SoccerLens Archives for January 2012

Matchday 20 Premier League Preview: After shocking defeats, Liverpool visit QPR as Man City faces Norwich

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Matchday 20 Premier League Preview: After shocking defeats, Liverpool visit QPR as Man City faces Norwich - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

As most of Europe is celebrating Christmas, people in England prepare for the second round of fixtures over the holidays. With striking results on Boxing Day, the Premier League teams are ready for action on the weekend.

Pardew thinks referee should’ve done something about the Ferguson incident

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Pardew thinks referee should've done something about the Ferguson incident - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has suggested that Sir Alex Ferguson has been treated more favourably than other Premier League managers.

Ferguson stormed onto the pitch at half-time during the 4-3 win over Newcastle to confront referee Mike Dean over Newcastle's second goal.

Juan Mata wants to keep playing

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Juan Mata wants to keep playing - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has questioned the idea of being burnt out after saying he is fit enough to keep playing for Chelsea throughout the rest of the season.

Mata played his 29th game of the season in the Boxing Day win and has reportedly told manager Rafael Benitez not to drop him.

Rooney out for three weeks

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Rooney out for three weeks - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United have been rocked by the news that Wayne Rooney will miss three weeks with a knee injury.

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Rooney picked up the problem during training. He was going for an elaborate volley which caused him to slightly damage a knee ligament which has ruled him out of action temporarily.

Chelsea asks Frank Lampard to leave in January

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Chelsea asks Frank Lampard to leave in January - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea have reportedly refused to extend Frank Lampard's current contract and has asked the midfielder to look for a new club.

It was only three days back that Frank Lampard marked his 500th start for the Blues with a thumping goal, captaining his side to an 8-0 victory over Aston Villa and receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.

Malaga banned from Europe over Financial Fair Play

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Malaga banned from Europe over Financial Fair Play - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Malaga owner and president, Abdullah Al Thani

Malaga have been banned from the Champions League next season as UEFA flex their muscles over financial fair play.

The high-flyers from Spain have been punished as they failed to pay player wages and tax bills on time and they face a second year of being banned from Europe if they do not resolve their debts by the end of this March.

Boxing Day Premier League Preview: Man City, Chelsea face easy opposition as Liverpool head to Stoke & Utd hosts Newcastle

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Boxing Day Premier League Preview: Man City, Chelsea face easy opposition as Liverpool head to Stoke & Utd hosts Newcastle - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

This year on Boxing Day, the Premier League will see some very interesting fixtures as some of the giants of England will be put to test against some of the smaller teams.

Magical Messi Christmas – Historical background and goals from 2012

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Magical Messi Christmas Historical background and goals from 2012 - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

As a Christmas day special, Sky Sports presented a special package which was hosted by the Spanish football pundit Guillem Balague. It was called "Magic of Messi".

Balague visited some of the significant places in Lionel Messi's lifetime as he moved from Argentina to Barcelona and starting developing as a human and as one of the best people to have played the game.

Tottenham eye Sneijder bargain deal

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Tottenham eye Sneijder bargain deal - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Tottenham are eyeing Dutch international play-maker Wesley Sneijder in a bargain deal this January.

Tottenham Hotspur missed out on a lot of their transfer targets last summer; most notably Joao Moutinho.

Barcelona won’t let go of David Villa in January

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Barcelona won't let go of David Villa in January - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Barcelona's director of football, Andoni Zubizarreta has made it clear that the Catalan club won't sell Villa in January.

El Guaje

As the January transfer window drew near, David Villa's name was linked with several English clubs.

Napoli’s arbitrary punishment only encourages the conspiracy theorists

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Napoli's arbitrary punishment only encourages the conspiracy theorists - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Cannavaro and Grava try to keep positive

As the dust settles on Napoli's punishment over an aborted match fix three seasons ago, the simmering sense of resentment built up over years of enmity with the north shows no sign of abating.

José Mourinho and Real Madrid: Headed for divorce?

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José Mourinho and Real Madrid: Headed for divorce? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

All I want for Christmas... or so goes the tedious song by Mariah Carey

However, it appears as if Christmas has come early this year, at least for Culés and everyone who is not a fan of José Mourinho.

Chelsea & Abramovich: The journey from Mourinho to Benitez

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Chelsea & Abramovich: The journey from Mourinho to Benitez - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Fernando Torres, Luiz, Ivanovic, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Oscar, Hazard, Ramires.

This is a team that has gone through a notable transformation in the past few years after the end of the Special One's reign within the walls of Stamford Bridge, and the club is beginning to reap its returns.

Kaka: Real Madrid’s forgotten Galactico

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Kaka: Real Madrid's forgotten Galactico - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

At present the Casa Blanca doesn't remotely resemble a house that is in order. After wrestling back La Liga from eternal foes FC Barcelona in 2011/12 in record breaking fashion, Real Madrid currently find themselves 13 points off the summit of the Spanish League and their heated rivals.

Newcastle United close in on Loic Remy as Demba Ba nears exit

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Newcastle United close in on Loic Remy as Demba Ba nears exit - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Newcastle United have reportedly agreed a deal for Marseille forward Loic Remy as the Magpies prepares for life without Demba Ba.

Marseille and Newcastle United have reached an agreement over the sale of Loic Remy in January.

QPR midfielder reveals Barcelona and Anzhi’s interest in him

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QPR midfielder reveals Barcelona and Anzhi's interest in him - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

QPR midfielder Adel Taarabt has revealed that Barcelona and Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala haveinquiredabout him, but the Moroccan international stated that he is happy at the club.

Taarabt was the hero QPR's win over Fulham last weekend.

Matchday 18 Premier League Preview: Liverpool, Chelsea face tough opposition as both Manchesters favourites to win

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Matchday 18 Premier League Preview: Liverpool, Chelsea face tough opposition as both Manchesters favourites to win - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

This weekend's fixtures see table toppers Manchester United head to Swansea. Liverpool and Chelsea face the sturdiest test as they prepare to host Fulham and Aston Villa.

Arsene, you’re on your final warning!

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Arsene, you're on your final warning! - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsene Wenger: Knows that his tine may be up if things don't change soon

He has revolutionised English football, and brought success to a club that fans couldn't have ever dreamed of prior to his arrival in North London, but those ‘In Wenger we trust' banners are becoming a rare commodity around the Emirates these days, and you can see their point.

Arsenal tie down five players to long term contracts including Jack Wilshere

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Arsenal tie down five players to long term contracts including Jack Wilshere - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal have tied down five British players to long term contracts, but Theo Walcott is yet to resolve his contract wrangle.

The London club have ensured the future of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere and Carl Jenkinson, but still there is no sign of Theo Walcott signing on the dotted line.

Chelsea looks towards Pjanic and Fellaini in order to replace Lampard

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Chelsea looks towards Pjanic and Fellaini in order to replace Lampard - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea are looking at Miralem Pjanic and Maroune Fellaini as possible replacements for Frank Lampard, who is expected to leave the London club at the end of this season.

Frank Lampard is a living legend of Chelsea football, but like all good things, his career at the London club is perhaps heading to towards its end.

Ferguson reveals the reasons for his success

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Ferguson reveals the reasons for his success - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Sir Alex Ferguson has completed 26 years as the boss of Manchester United. Control and the ability to relax are two of the main reasons he has been able to accumulate titles and enjoy such longevity.

He blends the private side of his life such as horse ownership, going to horse racing meetings and the ability to have a flutter on racing betting markets with the strains and pressures of his managerial career to create a perfect balance.

Barcelona rocked by Tito Vilanova health scare

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Barcelona rocked by Tito Vilanova health scare - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Barcelona have been rocked by the sad news that manager Tito Vilanova has suffered a setback in his fight against cancer.

Barcelona are yet to comment on the issue but widespread reports over social media sites and networks have suggested Vilanova has suffered a reoccurrence of a tumour which he originally had removed from his neck last November.

Follow up: Barca looks for replacement as Tito Vilanova is diagnosed with tumor relapse

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Follow up: Barca looks for replacement as Tito Vilanova is diagnosed with tumor relapse - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has suffered from a tumor relapse and is expected to step down from the managerial role at the club.

Tito Vilanova was first diagnosed with Parotid gland cancer back in November of 2011.

Newcastle United striker hints at a move to Arsenal

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Newcastle United striker hints at a move to Arsenal - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Newcastle United striker Demba Ba has hinted at a possible move to Arsenal during this January transfer window.

Demba Ba's future at St James' Park has been in doubt ever since the £7.

Zambian international reveals forthcoming Arsenal move

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Zambian international reveals forthcoming Arsenal move - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Zambian international defender Stoppila Sunzu has claimed that he is about to sign for Arsenal and will join the Gunners after the African Cup of Nations.

The 23-year-old center back is certainly not the big name signing that Gunners were expecting this winter, but his performances in the previous edition of African Cup of Nations has certainly highlighted his potential.

Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince to Liverpool is all but done

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Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince to Liverpool is all but done - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool are close to completing their move for Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge and Blackpool winger Tom Ince.

According to reports, Liverpool will announce these two deals in the first week of the winter transfer window.

Four players you won’t find in Liverpool’s Christmas stocking

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Four players you won't find in Liverpool's Christmas stocking - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Villa to Liverpool? Not Likely.

We've all been there at some point. You're efficiently and ruthlessly turning the meticulously wrapped presents under the tree into a site that now closer resembles a landfill, when about halfway through your bounty you are dealt a swift and disappointing blow, with the revelation of a particularly underwhelming present.

Premier League clubs agree cost control ideas

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Premier League clubs agree cost control ideas - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The 20 clubs of the Premier League have agreed, in principal, to two cost control ideas designed to ensure financial fairness in the seasons and years ahead.

The clubs agreed on two ideas; the first is similar to the UEFA Financial Fair Play rules where all clubs in the Premier League have to break even and the second is a form of wage cap which will allow clubs to increase wages by a certain amount each season.

Interview with Alex Ferguson: Financial Fair Play, Messi v Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola and more

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Interview with Alex Ferguson: Financial Fair Play, Messi v Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola and more - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

In an interview with Yahoo! Sport, Sir Alex Ferguson gave his views about football in England, the effects of UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations across Europe, the rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and finally the capabilities of Pep Guardiola and Barcelona.

Lord Chief Justice orders new inquests into the Hillsborough disaster

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Lord Chief Justice orders new inquests into the Hillsborough disaster - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Fresh inquests have been ordered into the deaths of the 96 fans who tragically died during the Hillsborough disaster of 1989.

An application by the Attorney General led to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the Lord Judge, has prompted the new inquests after a report suggested that 41 of the 96 fans who died could have been saved.

Spy Versus Spy As Mourinho Finds Madrid’s Not Forever

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Spy Versus Spy As Mourinho Finds Madrid's Not Forever - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It's one of those expressions that work equally well in Spanish and English: "Mourinho Tira La Toalla A 22 Jornadas Del Final" – "Mourinho Throws In The Towel With 22 Games Left". AS's front page had put it in a nutshell: the game was up in the league.

Former Chelsea manager wants Lampard for Monaco

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Former Chelsea manager wants Lampard for Monaco - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri is interested in signing Frank Lampard if the England international leaves the London club at the end of this season.

Frank Lampard is currently in the final year of his present contract at Stamford Bridge.

Messi agrees new deal with Barcelona until 2018

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Messi agrees new deal with Barcelona until 2018 - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Barcelona have announced that star player Lionel Messi has agreed to extend his contract to 2018.

It virtually stamps out the chance of any financially backed club coming in and trying to get the Argentinean to leave the Spanish giants where he has made his name in the sport.

Wilshere’s contract renewal is a positive sign for Gunners

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Wilshere's contract renewal is a positive sign for Gunners - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsene Wenger will be extremely relieved that gifted midfielder Jack Wilshere is ready to commit himself to the club. It would have a beneficial effect in terms of keeping others at the club.

One of the criticism of Arsenal in recent times has been that they are not able to retain the services of their best players.

Interview with Alex Ferguson: Persie, January transfers, Jimmy Reid and more

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Interview with Alex Ferguson: Persie, January transfers, Jimmy Reid and more - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

In an interview with Yahoo! Sport, Sir Alex Ferguson gave his views about Robin van Persie in comparison to the Manchester United great Eric Cantona, Barcelona's style of play, the January transfer window, his socialist roots and finally his admiration for Jimmy Reid.

Lack of long-term commitment by players will hold Man City back

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Lack of long-term commitment by players will hold Man City back - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Joleon Lescott has said that he would be open to a move away from Manchester City just three years after joining the club from Everton. Striker Mario Balotelli is also being linked with a move away and back to his native Italy.

Ferguson confident ahead of new year

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Ferguson confident ahead of new year - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United had a single main point to address from their Premier League campaign over 2011/2012 and that was to score more goals. The arrival of Robin van Persie seems to have done the trick.

The Dutchman has scored 14 goals in league games which is one of the main reasons the club are sitting six points clear at the top of the table with more goals scored than anyone else.

Balotelli to go before tribunal to fight fine imposed by City

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Balotelli to go before tribunal to fight fine imposed by City - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will go before a Premier League tribunal to fight a fine imposed on him by the club.

City fined Balotelli two weeks worth of wages for missing 11 games last season through suspension.

Raheem Sterling: Too young for Premier League pressure?

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Raheem Sterling: Too young for Premier League pressure? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Brendan Rodgers has revealed that 18-year-old winger Raheem Sterling needs a rest to avoid burnout which is simply a result of Liverpool's current situation which is unfair on the teenage winger.

Sterling was thrown in at the deep end at the start of the season because Liverpool had no choice but to play him.

The brilliance of Andres Iniesta

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The brilliance of Andres Iniesta - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

In an era in which Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have created one of the all-time great contests for the label of 'world's best footballer', it is easy to forget that Andres Iniesta would be the best player on the planet on many other occasions in history.

Where does Chelsea go after the defeat at the Club World Cup?

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Where does Chelsea go after the defeat at the Club World Cup? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea were tipped by many to win the Club World Cup but they lost 1-0 in the final to Corinthians which will leave many fans asking where the club goes from here?

Chelsea need to get back to basics and prioritise because their most important competition for the success of the club is now the Premier League.

Lack of attacking options proving costly for Liverpool

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Lack of attacking options proving costly for Liverpool - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool have badly struggled this season as Brendan Rodgers continues to build his Liverpool side and make a transition back to the days where the club was regularly and strongly competing for the top four.

The standard of this season’s Premiership is low

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The standard of this season's Premiership is low - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

If there's one thing rife in modern society, it's a lack of patience. Everyone wants as much wealth, possessions, power and success on Football Manager as quickly as possible with decreasing regard for everybody else.

Manchester City ‘reluctantly’ accepts Barry’s suspension

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Manchester City ‘reluctantly' accepts Barry's suspension - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester City have released a statement where they have ‘reluctantly' accepted Gareth Barry's suspension by the FA for using abusive/insulting words against the match official during the Manchester Derby.

Arsenal and Liverpool target Huntelaar will welcome a move to Inter says his agent

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Arsenal and Liverpool target Huntelaar will welcome a move to Inter says his agent - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Dutch international Klaas Jan Huntelaar's agent has revealed that the striker would welcome a move to the blue half of San Siro.

Huntelaar is a wanted man. The 29-year-old striker is currently in the final year of his contract at Schalke and has refused to sign an extension.

Manchester City ‘reluctantly’ accepts Barry’s suspension

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Manchester City ‘reluctantly' accepts Barry's suspension - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester City have released a statement where they have ‘reluctantly' accepted Gareth Barry's suspension by the FA for using abusive/insulting words against the match official during the Manchester Derby.

Matchday 16 Premier League Preview: Man Utd to continue dominance and Spurs face a tough Swansea side

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Matchday 16 Premier League Preview: Man Utd to continue dominance and Spurs face a tough Swansea side - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Matchday 16 of the Premier League brings exciting fixtures as the Manchester clubs seek to leave the rest behind while City hope that Alex Ferguson's side slips up a few times along the way.

Persie & Rooney boost Man Utd shirt sales

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Persie & Rooney boost Man Utd shirt sales - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Recently, figures came in from North America, showing that Robin van Persie's number 20 Manchester United jersey is the most popular Premier League replica jersey in North America this season.

The research was conducted by Sporting iD and they've compiled a list of the top ten best-selling shirts in the region.

Why Celtic need the Champions League more than ever

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Why Celtic need the Champions League more than ever - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Kris Commons celebrates booking Celtic's place in the Champions League knockout stage

Providing your mind is neither muddied with sectarianism or blinded by a biased stance of rivalry, you simply have to surrender and allow Celtic's success, having last week qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League to wash over you.

Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City or Arsenal – Which EPL team will sign Llorente?

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Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City or Arsenal – Which EPL team will sign Llorente? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente has revealed his interest in signing for a Premier League club when his contract at the Spanish club expires next summer.

Roger Federer shows off his football skills

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Roger Federer shows off his football skills - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Roger Federer is a name that is not very common in football but his dream came true when he met Pele while in Brazil for the Gerry Weber Open.

What is interesting for football fans is that during a tennis match in Sao Paulo, Federer donned the famous Brazil home kit and emerged onto the court with an over-sized tennis ball.

Liverpool apologize to Fulham for tapping-up Dempsey

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Liverpool apologize to Fulham for tapping-up Dempsey - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool have issued a letter of apology to Fulham for their role in Clint Dempsey's transfer saga, which ended with the American international joining Tottenham during the summer transfer window.

Arsenal’s business model restricts Wenger but benefits the club in long-term

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Arsenal's business model restricts Wenger but benefits the club in long-term - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsene Wenger has never been under greater pressure in the 16 years he has spent as Arsenal manager. Following Arsenal's penalty shoot out defeat at the hands of Bradford City in the League Cup, Wenger is being attacked over the same old issues.

Platini: Money for goal-line technology can be better used

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Platini: Money for goal-line technology can be better used - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

UEFA President Michel Platini is no stranger to ruffling a few feathers with his views on the game. He has avidly objected to goal-line technology at every stage and has now suggested that the cash would be better spent on grass roots football.

Do Manchester United need Theo Walcott?

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Do Manchester United need Theo Walcott? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Contract rebel Theo Walcott, who has been previously linked with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, is now been reportedly monitored by Manchester United. But do United need him?

Walcott demands pay-rise or starting eleven?

Patrice Evra: Fergie Could ‘Sack Everyone’ if we Lose the League

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Patrice Evra: Fergie Could 'Sack Everyone' if we Lose the League - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United captain Patrice Evra says the team are driven on by the fear that Sir Alex Ferguson will sack them if they mess up the title race this season.

United squandered an eight point lead at the end of last season and gave away a two goal lead against Manchester City in the derby last weekend and Evra said he thinks the boss will fire everyone if they lose the title to their neighbours again.

‘Cultural Lessons’ planned to combat racism missing the point

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'Cultural Lessons' planned to combat racism missing the point - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Football's governing bodies are considering giving foreign players cultural English lessons to help eradicate racism from football. It's difficult to see how such measures would have any such effect.

Ten Crazy Injury Stories

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Ten Crazy Injury Stories - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Football has been laced with dramatic injury stories, here are ten of the best, some funny and some fatal courtesy of Robert Lodge.

Player killed by a splinter

A player sadly passed away after a splinter pierced his intestine during a game of indoor football in Brazil, 2010.

Review: Warrior Skreamer Pro Football Boots

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Review: Warrior Skreamer Pro Football Boots - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Warrior Skreamer Pro boot is one of the most complete football boots currently on the market.

The weight and feel of this boot is superb. You will notice how light the boot feels as soon as you take it out of the box and this is one of its main features.

Top Ten Goalscorers in a Single Year

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Top Ten Goalscorers in a Single Year - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Lionel Messi has just become the most prolific goalscorer in a single year, here is our take on the top ten of all time.

1) Lionel Messi – 86 goals in 2012* – Barcelona and Argentina

Messi is widely hailed as the greatest football player to have ever graced the game.

A realistic target for Everton – Champions League

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A realistic target for Everton Champions League - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Everton secured a dramatic 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park thanks to two late goals within a couple of minutes of each other.

The result keeps Everton in fourth place ahead of Tottenham and West Brom below them who are on the same number of points.

Messi makes history, but a Betis star is born

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Messi makes history, but a Betis star is born - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Lionel Messi hogged the headlines, of course, when he finally broke Gerd Muller's record for most goals in a calendar year.

Although the Madrid papers were delighted that Radamel Falcao gave them an excuse not to lead on this astonishing achievement: AS led on "Insatiable Falcao" and tucked Messi into the top left corner, Marca's online edition's top two stories were on the Colombian.

Change of style suits Torres

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Change of style suits Torres - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Fernando Torres bagged a brace as Chelsea won 3-1 away at Sunderland over the weekend. They used a subtle change of style which seemed to suit Torres and provide the Spaniard with a boost in confidence.

It was clear that Torres needed to change the way he played or Chelsea needed to change the way they played for the striker to thrive and there was evidence that Rafael Benitez has got the side working on a method, slightly different to what they have been using.

Has anyone seen Arsene Wenger?

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Has anyone seen Arsene Wenger? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal's 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday only papered over cracks that are fast becoming chasms.

When a team once talked about as the English Barcelona are reverting to swan dives in order to score goals, something isn't right.

Liverpool targeting a European finish

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Liverpool targeting a European finish - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool's 3-2 win away at West Ham should give all supporters of the club massive cause for optimism. Liverpool are finally in the top half of the table and geared for an assault on the European places.

The Manchester Derby: The Good and The Bad

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The Manchester Derby: The Good and The Bad - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Manchester derby produced a high volume of talking points, some good and some not so good. Manchester United secured a dramatic 3-2 win and are now favourites for the Premier League title with a six point cushion.

Modern-day sporting legends face-off: Lio Messi v Kobe Bryant

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Modern-day sporting legends face-off: Lio Messi v Kobe Bryant - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Lionel Messi goes all out against the Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard, Kobe Bryant. What they're fighting over is an autograph, in this Turkish Airlines TV commercial.

From Soccerlens.

Mario Balotelli: Overrated waste of space

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Mario Balotelli: Overrated waste of space - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Yesterday's Manchester derby may well prove to be the pivotal moment that Manchester United effectively won the Premier League come May, having grabbed a late 3-2 win in a superb game at The Etihad.

On a hugely disappointing afternoon for Manchester City the selection, and subsequent performance, of one man has made the headlines: Mario Balotelli.

Shakhtar Donetsk star reveals Manchester as his destination in January

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Shakhtar Donetsk star reveals Manchester as his destination in January - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho has disclosed that he will be joining a club in Manchester in the winter transfer window, but has stopped short of revealing the name of the club in question.

Thomas Vermaelen needs to step up

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Thomas Vermaelen needs to step up - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal have made their worst start in a season since Arsene Wenger took over at the club and there are various reasons for such an ablation.

The fans have already voiced their concerns against the board and the way the club is being run, while pundits have blamed Arsene Wenger.

Euro 2020, hosted by Europe – good idea or bad?

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Euro 2020, hosted by Europe good idea or bad? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

UEFA has revealed that Euro 2020 will be hosted in multiple locations around Europe with Wembley being suggested as a possible location for the final.

The decision was made by an executive committee in Lausanne and could see group games played all over the United Kingdom with Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland all likely to host fixtures.

Weekend Betting: Five big games, five home wins?

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Weekend Betting: Five big games, five home wins? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

European football takes a break and soon, football across Europe will take a break. However the Premier League continues to boldly stay where other leagues have long since left and as footballing families across Europe plan a period of rest and recuperation, English football prepares to soldier on in a gruelling mid-season schedule of back to back football.

Ferguson knows United are underdogs – but will they fight or cede ground?

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Ferguson knows United are underdogs but will they fight or cede ground? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Alex Ferguson has revealed that he expects the Manchester derby this weekend to be a very cagey affair.

United are considered the underdogs by various sections of the media and supporters but both teams are experiencing different problems; United are struggling to defend while City are struggling to maintain any sort of consistency.

Alex Ferguson on penalties, injuries and Manchester City

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Alex Ferguson on penalties, injuries and Manchester City - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Sir Alex Ferguson is playing mind games with Manchester City ahead of the derby this weekend by suggesting they are getting too many penalties at home.

The news will cause many fans to chuckle as Manchester United are thought to receive a large percentage of generous decisions when they play matches at Old Trafford.

UEFA pushing for end of third-party ownership of football players – but will FIFA act in time?

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UEFA pushing for end of third-party ownership of football players but will FIFA act in time? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

UEFA have revealed that they want to put an end to third party ownership of professional football players.

Third party ownership is where an outside party, not a club but an individual or agency, controls or partially controls the transfer rights and access to a player.

The Game of Three Halves – A Review

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The Game of Three Halves A Review - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Game of Three Halves and other Bizarre Football Stories is a superbly entertaining little book from Robert Lodge filled with true stories about the wackier and more fatal side of the game.

Lodge is an extremely experienced author and journalist who has spent a long time researching the stories and tragedies which are chronicled in a simple and easy to follow way.

Champions League dinner underscores the strong spirit Chelsea have lost

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Champions League dinner underscores the strong spirit Chelsea have lost - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba held a glamorous dinner party for teammates to commemorate their Champions League win last May.

Drogba hosted the event just a day after Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League despite a 6-1 home win over FC Nordsjaelland.

Mikel banned for abusing referee – shouldn’t this happen more often?

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Mikel banned for abusing referee shouldn't this happen more often? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The FA has handed out a three match ban and a £60,000 fine to Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel over false allegations made against referee Mark Clattenburg.

Mikel accused the referee of racial abuse during the Premier League match against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.

Bacary Sagna is set to leave Arsenal as contract talk breaks down

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Bacary Sagna is set to leave Arsenal as contract talk breaks down - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal right back Bacary Sagna is reportedly looking to leave the Gunners at the end of this season after being infuriated by Arsenal's contract offer.

Bacary Sagna has been in the news earlier in the season when he criticized the club for selling Alex Song and Robin van Persie.

Chelsea to revive interest in ‘unsettled’ Hulk?

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Chelsea to revive interest in ‘unsettled' Hulk? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea and a host of Serie A clubs are closely monitoring Hulk's situation at Zenit St. Petersburg.

Hulk has publicly raised his concern over his relationship with the Russian club's manager Luciano Spalletti.

World Football Records Fourth Edition Book Review

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World Football Records Fourth Edition Book Review - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The World Football Records fourth edition from Carlton Books is a chronicle of every single record you can think of related to international football.

The book itself is on the larger side to your average hard back but it is easy to use, easy to follow and very easy to read.

Three top flight bosses under pressure

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Three top flight bosses under pressure - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

(L-R) Roberto Mancini, Martin O'Neill & Rafa Benitez

Rafael Benitez at Chelsea, Roberto Mancini at Manchester City and Martin O'Neill at Sunderland are all managers under pressure but very different types of pressure.

Bundesliga puts the Premier League to shame

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Bundesliga puts the Premier League to shame - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Hans-Joachim Watzke chief executive of Borussia Dortmund has slammed the Premier League by saying English football has lost its soul and he makes some valid points.

The Dortmund official has suggested that although the Premier League may be more entertaining to watch than other leagues, German football and the Bundesliga is head and shoulders above the English game in a number of ways.

UEFA Champions League: Stranger than fiction

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UEFA Champions League: Stranger than fiction - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It's official, the reigning Champions League holders, Chelsea, have exited Europe's most prestigious tournament at the group stages. Never before has the reigning Champion not qualified for the knockout rounds.

Warrior Sports Expands into La Liga

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Warrior Sports Expands into La Liga - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Warrior Sports have expanded their global appeal with the announcement that the brand will become the official kit supplier of Sevilla replacing Umbro.

Warrior Sports already has entrenched roots in many football communities and is the current kit supplier for Liverpool.

The best is yet to come from Real Madrid

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The best is yet to come from Real Madrid - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Real Madrid are through to the next stage of the Champions League as expected but they will need to up their performance levels ahead of the first knock out round.

The Spanish champions have done enough to progress from a group that also included the champions of Germany, England and Holland.

Can Liverpool and Tottenham do better than Man City in Europe?

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Can Liverpool and Tottenham do better than Man City in Europe? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The last round of Europa League fixtures sees the European chances of many teams hanging in the balance.

Liverpool will be looking for a big performance from their young side as they go away to Udinese.

Why are Mourinho and Ronaldo criticised at Real Madrid?

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Why are Mourinho and Ronaldo criticised at Real Madrid? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the most high profile individuals linked with Real Madrid. One is the boss and the other is the star player; so why don't they enjoy absolutely perfect relationships with the club?

Chelsea sign another Brazilian defender

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Chelsea sign another Brazilian defender - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Chelsea have announced that they have agreed a deal with Fluminense to sign attacking right back Wallace in January. Wallace is a Brazilian Under-20 international and he will stay at his current club on loan until the end of the season.

Are Liverpool really after this former Man United player?

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Are Liverpool really after this former Man United player? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross says he is flattered to be linked with a £14 million transfer to Liverpool.

The central defender is thought to be the subject of intense interest from Liverpool and Manchester United who could both make a bid for him in January.

Real Madrid & José Mourinho: Separation by mutual consent?

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Real Madrid & José Mourinho: Separation by mutual consent? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

My Way – one of Ol' Blue Eyes alias Frank Sinatra's signature songs is perhaps the best description for The Special One's probable exit from the Casa Blanca.

And now the end is near; and so I face the final curtain

My Way, Frank Sinatra

Who knows if Jose Mourinho is a Frank Sinatra fan, chances are he is.

Mexican Crime Rate Drops when Chicharito is Playing

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Mexican Crime Rate Drops when Chicharito is Playing - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Research from Mexico has shown that whenever Manchester United striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez is playing, the average crime rate across the country drops.

Chicharito is one of the key figures in Mexican football who is currently plying his trade in the European game.

Liverpool could buy a cut-price Demba Ba

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Liverpool could buy a cut-price Demba Ba - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Demba Ba could be sold to Liverpool or another side this January for a fee of less than £10 million.

The Newcastle United striker is currently negotiating a new contract with the North East club but both parties have hit a stumbling block over wages.

WBA: The darlings of the Premier League

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WBA: The darlings of the Premier League - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

WBA: The Darlings of the Premier League

If you're a gallant subscriber to one of the big 3 or 4, or whatever the current denomination of the English Premier League elite is, then I firstly commend you in having the capacity to read an article praising a team that currently flirts on the peripheral of that exclusive club.

The best way to approach European bonuses

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The best way to approach European bonuses - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The recent proposals from Arsenal to directly penalise their players for poor performances in the Champions League has opened up the debate on the best way for clubs to approach qualification and non-qualification around the Champions League.

Champions League exits could have huge impact on big sides

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Champions League exits could have huge impact on big sides - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Several teams have their Champions League dreams hanging by a thread as the competition prepares for the final round of group games.

An exit from the Champions League will have a major impact on several bigger clubs that would have expected to be in the last 16 and the effects will be felt well into next year and towards the end of the season.

Relations between Mourinho and Florentino reach breaking point?

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Relations between Mourinho and Florentino reach breaking point? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The Spanish newspaper Marca reports of rifts between the Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho and the club president Florentino Perez.

Moreover, the newspaper claims that Mourinho will be on his way out at the end of this La Liga season.

Liverpool’s January Choices: Bent, Sturridge or Long?

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Liverpool's January Choices: Bent, Sturridge or Long? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Brendan Rodgers has made it clear that he wants to bring in a striker this January. Darren Bent of Aston Villa, Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea and Shane Long have all been linked with moves to the club but who would be the best signing?

Is it time Arsene Wenger moved on?

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Is it time Arsene Wenger moved on? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsene Wenger has hinted that he will seriously consider his Arsenal future at the end of the season after a severe run of poor form in the Premier League.

Arsenal were soundly beaten by Swansea over the weekend as they were the inferior side in a 2-0 score line at the Emirates.

Alex Ferguson: Mourinho could replace me

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Alex Ferguson: Mourinho could replace me - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he thinks Jose Mourinho is capable of succeeding him as Manchester United manager.

Ferguson has been in charge of the Old Trafford club for 26 years and there is a great deal of speculation over who will follow him when he eventually retires from football management.

The Chelsea carousel continues

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The Chelsea carousel continues - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Rafael Benitez has already revealed that he is afraid of getting the boot just weeks into his managerial reign at Chelsea.

Benitez is yet to win a match as Chelsea manager and the side have scored only one goal so far which has led the manager to reveal that he already feels under pressure at the club.

Six teams battle for three places in the Champions League

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Six teams battle for three places in the Champions League - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Six teams have a chance to make it through to the last 16 of the Champions League with three slots still up for grabs.

With the final round of group games taking place this week, 13 of the 16 positions for the first knock out round have already been filled with Chelsea, Juventus, Benfica, Celtic, Galatasaray and FC Cluj competing for the final three places.

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal on a downward spiral

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Arsene Wenger's Arsenal on a downward spiral - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Before this weekend, Arsene Wenger was a manager under pressure. After successive draws Arsenal sat five points off the top four, and there was a morose atmosphere at the Emirates. This was not a kneejerk but the growing concern that a club was on the domestic decline.

Lucas Leiva: From hate figure to saviour

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Lucas Leiva: From hate figure to saviour - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The return of Lucas Leiva on Saturday was a huge positive for Liverpool, with many claiming it will be the catalyst in igniting Liverpool's stuttering season.

Despite his universal popularity among Liverpool fans, it is to easy forget that the Brazilian was once the least popular player at the club.

Arsenal fans protest against Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger

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Arsenal fans protest against Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis (left) with manager Arsene Wenger (right)

Arsenal are currently 10th in the league table and we are nearly at the half-way point of the season. This has been the worst start for the Gunners since Arsene Wenger took over at the club in 1996.

Premier League betting: Can Reading, West Ham, Fulham and Everton cause upsets?

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Premier League betting: Can Reading, West Ham, Fulham and Everton cause upsets? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Here's a look at this weekend's top football games and the best betting odds for each game.

West Ham v Chelsea The big game on Saturday sees Chelsea travel to Upton Park to take on West Ham (12.

Sterling’s advisors unhappy with Rodgers’ comments

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Sterling's advisors unhappy with Rodgers' comments - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Raheem Sterling's advisors are reportedly unhappy with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers' recent comments regarding the youngsters' contract negotiation.

Sterling will turn 18 in a week and talks between the club and player's agent is still underway regarding his first full professional contract.