SoccerLens Archives for January 2012

Chelsea running out of patience with Torres

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Chelsea running out of patience with Torres - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Fernando Torres has scored just one goal in his last 10 matches (in all competition) and to make matter worse he has had just one shot on target in his last two matches. Things are getting worse by the day for the Spaniard.

Vidic could make shock comeback from injury

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Vidic could make shock comeback from injury - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic could make a shock comeback from injury next week in the club's Champions League match against FC Cluj.

Vidic was expected to be out of action with a knee injury until the New Year but Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that the Serbian defender has returned to training quicker than the club expected.

Arsenal to penalise players for Champions League failure

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Arsenal to penalise players for Champions League failure - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsene Wenger

Arsenal have announced drastic new measures which will see players taking pay cuts for poor Champions League performances.

Arsenal have consistently performed well in the competition since Arsene Wenger took over as manager.

Juventus’ sudden vulnerability throws Serie A open

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Juventus' sudden vulnerability throws Serie A open - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Winning is a habit, we're told. Juventus are finding that losing is too.

While the emphatic victory over Chelsea has raised hopes of a Serie A renaissance in the Champions League, domestically Juve are experiencing an uncharacteristic slump.

Rafael Benitez is underrated

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Rafael Benitez is underrated - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Rafa Benitez in the Chelsea dugout

"Never have a set of fans received so much and reciprocated so little"

Churchill famously didn't say once. He may not have come up with that quote but it's still a very accurate description of Chelsea fans tomorrow.

Ballon d’Or: The link between wealth & talent

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Ballon d'Or: The link between wealth & talent - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Ballon d'Or shortlist has been announced and it's a familiar story with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta in contention to win the highly prestigious award.

Spain continues its domination in this respect which has been enabled by some very lop-sided financial deals in La Liga which enable Real Madrid and Barcelona to splash the cash in terms of the talent they can afford to retain and buy.

FIFPro Questions ‘Blackmailing’ of Key Players

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FIFPro Questions ‘Blackmailing' of Key Players - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

FIFPro, the Trade Union, for global professional football players says clubs need to stop blackmailing key players who refuse to sign new contracts.

FIFPro has suggested that Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder and Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente are two recent examples of players who are being treated unfairly by their clubs as a result of their stance over current contracts.

Palace manager shows discontent with Wenger’s comments on Zaha

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Palace manager shows discontent with Wenger's comments on Zaha - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway


Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has expressed his grievance towards Arsene Wenger's recent comments on Wilfried Zaha.

Palace starlet Zaha has been in the news this season with big clubs across England keeping a close eye on him.

Wallace Reveals he is on the verge of joining Chelsea

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Wallace Reveals he is on the verge of joining Chelsea - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Brazilian full-back Wallace Oliveira dos Santos has claimed that he will be joining European champions Chelsea very soon.

The 18 year old right back has been tracked by a number of clubs across Europe.

Javier Aguirre Takes on Espanyol’s Mission Impossible

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Javier Aguirre Takes on Espanyol's Mission Impossible - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The other Catalan club's new coach Javier Aguirre

Harry Redknapp isn't the only wily veteran to take on a dysfunctional bottom of the table side this week. Javier Aguirre is a master fire-fighter but he's taken on a massive job at Espanyol.

Sacking of Mano Menezes highlights extra demands of Brazil role

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Sacking of Mano Menezes highlights extra demands of Brazil role - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It is difficult to comprehend quite the extent to which Brazil demands World Cup success in 2014. There are two new stadiums being built, four rebuilt and six upgraded at a total cost of £550 million.

Don’t Expect Wenger to Start Splashing the Cash

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Don't Expect Wenger to Start Splashing the Cash - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsene Wenger has given a massive hint that Arsenal will continue to follow a policy of bring through youth players over spending millions via transfers.

Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis recently announced that the club was in a solid position to develop as one of football's financial super powers over the next few years.

Would Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers have been a better manager at Tottenham?

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Would Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers have been a better manager at Tottenham? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has shrugged off talk that he could have taken over as Tottenham Hotspur manager before joining Liverpool.

Fresh reports suggest that Rodgers was approached by Spurs as a possible successor to Harry Redknapp who was sacked from his role with the North London club.

UEFA Proposes 64-Team Champions League – Good Idea or Bad?

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UEFA Proposes 64-Team Champions League Good Idea or Bad? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

UEFA is proposing to scrap the current Europa League format and create a larger Champions League which would see 64 teams taking part.

The Europa League has been criticised in recent weeks for its value and UEFA President Michel Platini has confirmed that the governing body of European football are considering expanding the Champions League to almost double its current size.

Rafa Benitez is confident about winning back Chelsea fans

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Rafa Benitez is confident about winning back Chelsea fans - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

New Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez is hopeful that he can win over the fans with the right results.

The Spaniard was appointed as the manager of the London club after Roman Abramovich unceremoniously sacked Roberto Di Matteo.

Roman Abramovich lacks the minerals of a true leader

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Roman Abramovich lacks the minerals of a true leader - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Roman Abramovich lacks the minerals

Roman Abramovich may have made his fortune from trading in the world's natural resources, but he distinctly lacks the minerals when it comes to managing resources of the human (footballing) variety.

Spurs manager dismisses rumours linking Defoe with QPR

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Spurs manager dismisses rumours linking Defoe with QPR - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas–Boas has dismissed speculations regarding the future of Jermaine Defoe at White Hart Lane.

Jermaine Defoe has been linked with a move to QPR in January after former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp took charge at Loftus Road.

Cabaye out until February

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Cabaye out until February - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Newcastle United have confirmed that club captain and key midfielder Yohan Cabaye will be out until at least February as he needs further surgery on a groin problem.

Newcastle have been on an abysmal run of form which has seen them go through November without a single win in the Premier League.

Liverpool bearing impact of attempt to break even

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Liverpool bearing impact of attempt to break even - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has recently told fans of the club to expect one or two loan deals this January and not big money transfers. The main reason for this being that Liverpool are one of the few clubs committed to the latest break even rules.

Arsenal to get an extra £24m per year from Emirates for shirt sponsorship

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Arsenal to get an extra £24m per year from Emirates for shirt sponsorship - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal will receive £30 million per year until 2019 following the news they have extended their current shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates.

The news means that Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger can expect to look forward to around £60 million in available transfer and surplus funds over the next two seasons before Wenger's current contract expires.

Rodgers and Di Matteo’s differing perceptions

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Rodgers and Di Matteo's differing perceptions - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

When Brendan Rodgers tries it, we are in awe of his ‘fresh and innovative' philosophy on the beautiful game, trying to create from midfield, one-touch passing his way to success.

When Roberto Di Matteo tried it, he lost his job.

England squad depth: November 2012

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England squad depth: November 2012 - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The wake of a friendly is a difficult time to assess the depth of England manager Roy Hodgson's options. He awarded six debutants their first caps against Sweden this month, but hasn't named a full competitive squad for a few weeks so it's tough to make assumptions about his thinking.

Steve Clarke – From the shadows to the Champions League?

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Steve Clarke From the shadows to the Champions League? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Steve Clarke spent years assisting managers, quietly watching miracles and mistakes while taking none of the credit or blame. But today, as his West Bromwich Albion team sit third in the Premier League, it is clear he was learning during every single moment of those tenures.

West Ham set anti-racism benchmark

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West Ham set anti-racism benchmark - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

West Ham have acted quickly to issues lifetime bans to fans involved in anti-Semitic chanting during the Premier League match against Tottenham over the weekend.

The Hammers wasted no time in apologising for their fans after the match and stating that they would deal with the matter swiftly.

Why have West Brom been so successful this season?

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Why have West Brom been so successful this season? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Steve Clark manager of West Brom Albion

West Bromwich Albion have been one of the surprise performers this season in the Premier League. They currently have five point gap over fifth place as they seek to maintain a Champions League slot.

Is Kevin Grosskreutz good enough for Liverpool?

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Is Kevin Grosskreutz good enough for Liverpool? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has come out and suggested that he is not going to have bags of money to spend in January which means the signing of winger Kevin Grosskreutz from Borussia Dortmund could be very realistic, but is he good enough for Liverpool?

Chelsea fans will continue to boo Benitez

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Chelsea fans will continue to boo Benitez - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea Supporters Groups have insisted that they will continue to boo interim manager Rafael Benitez throughout the rest of the season.

The Spaniard was greeted with a less than warm reception for his first game in charge against Manchester City over the weekend and various supporters groups have come out and confirmed that they will not support Benitez and will carry on chanting in favour of Roberto Di Matteo who was sensationally axed last week.

Redknapp lays down the law for QPR

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Redknapp lays down the law for QPR - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The new Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp says his players need to up their effort levels or face life in the reserves.

Redknapp has been brought in as the new manager to replace Mark Hughes who was sacked before the weekend defeat at Manchester United.

What’s wrong with the Premier League elite?

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What's wrong with the Premier League elite? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Premier League has been predictably excellent so far this season, with endless amounts of thrilling games, controversy and drama. The one baffling thing, however, is that barring Everton, last season's top eight are all struggling for form and don't look particularly impressive.

Pardew concerned over Newcastle form

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Pardew concerned over Newcastle form - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Alan Pardew


Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew says he is concerned over the current form of the side.

Newcastle were beaten 2-0 away from home at Southampton over the weekend meaning the club have only managed one point from their four Premier League games this month.

The return of Hernandez and Suarez

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The return of Hernandez and Suarez - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Hernandez and Suarez

In many ways, last season was one best forgotten for Hernandez and Suarez. For very different reasons, neither hit the heights (or the goals) they should have. But this season is a very different story; and they are proving to be two of the most in-form and important players in the league.

FA to investigate abusive chanting against Tottenham by West Ham fans

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FA to investigate abusive chanting against Tottenham by West Ham fans - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The FA is set to investigate reports abusive chanting against Tottenham by West Ham fans in the match over the weekend.

Spurs won the match 3-1 thanks to a brace of goals from former West Ham striker Jermain Defoe.

Typically Benitez: A stalemate with City

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Typically Benitez: A stalemate with City - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Rafael Benitez took control of his first game as Chelsea manager in a 0-0 draw against Manchester City.

Chelsea were already under pressure before the game for the surprise sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and the slight blip in recent league form.

Chelsea Transfers: Possible January targets for Rafa Benitez

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Chelsea Transfers: Possible January targets for Rafa Benitez - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

With the news that Rafael Benitez has taken temporary charge at Stamford Bridge, it makes the Chelsea transfers this January extremely unpredictable.

Here are a few options he may go for:

Falcao

Falcao of Atletico Madrid has been linked with a move to Chelsea for months.

Win games, win the fans – Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea managers look to get back on track

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Win games, win the fans Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea managers look to get back on track - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea v Manchester City It's a baptism of fire for new Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez as his side take on Man City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday (4pm KO, Live on Sky Sports 1) and the visitors look worth a wager at 2.

AC Milan v Juventus: Juve looking to maintain lead over Inter

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AC Milan v Juventus: Juve looking to maintain lead over Inter - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

AC Milan v Juventus
Serie A
San Siro, Milan, Italy
Sunday, November 25, 2012
19:45 GMT

Juventus will be looking to maintain their four point gap over Inter Milan when they travel to the San Siro Stadium to play AC Milan this weekend.

Why Guardiola will never sign for Abramovich

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Why Guardiola will never sign for Abramovich - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Seconds after Wednesday's sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, there was only one name on the lips of Chelsea supporters and at the end of hash tags the world over. Having left arguably the best job – and certainly the best team – in the world, Pep Guardiola was suitably rested and quite possibly ready for that new challenge he's been talking about.

Is it time to say goodbye to the Europa League?

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Is it time to say goodbye to the Europa League? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

No one likes the Europa League.

We may as well get that out of the way now.

Even the clubs involved don't like it; not the ones from England, anyway. For many, it's the League Cup with air miles.

Why Raheem Sterling is the real deal

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Why Raheem Sterling is the real deal - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Mark my words, Raheem Sterling is the real deal. If you are a Manchester United supporter or a non Liverpool supporter for that matter, then I wouldn't blame you for tuning out, as I indulge myself by fawning over the precocious talents of Raheem Sterling during the next few paragraphs.

Mancini’s Manchester City: The laughing stock of Europe

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Mancini's Manchester City: The laughing stock of Europe - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Is it Groundhog Day already? Haven't we seen this movie before? Is there a glitch in the Matrix?

How did Manchester City, the EPL's reigning champions/supposed contenders for Europe's biggest prize, crash out of the Champions League?

The inevitable demise of Jose Antonio Reyes

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The inevitable demise of Jose Antonio Reyes - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

When Jose Antonio Reyes scored the fastest goal in the history of the Seville derby last weekend, snatching that record from opposing manager Pepe Mel in the process, it seemed too good to be true.

Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates during Sevilla's remarkable derby win


When he added another goal and an assist before half time Sevilla fans wondered if they'd died and gone to heaven.

Clattenburg’s Reputation is Permanently Scarred

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Clattenburg's Reputation is Permanently Scarred - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Mark Clattenburg has been cleared by the police and the Football Association of making inappropriate comments to Chelsea players during the Premier League match against Manchester United.

Chelsea claimed that the referee had racially abused two of their players through verbal comments during the 3-2 defeat.

Beckham Could Aid West Ham’s European Dream

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Beckham Could Aid West Ham's European Dream - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

There has been a mass of speculation surrounding the future of David Beckham since he revealed that he will be leaving LA Galaxy after the MLS Cup final on December 1.

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has acted quickly to make it known that West Ham would be interested in signing a fit and healthy David Beckham.

Benitez can Kick Torres into Life

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Benitez can Kick Torres into Life - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Rafael Benitez has been appointed Chelsea boss until the end of the season, hate it or love it Chelsea fans but he's in and he's in to stay.

The biggest immediate change that Benitez can make with Chelsea is how he will interact with under performing striker Fernando Torres.

Chelsea is sack-predictable – Andre Villas Boas

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Chelsea is sack-predictable Andre Villas Boas - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Former Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas believes the Blues' sacking of Roberto Di Matteo was not at all a surprise.

Villas Boas was replaced at Stamford Bridge by the Italian and saw his replacementlead the club to Champions League and FA Cup glory, however, after just three months in full charge Di Matteo received his marching orders by Roman Abramovich following two straight defeats, despite being only four points adrift of the top of the Premier League table.

Chelsea Fans Don’t Want Benitez as Manager

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Chelsea Fans Don't Want Benitez as Manager - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea supporters' groups have moved quickly to make their voices heard over the imminent appointment of Rafael Benitez as temporary Chelsea manager.

It is thought that Chelsea are lining up the former Liverpool boss to take care of the side until the end of the season in similar fashion to how Guus Hiddink took control over the side during the 2008/2009 season.

Lambert Banned From Touchline For Misconduct

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Lambert Banned From Touchline For Misconduct - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has been given a one match touchline ban and an £8,000 fine after admitting a misconduct charge.

The incident refers to comments made following his team's 5-0 defeat at Manchester City last weekend.

Luiz Adriano Charged For Unsporting Behaviour

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Luiz Adriano Charged For Unsporting Behaviour - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano has been charged by UEFA followinga bizarre incident during his club's Champions League tie with Danish team Nordsjaelland.

The Brazilian incensed opposing players and fans when he raced in to score a goal after a team-mate had sportingly kicked the ball back to the goalkeeper following an injury to a Nordsjaelland player.

What do Manchester City need to improve in Europe?

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What do Manchester City need to improve in Europe? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester City have been dumped out of the Champions League group stage for the second season in a row and they need to make major improvements if they want to ever have realistic hopes of winning the competition.

Tykes Go Loan Crazy

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Tykes Go Loan Crazy - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Champions side Barnsley have today completed the double signing of JonathanGreeningand Akos Buzsaky from Nottingham Forest and Portsmouth respectively.

Greening, who's last of only three appearances for Forest this seasonwas back inAugust, will arrive at Oakwell until January 2 with the aim of receiving first team football and provide some valuable experience for the struggling Tykes.

How big a difference do the fans actually make?

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How big a difference do the fans actually make? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

These days, the average footballer is a tad precious. Who wouldn't become accustomed to earning a wage well above the national average, being wrapped in metaphorical handwoven blankets to protect you from injury, all the while being treated like some kind of deity by the thousands that follow you on 'Twitter'.

Fellaini to Stay if Everton Finish in Top Four

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Fellaini to Stay if Everton Finish in Top Four - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Everton star midfielder Marouane Fellaini has said that he will be tempted to stay at the club if Everton secure Champions League football for next season.

His future at the Merseyside club has come under some doubt due to apparent interest in signing him from big clubs due to his form so far this season.

Thierry Henry Linked with Third Spell at Arsenal

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Thierry Henry Linked with Third Spell at Arsenal - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he will not rule out the possibility of bring Thierry Henry back to the club for a third spell in January according to the BBC.

Henry could be interested in the move which would keep him fit while he's not playing for current MLS side New York.

Zamora Injury could Benefit Queens Park Rangers

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Zamora Injury could Benefit Queens Park Rangers - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Queens Park Rangers have announced that striker Bobby Zamora will be out of action for the next three months as he requires hip surgery.

The news could ironically work in a positive way for QPR who currently sit rock bottom of the Premier League with manager Mark Hughes scratching his head over his best eleven.

Could Drogba be in line for a return to Chelsea?

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Could Drogba be in line for a return to Chelsea? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

FIFA have confirmed they have received a request from former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba to move on loan to another club outside the transfer window.

Drogba is currently playing at Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua but is seeking a loan move to maintain his fitness now that the Chinese season is over.

Di Matteo Sacked: Guardiola to Replace him at Chelsea?

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Di Matteo Sacked: Guardiola to Replace him at Chelsea? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Pep Guardiola has apparently already been approached by Chelsea over the managerial position at the club. Guardiola was reportedly being lined up by the West London club before the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo this morning.

Nick Powell: Bargain of the Season?

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Nick Powell: Bargain of the Season? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Nick Powell hinted that he could have a very bright future at Manchester United with his performance in the Champions League match against Galatasaray.

When Manchester United signed Nick Powell from Crewe Alexandra for £4 million over the summer, some questioned the nature of the signing.

Paul Pogba – Manchester United’s Missing Link

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Paul Pogba Manchester United's Missing Link - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Four wins from Manchester United's first four Champions League games meant a rest for some and a chance for others last night.

After their early exit from the League Cup, United's kids must have thought they'd be spending the rest of the season in the reserves or on loan.

AVB – All Past, No Future?

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AVB All Past, No Future? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

When Andre Villas-Boas first took over at Chelsea, if you had played spot the difference between him and the previous Portuguese incumbent of the Stamford Bridge hot seat, you'd have been hard-pressed to find even one.

At least that was the impression.

Where next for David Beckham?

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Where next for David Beckham? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

David Beckham has revealed that he will be leaving LA Galaxy after MLS Cup Final at the start of December. The news has sparked mass speculation over his next possible destination.

Australia

Melbourne were very quick to reveal that they had already approached Beckham's advisors over a possible move to the Australian League.

Mario Balotelli can be as good as Ronaldo or Messi

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Mario Balotelli can be as good as Ronaldo or Messi - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists unpredictable striker Mario Balotelli can be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi if he applies himself in the right way.

Balotelli is currently struggling with a back problem he picked up while on international duty and his manager made the comments before the club's match against Real Madrid.

Juventus v Chelsea: Battle to Make the Last 16

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Juventus v Chelsea: Battle to Make the Last 16 - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Juventus v Chelsea
UEFA Champions League
Juventus Stadium, Italy
Tuesday 20 November 2012
19:45 GMT

Chelsea and Juventus will battle it out for second place in Group E of the Champions League.

Appreciating Norwich’s Wes Hoolahan

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Appreciating Norwich's Wes Hoolahan - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Norwich City's memorable victory over Manchester United on Saturday was a superb team effort, but amid the blood-and-guts style of Chris Hughton's side, one man stood out as the class act of the team: Wes Hoolahan.

The 30 year old Irishman is far from a household name to followers of the Premier League, but he has been terrific all season for The Canaries.

Doing the rounds: The Britannia…

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Doing the rounds: The Britannia... - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Upon their promotion to the Premier League, Stoke City certainly made a name for themselves. Whether it be their refreshingly medieval approach to the game, the rocket propelled wrists of Rory Delap, or the relentless thrashing they always seem to give Arsenal.

Premier League title challenge set to be a three horse race

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Premier League title challenge set to be a three horse race - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

After 12 games of the Premier League season it seems as though it's going to be a straight shoot out between Manchester United, current champions Manchester City and Chelsea.

Here's a look at which teams are most likely to be crowned champions at the end of the 2012/2013 Premier League season:

Manchester United – 11/8

Manchester United are in pole position to win the league with the bookies despite trailing Manchester City.

Mark Clattenburg: Guilty or not there will be casualties

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Mark Clattenburg: Guilty or not there will be casualties - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Another week of football passes by, another week Mark Clattenburg is left to satisfy himself by officiating subbuteo matches, or whatever it is referees do to remain sharp and authoritative, during an impromptu suspension.

Chelsea FC and Fernando Torres: On borrowed time

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Chelsea FC and Fernando Torres: On borrowed time - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Just a couple of years ago the player nicknamed El Niño was arguably the best striker in the EPL. These days he's more known for his exorbitant transfer fee (£50,000,000) than his scoring prowess.

At 28 years of age, he should be at the peak of his powers.

Using the Director of Football in FM 13

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Using the Director of Football in FM 13 - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

FM 2013 is a remarkable iteration in the Football Manager series not only do you get a 'Classic' version of the game (catering for the nostalgic fan) but you also get the most in-depth football management simulation.

The Night That Made Mourinho

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The Night That Made Mourinho - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Every legacy has a starting point... and Jose Mourinho's was on Tuesday, 9th March 2004.

That was the night his Porto side beat Manchester United 3-2 on aggregate in the last 16 of the Champions League. The night he ran down the touchline, arms flailing, celebrating a goal that didn't just win a football match, it changed his life and, in time, the lives of football fans across Europe.

Wenger Insists Walcott won’t be Sold

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Wenger Insists Walcott won't be Sold - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsene Wenger has insisted that Theo Walcott will not be sold by the club this January.

Walcott rejected a new contract at the club in August which has sparked speculation over his future ahead of the January transfer window.

Harry Redknapp: A difficult act to follow?

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Harry Redknapp: A difficult act to follow? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It would be all too easy to attriubte the recent success of Tottenham Hotspur to Harry Redknapp. Breaking into the top 4 is no mean feat, one yet to be emulated by anyone other than cashbags Manchester City for quite some time.

Football Manager 2013: Player Development In Action

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Football Manager 2013: Player Development In Action - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Read PART ONE here: Football Manager 2013: Player Development Strategy

Last week I explained player development in Football Manager 2013 using Marouane Fellaini and Ademilson as guinea pigs for my many theories.

Will Chicharito or Dzeko win their team the title?

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Will Chicharito or Dzeko win their team the title? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The super sub has been a feature of modern day football for as long as I can remember. From Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to Emile Heskey, a player who can really change the game from the bench has always been a stipulation for clubs wanting to compete at the top level.

Matchday 12 Premier League Preview: City & Chelsea face a test, North London derby and more

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Matchday 12 Premier League Preview: City & Chelsea face a test, North London derby and more - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The first North London derby of the 2012/13 season will kick-off proceedings on match-day 12 of the English Premier League. As the Gunners and Spurs lock horns at the Emirates stadium, the blue teams at the top face stiff tests; a slip-up here could see Manchester United run away with the lead.

Can United get – and defend – a lead against Norwich?

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Can United get and defend a lead against Norwich? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Given the defensive troubles United have faced this season, it's telling that in a season when City look weaker and Chelsea still look incomplete, United are top of the table and through to the Champions League knockout stages in mid-November.

The race for the Premier League – which Championship clubs will get lucky?

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The race for the Premier League which Championship clubs will get lucky? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Cardiff City are the current favourites to get promoted to the Premier League at the end of the season but Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough, Hull and Leicester all stand a great chance of pulling off promotion into the big time.

The Rise of the Hybrid Formation

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The Rise of the Hybrid Formation - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Fluidity and momentum go hand in hand in modern day football. Penning the opposition into their own half and keeping hold of the ball is key to emerging victorious particularly at the very top end of the game these days, which is why in the past decade teams have begun to move away from the rigid 4-4-2, and towards formations with more positional and tactical interchangeability.

Mega TV Rights Deal to Benefit Premier League Clubs

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Mega TV Rights Deal to Benefit Premier League Clubs - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Domestic and global TV rights for Premier League matches are about to topple the £5 billion mark for the first time in history. This means a staggering amount of money to Premier League teams from the title winning side all the way down to the bottom three clubs.

Newcastle United Rising – Europe Again?

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Newcastle United Rising Europe Again? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Newcastle United performed brilliantly during the 2011/2012 Premier League season as they just missed out on the Champions League and finished in fifth place. They are more than capable of a repeat league performance and should be aiming for at least the same finish after the 2012/2013 campaign.

Weekend Betting: There’s nothing like a cheeky little acca

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Weekend Betting: There's nothing like a cheeky little acca - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Lets take a look at some of the football matches to be played this weekend all over Europe and accumulate what the results might turn out to be. If you're a betting man, these tips will help you in one way or another:

Arsenal v Tottenham: Both teams to score

London derbies are usually quite the spicy affair, with past meetings between these two sides genuinely living up to the hype (anyone remember David Bentley's 40 yard volley?

The Five Best Brazilians in the Champions League – so far

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The Five Best Brazilians in the Champions League so far - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Brazilian football players are graced in terms of technique, publicity, glamour and fame. Here are five of the best from the Champions League so far.

Willian of Shakhtar Donetsk

Willian of Shakhtar has been a stand out performer for the side in their group games so far.

Bayern Munich favourites – once again – for Bundesliga title

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Bayern Munich favourites once again for Bundesliga title - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Bayern Munich are the overwhelming favourites to win the Bundesliga this season with current champions Borussia Dortmund way back in the betting market for the league title.

Bayern Munich – 1/12

Bayern Munich are in pole position and it's very difficult to see them giving up a seven point lead which they currently hold.

Tottenham Will Be Looking for Revenge Against Arsenal

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Tottenham Will Be Looking for Revenge Against Arsenal - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Saturday lunchtime will see the first North London Derby of the 2012-13 season, and the first encounter between the two rivals since Arsenal's comeback from 2-0 down to crush Tottenham 5-2 didn't so much halt Spurs momentum as brutally stomp on it until all life had been extinguished.

Fraser Forster has a right to be rather miffed

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Fraser Forster has a right to be rather miffed - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

I'm sure many of you would agree that international friendlies are a bit of a distraction. A minor annoyance to clog up the club fixtures calendar, during which you cross your fingers and pray to God that the key men at your club don't pick up an injury.

Does Paul Lambert have a sustainable transfer policy?

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Does Paul Lambert have a sustainable transfer policy? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Norwich City overachieved last season. Without patronising the team, the players and their manager did extremely well to finish in 12th place straight off the back of two successive promotions.

With a team built up largely of players that had not played Premier League football before, Paul Lambert brought forth a side with an insatiable appetite for success much in the same way he is attempting to replicate at Aston Villa now.

Eric Cantona’s views on Manchester United, Alex Ferguson and more

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Eric Cantona's views on Manchester United, Alex Ferguson and more - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

ESPN spoke to Manchester United legend Eric Cantona in an exclusive interview that will be aired later on Thursday night. Here are some quotes from the interview in which Cantona speaks about his time at United and everything that's happened since then.

Whatever happened to John Bostock?

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Whatever happened to John Bostock? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Four years ago, 16-year-old John Bostock moved from Crystal Palace to Tottenham Hotspur for pennies. At least that's what then Eagle's chairman Simon Jordan claimed.

The actual price, decided by a tribunal, was £700,000.

The man who should’ve been an all time great: Michael Owen

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The man who should've been an all time great: Michael Owen - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

As Steven Gerrard makes his 100th appearance for England against Sweden tonight, it's easy to forget all about a player who Gerrard grew up with from a young age and forged such a terrific understanding with for both club and country.

AC Milan and their convicted criminal Silvio Berlusconi

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AC Milan and their convicted criminal Silvio Berlusconi - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The price of a season ticket at the Emirates? Just shy of a grand. A ‘cheap' day out at Anfield? A hefty £47.30. Even a cup of tea, accompanied with a programme boastings Sir Alex Fergusons written word to thumb through at Old Trafford will cost you more than a fiver.

Should Chelsea call time on Terry and Cole?

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Should Chelsea call time on Terry and Cole? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

John Terry

Due to issues well documented, Chelsea have had to do without John Terry of late. How well they did is up for discussion, but on Sunday he was back... for a while at least.

Having scored the opener, Terry then collided with Luis Suarez and was forced to leave the pitch, looking very much like a man who'd kicked his last ball for quite some time.

Football Manager 2013: Player Development Strategy

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Football Manager 2013: Player Development Strategy - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

There are so many ingredients that affect a player's flavour, both in real football and in Football Manager 2013, the best football management simulation.

Man management, positioning, role within a team and day to day training could add spice to your Spaniard, or turn him sour.

Red is the new blue for resurgent Cardiff City and Gillingham

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Red is the new blue for resurgent Cardiff City and Gillingham - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

A football team's home colours are their identity.

While players and managers move on, those colours remain, representing both the club as it is and as it was. A reminder of fans departed and of history made.

Chelsea and Arsenal under pressure to perform at home

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Chelsea and Arsenal under pressure to perform at home - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The big game this weekend sees Chelsea play host to Liverpool on Sunday (4pm KO, Live on Sky Sports 1), and the stats suggest that the visitors are worth a punt at 4 withbet365and Paddy Power The Reds currently sit 10 places behind Chelsea in 12th place and it's true to say that they have made a very disappointing start to the season and come into this having won none of their last four matches in all competitions.

Why United are deliberately playing slow, and why it works

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Why United are deliberately playing slow, and why it works - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

United are in constant evolution. Ferguson's enduring successes are simultaneously based on consistency and the need to adapt, every year, to the changes around them.

One of the key reasons why United apparently do so well in the second half of the season is because they are better than anyone else at planning for the whole season, and because they can lean and adapt quicker than anyone else.

Manchester City’s Roberto Mancini: Money, Power and Respect?

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Manchester City's Roberto Mancini: Money, Power and Respect? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

November, November. Aside from Guy Fawkes Night on the 5th, the 45th week of 2012 also offered much public interest in two high-profile jobs and their current occupants.

One entitles the incumbent to the oval office, the other sits in the dugout at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

Broadcasting Revenues: Responsible For Weakening of Competition in Football?

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Broadcasting Revenues: Responsible For Weakening of Competition in Football? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Beautiful Game

One ball, twenty-two men, two teams and a desire to win, simply put: the beautiful game of football. The sport of football has come a long way since its humble beginnings in England, tobeing known as 'the beautiful game'.

Manchester City manager won’t face disciplinary actions for confronting match officials

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Manchester City manager won't face disciplinary actions for confronting match officials - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini won't be facing a touchline ban for confronting the referees after their 2-2 draw with Ajax in the Champions League.

Manchester City's dream of qualifying for the knockout stages suffered a massive blow as they drew with Ajax last night.

adidas Unveil adizero f50 Boot – The Next Generation of Speed Boots

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adidas Unveil adizero f50 Boot The Next Generation of Speed Boots - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

A product of precise engineering, the adidas adizero f50 is designed to get the maximum out of the boot in terms of speed.

At just 165 grams, the adizero f50 is one of the lightest shoes on the market.

2014 World Cup Stadiums – Now & Then

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2014 World Cup Stadiums Now & Then - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

International football has now has its eyes set on the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Preparations are underway on the field and for the field. Work is well underway on the venues that have been selected as the 2014 World Cup stadiums.

Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow – Footballers with great hair, all the time

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Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow Footballers with great hair, all the time - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Hair is something we can almost universally live without, and yet it is a very important part of a person's life, from start to end. From your mother admonishing you to comb your hair to growing up in a world that takes extra notice of you because of your appearance your hair plays an important part in your life (especially when you start losing hair).

Arsenal manager denies dropping Walcott due to contract standoff

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Arsenal manager denies dropping Walcott due to contract standoff - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has rubbished claims that Walcott has been ignored from the starting eleven due to his contract wrangle.

Theo Walcott has made only three starts this season for Arsenal, two of which came in the League Cup games.

Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII CR: Explosive speed, striking graphics

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Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII CR: Explosive speed, striking graphics - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The American sports goods manufacturer Nike have revealed the latest installment in their Nike Mercurial Vapor series: Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII CR.

The Mercurial Vapor VIII CR combines innovation and style with a track spike-inspired fir for explosive speed on pitch.

Manchester United will only improve from here onwards

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Manchester United will only improve from here onwards - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United had a tough round of fixtures off-late in the Premier League. In their last six matches they have faced Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle United, Stoke City, Chelsea and Arsenal.

But to the delight of Alex Ferguson, his team has managed to earn 15 out of those 18 available points.

Premier League Team Of The Season So Far

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Premier League Team Of The Season So Far - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

As the winter months approach, and the Premier League gathers steam, who have been the best players so far this season?

GOALKEEPER Brad Friedel (Tottenham)

Despite his age (41), the American continues to show remarkable consistency week in, week out.

Manchester United to honour Sir Alex Ferguson with Old Trafford statue

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Manchester United to honour Sir Alex Ferguson with Old Trafford statue - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United will unveil a statue of Sir Alex Ferguson outside Old Trafford on 23 November, ahead of the league meeting with Queens Park Rangers, who were the Scot's first home opposition of his 26-year tenure.

Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund – The Battle to Control Group D

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Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund The Battle to Control Group D - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund
UEFA Champions League
Bernabeau, Madrid
Tuesday 6 November 2012
19:45 GMT

Real Madrid host Borussia Dortmund as the teams battle for control over Group D of the Champions League.

Manchester City v Ajax – City’s European Hopes Hanging by a Thread

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Manchester City v Ajax City's European Hopes Hanging by a Thread - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester City v Ajax
UEFA Champions League
Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Tuesday, 6 November 2012.
19:45 GMT

Manchester City take on Ajax in Group D of the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea Manager hits backs at Alex Ferguson for his comments regarding Clattenburg

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Chelsea Manager hits backs at Alex Ferguson for his comments regarding Clattenburg - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea lodged an official complaint against match referee Mark Clattenburg after their highly controversial match against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Clattenburg was accused of racially abusing John Obi Mikel during the match.

Brendan Rodgers warns that rebuilding Liverpool will take time

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Brendan Rodgers warns that rebuilding Liverpool will take time - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said that patience is the key as they strive to take the club back to where it belongs.

Although Rodgers stopped short of blaming Kenny Dalglish for the current situation at the club, but the Liverpool manager highlighted the fact that the club will have to amend the financial mess it had got into.

Arsenal’s woes: Lack of loyalty and depth or Wenger?

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Arsenal's woes: Lack of loyalty and depth or Wenger? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

After the loss to Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford, a lot of discussions and debates surfaced (as expected) on Twitter.

The scoreline might give an outsider the impression that Arsenal FC had a close game but in reality, it was a far cry from that.

Premier League Goals: Why Manchester United and Tottenham look favourites to score

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Premier League Goals: Why Manchester United and Tottenham look favourites to score - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Is there such a thing as too much goals? Barney Ronay of the Guardian thinks so, and it almost sounds like a reasonable argument until you substitute 'sex' for 'goals' in the following statement:

Nobody who really likes football likes goals that much.

It’s Time for the Villas-Boas Revolution To Truly Start At Tottenham

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It's Time for the Villas-Boas Revolution To Truly Start At Tottenham - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

On Saturday afternoon Tottenham will play Wigan at home. A fixture which in recent seasons has seen Spurs lurch from pummelling Wigan 9-1 (and the first thing Spurs fans will tell you about that game is that the one Wigan goal was a shockingly blatant hand ball) to losing 1-0 at home in pathetically limp fashion a few days after they'd thumped Young Boys to qualify for the Champions League.