SoccerLens Archives for January 2011

The 2011 Cosmos Copa tournament set to kick-off on July 9th

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The 2011 Cosmos Copa tournament set to kick-off on July 9th - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The annual Cosmos Copa is once again on the horizon with 16 ebullient teams gunning for glory. In what will be its third consecutive year, the tournament is one of the most prominent amateur adult soccer tournaments in the United States.

Arsenal 125 Year Anniversary Away Kit Revealed

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Arsenal 125 Year Anniversary Away Kit Revealed - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

After the leaked images suggested that Arsenal 2011/2012 away kit will be blue, that is exactly what it has turned out to be.

The Nike manufactured shirt is diagonally divided into turquoise blue and navy blue.

Scoring Stats – Europe’s key forwards

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Scoring Stats Europe's key forwards - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

A scoring stat is defined as any goal or assist and through this combination we have so far investigated how reliant certain clubs across Europe are on star individuals. So which players actually contributed the most to the success of their teams in season 2010-2011?

Can Thiago Alcantara force way into Barca reckoning after committing long-term future?

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Can Thiago Alcantara force way into Barca reckoning after committing long-term future? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Thiago Alcantara has signed a two-year contract extension at Barcelona subsequently warding off any potential suitors. After impressing in Spain's European Under-21 Championship triumph, speculation had arose that interest from Italy and England had surfaced.

Copa America 2011 Preview

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Copa America 2011 Preview - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

This Friday (1st July) the eyes of South America will turn to La Plata, Argentina, as the host nation take on Bolivia in the opening match of the much awaited Copa America, a tournament that will showcase some of the most talented individual players on the planet.

Europe’s top shot-stoppers – are Cech and Casillas slipping?

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Europe's top shot-stoppers are Cech and Casillas slipping? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It is fallacy that a goalkeeper's worth is measured in statistics. They can be measured only through very few statistics goals conceded, shots faced, clearances or saves made or finally, a combination of all of the above.

How the mighty have fallen: Unexpected relegations

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How the mighty have fallen: Unexpected relegations - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Argentine giants River Plate are enduring the bleakest period in its 110 year existence after succumbing to what seemed nothing more than an improbable assumption, relegation to the second tier of their domestic game.

Football on Mars

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Football on Mars - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

How would you play football on Mars?

A trio of University of Leicester undergraduates have studied just that, looking at how the reduced Martian gravity and light conditions would alter the dynamics of a football game.

In what is effectively a very limited (2-page) study, the authors primarily look at how the reduced Martian gravity and atmosphere would mean that not only 'hit' footballs would travel four times the distance on Earth, but that the lack of air resistance would reduce the player's ability to 'bend' the ball.

United spend 50m before July 1st, but who will they sign for central midfield?

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United spend 50m before July 1st, but who will they sign for central midfield? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United have taken their spending to 50m in the close season as David De Gea flew in today to undergo his medical, making him the third player to be signed in this transfer window by the 19-time English champions.

Why Arsenal should keep Fabregas for one more year

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Why Arsenal should keep Fabregas for one more year - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Today's stories of 'Arsenal likely to sell Fabregas to Barcelona' are founded on this cute little exchange between Dan Roan (BBC) and his Arsenal source:

When asked about Barcelona's transfer offer for Cesc Fabregas, the senior Arsenal official said:

"The offer was made formally in writing to our chief executive (Ivan Gazidis), and we said no straight away.

Spain’s era of dominance may have only just begun

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Spain's era of dominance may have only just begun - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Always the perennial underachievers, the last few years have seen that theory put to bed. Though the senior team went out in the second round in the 2006 world cup, their previous group performances were electric and a sign of things to come, only hiccuping when faced with a certain purple patch conjured by the majestic Zinedine Zidane and assisted by a blatant dive from the then golden boy Thierry Henry.

Looking back at the 2011 Gold Cup

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Looking back at the 2011 Gold Cup - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Mexico is king of CONCACAF for another two years and there's no second guessing this time. After beating a US "B" team in the 2009 final, El Tri demolished the best the US had to offer in an entertaining 4-2 final Saturday.

André Villas Boas: Chelsea’s Mourinho Rebound

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André Villas Boas: Chelsea's Mourinho Rebound - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It's as though José Mourinho never left. Though comparisons between Chelsea's new Portuguese manager and his mentor are rife to the point of becoming clichéd, it is true to some extent that there is a 'new Mourinho' at Chelsea.

GOLD CUP: Mexico outclass US

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GOLD CUP: Mexico outclass US - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Saturday night LA was draped in green as Mexico dominated the US 4-2 to claim the Gold Cup finale. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead early the US looked to have a magic touch. But Mexico, sensing weakness on the Yanks left side, unleashed their dangerous set of attackers and made the US pay scoring four unanswered on their way to the Cup and a spot in the 2013 Confederations Cup tournament.

GOLD CUP: Primer for US-Mexico finale

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GOLD CUP: Primer for US-Mexico finale - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

In 24 hours we'll know how the latest edition of CONCACAF's best rivalry went down as another US-Mexico Gold Cup finale is upon us. With previews and analysis filling the internet there's a number of issues and storylines being written about.

GOLD CUP: Anticipated finale materializes as US and Mexico hold serve

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GOLD CUP: Anticipated finale materializes as US and Mexico hold serve - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

OK CONCACAF and Gold Cup coordinators you can exhale. It looked rocky at times but all your worry was for nothing. The dream final is set for Saturday and after Wednesday's matches the US and Mexico look to be a more of an even talent level than anyone would have predicted a week ago.

Same Old England…Always Losing

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Same Old England...Always Losing - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Before the European Championships, Stuart Pearce was given the assignment to prepare England's under 21′s for what life would be like as part of the full national side. By crashing out at the group stage in a blaze of glorious failure, Pearce has managed to pass the test in flying colours.

GOLD CUP: Notes on the Semifinal

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GOLD CUP: Notes on the Semifinal - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

With the Gold Cup semifinals taking place in Houston I got the chance to get some notes from the teams during their press and training day Tuesday. The general consensus was that the teams all respect each other and feel the competition level is the highest it's been in the tournament for quite some time.

Andre Villas-Boas to bring youthful exuberance and flair to Chelsea

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Andre Villas-Boas to bring youthful exuberance and flair to Chelsea - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Andre Villas-Boas will become the seventh Chelsea manager in the same number of years as owner Roman Abramovich activated his staggeringly high release clause totalling £13.3 million from FC Porto.

Jack Warner “hung out to dry”, resigns from FIFA

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Jack Warner "hung out to dry", resigns from FIFA - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The President of the CONCACAF and Vice President of FIFA Jack Warner has stepped down from his role at FIFA three weeks after threatening to "unleash a tsunami" on football's governing body. Trinidadian Warner was implicated in allegations of facilitating bribery within the ranks of the World's most powerful sporting organisation.

European Goalkeeping Trends – by the numbers

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European Goalkeeping Trends by the numbers - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

101 goalkeepers made over ten starts in Europe's four major leagues during season 2010-12. Another fifty-six made at least one start in either the English Premiership, La Liga, the Bundesliga or Serie A. So after thirty eight games (thirty-four in Germany), which goalkeeper is best?

GOLD CUP: Panama king in penalties in win over El Salvador

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GOLD CUP: Panama king in penalties in win over El Salvador - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

For the second time this weekend a Gold Cup quarterfinal was decided in penalty kicks. This time it was Panama who came out on top 5-3 after they played El Salvador to a 120 minute 1-1 draw.

The match had everything you could ask for in a match; theatrics, late goals, physicality, red cards and then the suspense at the end.

Kewell the answer to A-League’s Marquee Question?

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Kewell the answer to A-League's Marquee Question? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Hyundai A-League and by extension, the Football Federation of Australia reels from one crisis to another. If it's not declining crowd numbers, owners threatening to close stands rather than see empty seats, franchises folding, disastrous World Cup bids (corruption or not) or even stars entering fan forums, then it's clubs failing to take advantage of the league's generous marquee player policy.

GOLD CUP: U.S. rise to challenge in 2-0 win over Jamaica

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GOLD CUP: U.S. rise to challenge in 2-0 win over Jamaica - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

There were a number of questions facing the U.S. heading into their Gold Cup quarterfinal against Jamaica. A regional power that was considered by some to be an underdog, the U.S. entered the match as a team struggling to finish and without their best player Landon Donovan in the starting lineup.

GOLD CUP: Mexico & Honduras advance in tight contests

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GOLD CUP: Mexico & Honduras advance in tight contests - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

We now know one of Wednesday's semi-final match ups. After two hotly contested matches Mexico and Honduras survived the first round of the Gold Cup knockout stages and will meet Wednesday in Houston for a spot in the finale.

GOLD CUP: Reason to worry for one-time favorite U.S. squad

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GOLD CUP: Reason to worry for one-time favorite U.S. squad - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

On the day of the U.S.' Gold Cup quarterfinal against Jamaica it's seems like ages since the 2010 World Cup. Despite a tough extra time elimination at the hands of Ghana, the U.S. soccer program was riding high coming home from South Africa.

GOLD CUP: FIFA rules Mexico can replace suspended players

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GOLD CUP: FIFA rules Mexico can replace suspended players - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It looks like the El Tri's Gold Cup doping issue has reached a conclusion. Days after the five players were given clean test results from a June 10 sample FIFA has ruled that Mexico can replace the five players they removed from the squad.

Why Barcelona Beat Manchester United in This Year’s Champion’s League Final

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Why Barcelona Beat Manchester United in This Year's Champion's League Final - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC went to battle at Wembley for the 2010/2011 Champions League on 28 May, the Spanish giants running the English champion's ragged in a 3-1 victory.

Steve McClaren back in English football hoping to inspire Forest renaissance

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Steve McClaren back in English football hoping to inspire Forest renaissance - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It has been 1305 days since Steve McClaren stood sombrely alone clutching the handle of an umbrella on a rain-sodden night at Wembley as the England national team failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championships – beaten at home by Croatia.

GOLD CUP: Role reversal on one side of Gold Cup bracket

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GOLD CUP: Role reversal on one side of Gold Cup bracket - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Sunday's quarterfinal matches show just how imprecise predictions can be. Teams that were considered to be favorites in the Gold Cup coming in are now underdogs and an unlikely group winner looks to continue a good run.

Alex McLeish is a big gamble for Aston Villa

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Alex McLeish is a big gamble for Aston Villa - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Looking beyond the city rivalry, there's plenty of ammunition for Villa fans to suggest that 'Big Eck' is not the right man for the job.

Alex McLeish has won just 26% of his games as a Premier League manager, so far no Aston Villa manager with more than five games in charge has posted such a low percentage.

Is Gervinho the right man for Arsenal?

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Is Gervinho the right man for Arsenal? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsène Wenger is on the hunt for a striker who could help the Gunners end a trophy drought that has stretched from 2005, and their main target is Ivory Coast international, Gervinho who was instrumental for Lille in their Ligue 1 title campaign last term:

Gervinho in Ligue 1

Gervinho - Lille

2010-11

Appearances

35

Minutes On Pitch

2849

Goals

15

Mins per goal

190

Shots

78

Shots On Target

42

Shooting Accuracy

54%

Chance Conversion

19%

Touches per game

40

Goal Assists

10

Key Passes

36

Total Passes

786

Pass Completion %

79%

Dribbles & Runs

199

Dribble Completion %

37%

Gervinho was the only player to reach double figures in both goals scored (15, his highest season tally in professional football) and assists made (10) in Ligue 1, joining a group of only seven more players who did so amongst the top-5 European Leagues:

Goals and Assists – top-5 European leagues (2010-11)

Player

Team

Goals

Assists

Total

Ronaldo

Real Madrid

40

11

51

Messi

Barcelona

31

18

49

Gervinho

Lille

15

10

25

Ibrahimovic

Milan

14

11

25

Müller

FC Bayern München

12

11

23

Drogba

Chelsea

11

13

24

Rooney

Manchester United

11

11

22

Vidal

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

10

11

21

Since his arrival in Ligue 1 in 2007/08, Gervinho has made more successful dribbles than any other player in the French top flight.

What can Javier Pastore bring to Chelsea?

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What can Javier Pastore bring to Chelsea? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

One of the Premier League's usual big spenders, Chelsea will be eager to redeem themselves having failed to claim a trophy in 2010/11. The pressure on the new manager will be immense, especially as owner Roman Abramovich appears willing to pay over £40m for Argentinean attacking midfielder, Javier Pastore.

Who needs Alexis Sanchez more – Manchester United or Manchester City?

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Who needs Alexis Sanchez more Manchester United or Manchester City? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

One of the hottest names in this transfer window is Chilean International star, Alexis Sanchez.

After leading Udinese to a historical qualification to the Champions League, scoring 12 goals (his best ever goalscoring tally in a single season) and providing six assists, "El Niño Maravilla" looks mature enough to step up to one of Europe's big boys; he appears to be in the midst of a tussle for his services between both Manchester clubs; City and United (along with a host of top European clubs as Udinese hawk their player to the highest bidder.

When Transfers Go Wrong: 11 Players The Premier League Will Never Forget

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When Transfers Go Wrong: 11 Players The Premier League Will Never Forget - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United and Liverpool have both be criticised for over paying for players, however, what about those clubs that got it totally wrong? Here are 11 of the worst signings from recent Premier League history.

GOLD CUP: U.S. pair to attend weddings while Mexico receive retests results

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GOLD CUP: U.S. pair to attend weddings while Mexico receive retests results - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

With the Gold Cup taking a break before the quarterfinals begin Saturday afternoon there's some down time for the teams to settle in, rest and reboot for the start of the knockout stages.

GOLD CUP: Previewing Mexico v. Guatemala & Costa Rica v. Honduras

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GOLD CUP: Previewing Mexico v. Guatemala & Costa Rica v. Honduras - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Eight teams are left standing in the Gold Cup. With two good matches and teams such as Mexico and Jamaica playing good football, the bracket is set up to be a good battle on one side and a battle to try and stop the freight train that is Mexico on the other.

Manchester United enter the race to sign Alexis Sanchez

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Manchester United enter the race to sign Alexis Sanchez - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It seemed a foregone conclusion this time last week that Alexis Sanchez would be ending his fairytale stay at Udinese to seek pastures new in Catalonia with European Champions Barcelona. However, reports emanating from the British tabloids today claim that Manchester United have entered the fray to sign the multi-talented Chilean international

Although there were indications a deal was in place with Barcelona, Bianconeri President Franco Soldati poured cold water on such talk:

"With regards to the statements attributed to be about a supposed transfer of Sanchez to FC Barcelona, I wish to point out these are without foundation.

GOLD CUP: Canada fall at the death and USA overcomes finishing woes to advance

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GOLD CUP: Canada fall at the death and USA overcomes finishing woes to advance - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

There're tough losses and then there's what happened to Canada Tuesday night. Literally a fraction away from securing a spot in the knockout stages Panama pulled off a sobering goal to eliminate the Maple Leafs from the Gold Cup in the early game Tuesday night.

Scoring Stats – European Goal Trends

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Scoring Stats European Goal Trends - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

When we first examined the most important marksmen in the Big Four leagues, we looked at which players in Europe were the most crucial to their teams. This was done according to Scoring Stats, a measure of a player's combined Goals and Assists, measured as a percentage of their team's total league goals for the season.

GOLD CUP: Jamaica makes it a perfect group stage as Gold Cup knockout stage comes into focus

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GOLD CUP: Jamaica makes it a perfect group stage as Gold Cup knockout stage comes into focus - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The consensus before the Gold Cup was this Jamaican team was the best assembled in quite some time. Still they were a popular pick to finish behind Honduras in the group.

Umbro Geometra: Introducing the new football boot for the visionary pass master

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Umbro Geometra: Introducing the new football boot for the visionary pass master - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Umbro has announced a new addition to its football boot range with the launch of Geometra, specifically designed for the visionary in the team, the player who keeps calm on the field and always finds their pass.

GOLD CUP: Mexico continue dominance winning group A

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GOLD CUP: Mexico continue dominance winning group A - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It was suppose to be the toughest test of the Gold Cup for the Mexican national team. It was suppose to be the true barometer for figuring out if El Tri is "for real." A 4-1 win over Costa Rica should put any concerns to rest.

The English Conundrum: Why Social Attitudes Hold Back England’s Tactical Evolution

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The English Conundrum: Why Social Attitudes Hold Back England's Tactical Evolution - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

England versus Switzerland. ITV's typical attempts to wrench a piece of excitement from a fixture which promised as little entertainment as one could ever expect from a competitive international fixture reflected the weariness out on the pitch.

GOLD CUP: Defensive gaffs cost USA & Canada bounces back with win

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GOLD CUP: Defensive gaffs cost USA & Canada bounces back with win - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Its games like this that make you wonder about the U.S. soccer team. With a group C win in their grasp the Yanks dropped a shameful 2-1 result to Panama, putting the team in jeopardy of having a much tougher road to the finals.

GOLD CUP: Surveying the Standings

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GOLD CUP: Surveying the Standings - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Heading into the final round of group stage games I thought it would be a good idea to survey where the teams stand. While group A seems to be a foregone conclusion, groups B and C are much less settled. Teams can still jump from third to first and change the landscape of the knockout rounds.

GOLD CUP: Jamaica book passage to Quarterfinals while Honduras routs Grenada

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GOLD CUP: Jamaica book passage to Quarterfinals while Honduras routs Grenada - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

A night after Mexico clinched their spot in the knockout stage Jamaica parlayed a Friday night victory into a spot joining El Tri in the quarterfinals.

Jamaica overcame Guatemala's physical and disruptive style and took advantage of being up a man to dispatch the Central American nation 2-0 in the night's opening match.

England shouldn’t expect any success in the near future

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England shouldn't expect any success in the near future - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Like myself, all English football fans have been let down in recent years by our regularly under achieving international side. I would like to share my views on why this is the case, and on why I don't see any reason to expect success in the near future.

England shouldn’t expect any success in the near future

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England shouldn't expect any success in the near future - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Like myself, all English football fans have been let down in recent years by our regularly under achieving international side. I would like to share my views on why this is the case, and on why I don't see any reason to expect success in the near future.

Have Liverpool lost the plot?

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Have Liverpool lost the plot? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

There was widespread optimism around Anfield at the end of the season. "King" Kenny Dalglish had returned as manager, masterminding a resurgence that saw Liverpool narrowly miss out on European football. New owners FSG seem to be owners with Liverpool's interests at heart after the shambles of an affair that was the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Have Liverpool lost the plot?

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Have Liverpool lost the plot? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

There was widespread optimism around Anfield at the end of the season. "King" Kenny Dalglish had returned as manager, masterminding a resurgence that saw Liverpool narrowly miss out on European football. New owners FSG seem to be owners with Liverpool's interests at heart after the shambles of an affair that was the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Gold Cup: Mexico routs Cuba & Costa Rica survive scare

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Gold Cup: Mexico routs Cuba & Costa Rica survive scare - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Note to every team in the Gold Cup: if you play Mexico build a big first half lead if you want to win the match. For the second straight match El Tri played a close first half – this time taking a 1-0 lead over Cuba into the locker room – only to explode in the second half for their second straight 5-0 victory.

Report: Five Mexican National Team Players Removed from Gold Cup for Failed Drug Test

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Report: Five Mexican National Team Players Removed from Gold Cup for Failed Drug Test - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Just hours ahead of their second group stage match against Cuba reports are circulating that five Mexican national team players have failed a drug test and have been removed from the squad pending further investigation.

A new matador making his way to Aston Villa? Roberto Martinez

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A new matador making his way to Aston Villa? Roberto Martinez - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Somewhat ironic that Aston Villa's Hollywood supporter Tom Hanks starred in a film called ‘The Da Vinci Code' where he made more luck at cracking that than he did at predicting the club's new manager.

Why Can’t the Football World Keep Up With Spain?

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Why Can't the Football World Keep Up With Spain? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

As the dust settles on Barcelona's fantastic 3-1 demolition of Manchester United in the Champions League Final, and the national side recently so effortlessly thumped the United States 4-0, one thing is for certain – Spain are the best footballing nation in the world at this moment in time.

Charlton’s Academy – serving the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United

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Charlton's Academy serving the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

As a Charlton fan, the recent news about Carl Jenkinson's move to Arsenal has led me to consider the impressive standard of the Charlton Athletic Academy. With the first team about to embark on their third attempt to get out of League One, the academy itself still seems to mix with the established Premiership outfits.

Liverpool fund Manchester United’s transfer of 16m defender

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Liverpool fund Manchester United's transfer of 16m defender - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool's pursuit of Sunderland's Jordan Henderson has an unwanted side-effect Sunderland are set to use the funds to bring in the Manchester United trio of John O'Shea, Darron Gibson and Wes Brown (collectively priced at 12m) while Manchester United are not only cutting down on their wage bill but also using the Sunderland (Liverpool) funds to pay for their 16m acquisition of Blackburn defender Phil Jones, ironically a player that Liverpool had been chasing (as well as Arsenal and Tottenham).

Arsene Wenger: The Next Move

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Arsene Wenger: The Next Move - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

There was a time when winning trophies was a habit at the Emirates. Or rather, Highbury. Such have been Arsenal's performances that they have failed to win a major trophy since 2005. Not a piece of silverware has been won since moving to their new state of the art stadium and it is surely high time that Aresene Wenger accepted the fact this formula has come undone.

Manchester United Season Review 2010/11: How the Premier League was won

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Manchester United Season Review 2010/11: How the Premier League was won - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United secured their 19th league title recently. James, Chief MUFC Writer for writtenoffside.com, chronicles the highs and the lows of a another memorable season.

Can We Please Just Stick to the Football for Flocks Sake?

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Can We Please Just Stick to the Football for Flocks Sake? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

How long will it take before employees of Manchester United fathom the club is King and they mere pawns? I fear the answer is 'longer than they'll be afforded'.

Public conduct will forever be a subjective topic, but for me, a players behaviour is no business of mine.

Manchester United + 19: The Premier League’s Top Twenty Teams

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Manchester United + 19: The Premier League's Top Twenty Teams - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Over the nineteen year history of the English Premier League, Manchester United can easily claim to be the best team in England. They've won twelve titles five more than the rest of the league put together.

Altidore Leads USA over Canada; Panama take down 10-man Guadeloupe

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Altidore Leads USA over Canada; Panama take down 10-man Guadeloupe - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The USA took the first step towards returning to the Confederations Cup getting their Gold Cup campaign off to a positive start Tuesday night.

Putting in a workmanlike effort the USA took care of opening round business with a 2-0 victory over a very game Canadian squad Tuesday night.

Ronaldo bids farewell to football – His legacy lives on!

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Ronaldo bids farewell to football His legacy lives on! - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

In the mid-90s a striker from Brazil was making tremors throughout the world football as he scored 42 goals in 46 appearances with PSV Eindhoven.

His journey continued from there to Barcelona to Inter Milan to Real Madrid and greatness pursued in all the four leagues he played in.

Potential departures of Lille’s main playmakers

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Potential departures of Lille's main playmakers - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Winning the French championship brought jubilation to the streets of Lille. Red and white flags were woven on May 22nd with the double mark emblazoned on them after Lille OSC clinched their first league title since 1954 with a 2-2 draw against Paris St.

Manchester United: The 2010-2011 Academy Season

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Manchester United: The 2010-2011 Academy Season - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United's Academy collect their 10th FA: Youth Cup Trophy, with fledglings that some  are daring to suggest could be the next 'Class of 92′........

If I asked the majority of United fans ‘what's been the most disappointing moment of the season?

Capello’s Umbrella Moment Looms After Selection Folly

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Capello's Umbrella Moment Looms After Selection Folly - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Fabio Capello earns 6 million pounds a year. That's £500,000 a month, over £115,000 a week and nearly £16,500 a day. There were nearly 85,000 people at Wembley on Saturday to watch England's lacklustre performance in their 2-2 draw with Switzerland, and the majority of them could only dream of earning in a year what Capello earns in a week.

2011 Summer Preview: Barnet transfer for Rooney, Tottenham’s new sponsors, Chelsea’s unsackable manager and more

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2011 Summer Preview: Barnet transfer for Rooney, Tottenham's new sponsors, Chelsea's unsackable manager and more - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Thanks to Twitter,the green light for the "Silly Season" to start has been well and truly lit. As we head for the sun, tabloids and social media sites are preparing to fill inches with nonsense, here are a few of the stories which will have us pulling our hair out.

Sepp Blatter calls on opera star to aid FIFA

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Sepp Blatter calls on opera star to aid FIFA - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has asked Spanish opera star Placido Domingo to join a new advisory committee set up to aid the decisions of FIFA itself. Domingo will join Dutch football legend Johann Cruyff and former American secretary of state Henry Kissinger to sit on the ‘council of wisdom' at football's main governing body.

Jamaica Stakes Early Claim to Gold Cup Group B

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Jamaica Stakes Early Claim to Gold Cup Group B - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Jamaica sent a statement Monday night that they're a force to be reckoned with in group B while popular favorite Honduras played to a less than stellar 0-0 draw against rival Guatemala Monday night at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles.

Probable contenders for Villa Park hotseat

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Probable contenders for Villa Park hotseat - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Gerard Houllier's mutual departure from Aston Villa last week has left us all guessing as to who will take over the reins at Villa Park. Normally we would have a fair idea as to who that will be, but at the moment it is anyone's guess who will be implemented by Chairman Randy Lerner.

West Ham go Route One back to Premier League

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West Ham go Route One back to Premier League - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Messrs. Gold and Sullivan have stumbled from bad decision to ludicrous decision since taking over at West Ham but they may well have struck gold with the appointment of Big Sam. The quickest form of transport is through the sky and that's why Allardyce's long ball football could provide the Hammers with an instant return to the topflight.

Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs: where will Scott Parker end up?

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Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs: where will Scott Parker end up? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Scott Parker's admission that he wants to leave West Ham for the Premier League will have piqued the interest of many top clubs. The three sides thought to be heading the queue are Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham, so here are the cases for and against the England midfielder joining each of them.

Under-21 Euro 2011: Players To Watch

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Under-21 Euro 2011: Players To Watch - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

With no senior tournament for Europe this summer, it is the chance for the next generation to shine. Here are eleven youngsters hoping to catch the eye at the forth coming 2011 Under 21 European Championships in Denmark.

Costa Rica & Mexico Roll in Gold Cup Openers

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Costa Rica & Mexico Roll in Gold Cup Openers - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

On the first day of Gold Cup action Mexico and Costa Rica confirmed what many already knew: they're the class of group A.

With a pair of 5-0 wins, Costa Rica and Mexico put on dominant showings – in Mexico's case for 45 minutes – getting both teams off to a great start in their quest for CONCACAF dominance.

Tevez: Manchester City have told me I can leave

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Tevez: Manchester City have told me I can leave - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has revealed that the club's multi-billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour has told him he can leave the club if that is to make him happy.

The Argentine international has been very unsteady throughout the season and now well into the transfer period, and with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and AC Milan reportedly sighting the 27-year-old, Tevez has long been interested in a move away from Eastlands.

Why Mark Hughes was wrong to leave Fulham

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Why Mark Hughes was wrong to leave Fulham - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

For the second season in succession, Fulham find themselves in the difficult situation of searching for a new manager through no volition of their own. Little more than eleven months after Roy Hodgson left the club for his ill-fated stint at the helm of Liverpool, Mark Hughes has decided to activate a clause in his contract meaning that he will depart at the end of the month.

Paul Scholes: a tribute to a player born in the wrong country

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Paul Scholes: a tribute to a player born in the wrong country - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

In the last 15 to 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen — the most complete — is Scholes. I have spoken with Xabi Alonso about this many times. Scholes is a spectacular player who has everything.

USMNT Outclassed by Relentless Spain

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USMNT Outclassed by Relentless Spain - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Bob Bradley has some decisions to make ahead of Gold Cup play.

When the U.S. scheduled today's fixture with Spain they likely felt it would be a good tune up for a team destined to fight it out with Mexico for CONCACAF supremacy in the coming weeks.

So near but yet so far for United

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So near but yet so far for United - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and admit to being second best.It's not something Sir Alex Ferguson is used to doing but Saturday night was an occasion when the great man had to do just that. Barcelona were just too good for Rooney and co.

Swansea’s Sinclair deserving of England call?

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Swansea's Sinclair deserving of England call? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Anointing a youngster "future England regular" is an exercise both in optimism and presumption. There have been several recent nominees for the position future England star from Jermaine Defoe, through Jack Wilshere, Andy Carroll and even Adam Johnson.

Manchester football is better than ever with the youth policy proving effective

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Manchester football is better than ever with the youth policy proving effective - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

A new season breeds new talent. The end of last season saw the retirement of two of the biggest stars at Manchester United in midfield magician Paul Scholes and goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar.

Examining the Gold Cup Group Stage: Who’ll be alive June 18th?

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Examining the Gold Cup Group Stage: Who'll be alive June 18th? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

With the Gold Cup starting Sunday with Costa Rica v. Cuba and Mexico v. El Salvador it's time to take a look at the groups and peek at who are in line to earn the right to get to the knockout stages.

FIFA 12 Official Gameplay Trailer

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FIFA 12 Official Gameplay Trailer - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

We shared some FIFA 12 gameplay screenshots with you earlier this week and now it's turn for the official FIFA 12 gameplay trailer. But first, a short note on what makes FIFA 12 better than previous incarnations and a list of key features:

FIFA 12 Official Blurb

FIFA 12 brings to the pitch the game-changing new Player Impact Engine, a physics engine built to deliver real-world physicality in every interaction on the pitch.

Barcelona have won more doubles than anyone in Europe

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Barcelona have won more doubles than anyone in Europe - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Barcelona rose from a very controversial semifinal against Real Madrid to a very fine performance in the final against Manchester United. A performance that has quietened the outcry of Mourinho-hopefuls against Barca's theatrics in the Bernabeu with a little help from FIFA again.

FIFA 12 Preview & Screenshots

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Soccerlens was invited to an exclusive press preview of FIFA 12 last week and we were some of the lucky few to have a hands on experience of playing the game before its official release.

Well I must say that the new FIFA 12 is pretty cool, they have really gone all out on this one, it has some amazing game features that make the game play very realistic, including a number of key features such as 'precision dribbling', 'tactical defending' and ' Player Impact Engine'.

CONCACAF stars in the shop window at the Gold Cup

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With the CONCACAF Gold Cup just days away from starting there's an opportunity for players from around the region  to use the regional tournament as an individual showcase.

What players can make the most of the opportunity? Here's a look at some players who can profit from a big month of June representing their country and parlay that success to the club level.

Where to now for Blackpool?

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Blackpool's one-season jaunt in the Premiership, perhaps likely always to be record-setting, has come to a close. The Tangerines did set records, but not the ones that many predicted at the start of their top flight campaign. Blackpool boasted the smallest wage bill seen in the EPL for several years as well, capping their players' deals at a (comparatively meagre) ₤10,000 per week.

Zamora and Bent must start for England against Switzerland

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Bobby Zamora fully deserves his call-up to the England squad for the UEFA EURO 2012 Qualifying game against Switzerland, with the Fulham man registering a superior minutes per goal rate in the 2010/11 Premier League to any of the other forwards in Fabio Capello's latest squad.

Zamora has endured an injury-hit season, but in his limited playing time he netted five goals, one more than Spur striker Peter Crouch, despite a more substantial playing time.