survived each and every time, coming roaring
back to win all before and behind us.
Not so long ago a Paul Scholes interview was as rare as the words 'excellent tackler' being
attributed to the age-defying midfielder, but those who caught yesterday's Community Shield action
on the tele would have seen the Salford-born United man spare a few moments for Sky Sports' Geoff
Shreeves as he deservedly received his Man of the Match bubbly.
England boss Fabio Capello appeared to be lost in translation at the World Cup after his
instructions of how to play winning football failed to reach the players but he certainly has got
the message this weekend that he has lost the respect of the England dressing room.
Before being omitted from the squad, Jermain Defoe claimed the England players were hungry to
make amends but it has been the players not considered good enough to make his 23-man squad for the
tournament this summer to publicly embarrass the Italian by retiring from international duty AFTER
being selected for the friendly on Wednesday.
It's almost here.Â The shiny new SPL season starts this Saturday, the 14th of August.Â After a
summer spent grimly watching a poor World Cup (although at least we could rejoice in England's
misery) and listening to increasingly tedious and unimaginative transfer reports (Barca and
Fabregas; Man City and EVERYONE), us Scottish football fans are about to be relieved of our boredom
by the unquestionably exciting and technically accomplished exploits of Scotland's finest football
Italian giant Inter Milan seem to have lost interest in the Argentinean midfielder Javier
Masch had made it clear that he wants to reunite with Rafael Benitez at San Siro and even
learned Italian during the World Cup this summer. This week the Inter President Massimo Moratti
decided that â‚¬30 million was too expensive now that Maicon is off the market.
In one week the opening matches of the 2010/11 Premier League season will have taken place.
Usually this is a time for fans to place under the microscope their respective clubs' new summer
signings, hoping for at least one marquee player who is going to lead the club to new glory in the
With the Emirates Cup now taken care of, and only a trip to Poland between now and the start of
the Premier League season, the Arsenal squad is starting to take shape. Of course you've got the
likes of Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen, three players who will need to be at
the peak of their powers if the Gunners are to mount a serious assault on the major honors this
season, but I want to focus on those who will be trying to establish themselves in the squad for
that opening trip to Anfield.
With Aston Villa looking for 30 million pounds for James Milner, Manchester city paying 20+
million for Joleon Lescott and Manchester City paying 25 million pounds for Adebayor in recent few
years, it shows that the days of paying 3.6 million pounds for players the quality of Roy Keane and
It is a very bad idea to draw conclusions from the opening day of the season. Here we go:
1. An open division
You could dismiss all the upsets as opening day madness but they may be a sign of things to come.
No team in this division stands far above the rest; expect more confusion and
We are getting close to the beginning of the most exclusive football league in the world. Well,
so people say. Huge amount of money, spotlight, scandal, talented players, brilliant managers,
deep-pocket club's owners, kick and rush, exciting atmosphere and enthusiastic spectators are some
of many reasons why it's always interesting to watch the Premier League.
BBC Sport says that Manchester City hope to complete deals for Aston Villa's James
Milner and Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli by Thursday.
Analysis: It would have been ideal to have both signed up by the end of this weekend so
that they could already be well acclimated and integrated into their new team ahead of next
weekend's season opener, but if they're both signed up by Thursday, we should see them both on the
pitch come on Sunday at Tottenham.
Last season's domestic double winners, Chelsea, took on Manchester United in their annual
pre-season friendly.Â Some call it "The Community Shield."Â I prefer to call it "the gigantic
piece of metal that Roy Keane once raised over his head without cracking a smile.
The start of another Premier League campaign beckons and Manchester United have bagged their
first piece of silverware after a 3-1 victory over Chelsea captured their 18th Charity/Community
Shield. As the likes of Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov went about their
business with a point or two to prove it was the veteran Paul Scholes who played the integral role
in The Red Devils victory.
Every football fan remembers their first childhood hero. The reason they fell in love with the
beautiful game and quiet often the main factor that determined what football club they began to
support. Â That player for yours truly, was Roberto Baggio and with the return to Calcio this week
of â€˜Il Divin Codino' the feelings of both nostalgia and hope entered my mind.
Finally, it appears to have been settled. Francesc FÃ¡bregas i Soler, to give him his
full name, has been persuaded to give Arsenal another chance to keep their marriage interesting,
while Arsenal will forgive the infidelity of his glances towards Barcelona, for the sake of the
One year back, at the start of last season, we saw Liverpool finish 2nd behind Manchester United
by 4 points and appear as genuine title contenders. Rafael Benitez who was into his new 5-year
contract with Liverpool, along with a few stars of the club, claimed that the next season could
very well be the time they won the premier league.
West Ham United have announced the signing of New Zealand international defender Winston
Reid, 22, has been signed from Danish Superliga club FC Midtjylland for an undisclosed fee. HeÂ
played in this years World Cup and scored a memorable stoppage-time goal for his country to secure
a draw with Slovakia.
According to Sky Sports, Celtic could soon make a move for Birmingham forward James
Aiden McGeady is currently mulling over a 10m move to Spartak Moscow, and even if he doesn't
make the move to Russia, it looks highly unlikely that he'll be at Celtic Park when the summer
transfer window closes, with the likes of Aston Villa also interested in the Ireland
The agent of Juventus midfielder Christian Poulsen is confident that his client
will complete a switch to Liverpool next week.
The former Sevilla and Schalke star has been heavily linked with Liverpool recently as Roy
Hodgson looks to a future without Javier Mascherano, and earlier in the week, Hodgson confirmed
that he was interested in the tough-tackling Dane.
Emiliano Insua may have missed out on a move to Fiorentina, but it looks like he could still yet
make a Serie A switch this month. According to Sky Sports Italia, Genoa have been in talks over a
deal for the Liverpool left back.
Insua looked all but set to depart last week, as Fiorentina had agreed a fee with Liverpool for
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed speculation that Ashley Cole will leave the club
for Real Madrid and be replaced at left back by Benfica's Fabio Coentrao.
With Cole's private life garnering more headlines in the British press than his performances on
the pitch, there has been speculation that the England international could seek a fresh start in a
On Monday, May 31st 2010, Jose Mourinho had officially signed a 4-year-contract with Real
Madrid. Florentino Perez's interest in bringing Jose Mourinho to Santiago Bernabeu is closely
related to the series of success which this 47-year-old coach has achieved. Jose Mourinho presented
the Champions League title to Porto, ended a Premier League's title drought for Chelsea for over 50
years and certainly the most spectacular was bringing Inter Milan won the treble last season.
Liverpool Football Club. Even just the name sends a tinkle down the spine.
In what has been a turbulent twelve months for the Merseysiders with the change of management,
player unrest and off field antics involving two American owners, you get a sense of fresh optimism
growing within the Liverpool camp.
Think you know the Premier League? Of course you do. Everyone does. But now you have the chance
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Manchester United superstar Wayne Rooney believes the Premier League has never been harder to
The Englishman believes that United will have more tough opponents to deal with than ever, and
Rooney relishes the challenge of fending of Manchester City and Tottenham as well as the other big
teams including Chelsea and Arsenal to regain the crown.
In 1953 Garrincha was a 19 year-old man who signed for Rio's top club of Botafogo FR. In his
first training session Garrincha put the ball between the legs of experience national team defender
Kenny Huang, a Chinese businessman, has reportedly told Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson that
should the ownership bid be successful, any transfer would be possible, including Barcelona star
The Daily Star has revealed that Roy will be given the freedom to pursue any player he would
like to make a Liverpool player.
Since Rafael Da Silva made his debut for Manchester United in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford against
Newcastle back in August 2008 he has been earmarked as one of the best young gems the game has had
to offer in recent times. Brave on and off the ball, Rafael is never one to shy away from making
hard-hitting tackles or make lung-busting runs, ones which have made Gary Neville a legend at Old
A vibrant, effervescent performance last night saw Liverpool officially book their place in the
play-off round of the Europa League. It must be stressed at the outset that the opposition would
struggle to beat a League 1 side. But nevertheless, an Anfield just over two-thirds full would have
been pleased to see signs of real promise for the future.
Last season was a humbling experience for Arsenal fans. Cruelly hoodwinked by the cosmic beauty
of their team's play, the Gunners faithful winced painfully as their hopes were smashed to
smithereens by the powerful productivity of their three biggest enemies Barcelona, Manchester
United and Chelsea.
After the huge fuss of England's appalling showing in South Africa, the FA started another long
and tedious review of how our national game should be run, what is the future of the academy at
Burton and who should eventually succeed Fabio Capello when he eventually leaves. The upshot was
that we need an Englishman in charge of our national game.
Liverpool are, as we all know, the most successful team in English football history. 18 league
titles, 5 European Cups, 7 FA Cups and 7 League Cups. They are only behind the giant clubs of Real
Madrid and AC Milan in the European trophy count. They've had some world class players down through
According to the Liverpool Daily Post, Barcelona could make a move for Everton midfielder
Mikel Arteta after hitting brick wall after brick wall with their pursuit of
Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas.
The â€˜will he, won't he?' speculation about Fabregas moving to Barcelona has been arguably the
top transfer story of the summer, with the speculation seemingly changing by the day, but the core
facts remain the same Arsenal haven't budged, and they won't be budging unless something
Italian club Genoa have officially unveiled their latest recruit Miguel Veloso. The 24 year old
has been heavily linked with a host of top European sides for a number of seasons but it is The
Rossoblu who has grabbed his signature from Sporting Lisbon.
The highly rated anchorman will cost the Italians â‚¬9 million with Alberto Zapater moving in
the opposite direction.
Argentina team director Carlos Bilardo has refused to close the door on the possible return of
Diego Maradona as head coach.
Maradona, considered a legend across his home country, hasn't had his contract renewed by the
AFA as yet. The decision has come as a surprise to many, with the national side previously being
stated one of the favorites for world domination in South Africa, but eventually fell to an
impressive German side during the quarter finals.
As the start of the 2010/2011 Premier League season approaches the next few weeks the nation's
football fans will begin to fill out their score predictions and try and predict how the 20 teams
involved will perform this season. Every season has overachievers and underachievers.
Will this be the season where Manchester City break into the top 4?
Liverpool is "Worthless."
At least their stock is. A Hong Kong-based sovereign wealth fund hoping to take over financially
troubled Liverpool have deemed the club's stock "worthless." In related news, the fund also deemed
Ryan Babel, Lucas Leiva, and Jamie Carragher (World Cup version) "worthless.
There have already been two new additions to the Manchester United roster this transfer window,
but are young up and comers Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling really the only two fresh faces
required in the current Manchester United squad?
While I have the utmost confidence in the managerial experience Sir Alex Ferguson boasts, I am a
little unconvinced by the lack of quality players being seriously courted by the Red Devil's
Brazilian midfielder Ramires is close to completing a Â£17 million move to Chelsea, according to
The 23 year-old was featured in Brazil's World Cup side in South Africa earlier this summer,
during which he pulled off some rather impressive appearances. He's reportedly due to undergo a
medical sometime today, and should complete his move from Benfica by the end of the week.
On August 11th, England will face Hungary in the first match since crashing out of the World Cup
against Germany. The failings of the team, the problems with the formation and the managerial
situation has been talked to death since the country's exit but for the team to move forward there
must be a line drawn under what happened in South Africa.
In what can only be seen as an incredible fall from grace, it is unbelievable how over a period
of four years, the 2006 World Cup Champions have gone from producing stunning displays of
disciplined and tactically sound football, to finishing bottom of their group and becoming only the
second defending champions to be knocked out in the group stage alongside 1998 World Champions
France who crashed out in the group stages in 2002.
It was the summer of 2007. Manchester United had just won another title and they wanted to claim
the initiative for the upcoming season by making several marquee signings. Tevez, Hargreaves and
Nani were all brought through the Old Trafford doors.
And then along came a lesser known Brazilian by the name of Anderson (or Anderson LuÃs de Abreu
Oliveira to give him his full name).
A second, successive excellent pre-season display by Arsenal's 18 year old prodigy Jack Wilshere
has prompted Arsene Wenger to suggest that he is ready for an international call-up. This leads me
to ask whether:
Wilshere is ready for an England call-up?
Wilshere would benefit more from another loan move, or continued tutelage under Wenger's
Dimitar Berbatov's dip in performances levels have been so dramatic since he set the premiership
a light in his first two seasons at White Hart Lane compared to well two mediocre at best seasons
for Manchester United.
Since he's move from Tottenham many of United's fans have had no problem displaying there
disdain for the Bulgarians style of play which at times he can look very lackadaisical considering
he is the club most expensive buy in its long and highly dramatic history.
Cardiff City manager Dave Jones has confirmed the club are looking to sign Tony Kallio, Gregory
Vignal and Martin John, with all three impressing during their trials in South Wales, but insisted
nothing will happen until a transfer embargo is lifted by The Football League.
Jones said, on the club's official website:
"They've been in with us over the week and we've been running the rule over them.
Manchester United midfielder Anderson has been pulled from a burning car unconscious, according
The crash, which occurred on Saturday in Portugal, saw the Brazilian sent to hospital after
sustaining minor injuries, being released several hours later. Two others, a man and a women, are
thought to have been in the Audi R8 with the 22 year-old when it hit a brick wall, before landing
in a field.
Raul bagged a brace for his new club as Schalke came from a goal down to beat German champions
Bayern Munich in the Liga Total Cup final.
Raul's predatory instincts are still well intact as he leveled for The Miners after they went a
goal down to Deniz Mujic's opener. Raul tapped the ball into an empty net after Edu's long rang
effort trickled off the post and into the path of the prolific Spaniard.
Fulham Football Club has demanded that Sir Dave Richards, the Premier League chairman, to be
denied involvement in any future transfers or be removed from his position due to the failed
transfer of Peter Crouch to Craven Cottage.
The Whites have taken Richards to court as they accuse him of scuppering Crouch's move from
Portsmouth to West London in favor of a move to Tottenham Hotspur last summer.
It's one of the biggest arguments all non Manchester United fans have against United, that none
of United's fans are from Manchester and that where all glory hunting supporters that don't truly
follow the club, well here's my retaliation in defence of myself and United's foreign fans all
around the globe.
Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini has insisted that his side will end the 2010-2011 season
with a new trophy in the Manchester City cabinet.
The 45 year-old who joined the blue team from Manchester after the sacking of Mark Hughes is
keen on silverware after spending millions on new players like Yaya Toure, David Silva, Aleksander
Kolarov, and Jerome Boateng.
Barcelona striker David Villa has revealed that Spain teammate and fellow strike partner might
leave Liverpool for one reason, and that is lack of title wins.
Fernando Torres, who has been linked with moves to Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester
United, has been Liverpool's main man in attack, and although providing goals, the World Cup winner
has failed to lift a title in Liverpool colors.
Werder Bremen play maker and World Cup semi-finalist Mezut Ozil has revealed that he would not
say no to a move to Premier League powerhouses Manchester United or Chelsea.
The 21 year-old enjoyed a sensational World Cup with Germany, and helped his team reach the
semi-finals in South Africa and has been linked with a move to Spanish Giants Real Madrid and
Barcelona, as well as Manchester United and Chelsea in England.
Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder believes his former coach will be in England in the
The World Cup finalist thinks Jose Mourinho will follow Sir Alex Ferguson and take over the Red
Devils when the Scot does put an end to his legendary managerial career, knowing that the Premier
League is the Portuguese's favorite league in football and is hoping to return to England one
Every World Cup a player comes out of nowhere to take the world by storm and become the next big
thing. This year that privilege was taken byÂ Mesut Ozil. Ever since the World Cup the transfers
story about Mesut have been coming in from every direction. One minute Chelsea are the favorites to
sign him the next Real Madrid are.
This transfer window so far has been fascinating! With the expected rumors that naturally come
with a world cup year, so far there has been little substance to it. Of course Manchester City and
Barcelona are knee deep in the market pursuing whoever they choose, but they could well be buying
for the sake of it.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini could lose out again on Joe Hart for the season, with
the England international considering another loan move if he isn't placed as the number one
goalkeeper at Eastlands for the upcoming season.
Hart, who was included in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad this year, spent last season at
Birmingham City due to the arrival of Shay Given.
The Turkish side, Trabzonspor, is said to be a "tricky" side as they found out that they will be
the opponents of Liverpool in the play-offs. Aston Villa will have to travel to Austria to meet
Rapid Vienna and Manchester City will be facing the Romanian side FC Timisoara.
Scottish sides Celtic, Dundee United and Motherwell will take on Utrecht, AEK Athens and Odense
respectively whereas CSKA Sofia will face the Welsh side The New Saints.