Soccer City FC Archives for January 2011

Is Drogba done?

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Didier Drogba has spent the last few seasons in England causing Arsenal defenders to have restless nights, as well as causing the rest of the Premier League to stand back and admire the absolutely phenomenal talents that he has demonstrated during his time in the Premier League.

However, although Drogba started the season causing defences no end of problems, and looked absolutely certain to end the season with the golden boot, he has since turned into a man who has failed to do anything except look like a player who is a mere shadow of his former self.

Summit of Premier League now an exclusive club

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The glass ceiling that has up till recently protected the same four clubs from the rest appears to have briefly been shattered for a few new entrants.

But while the likes of Spurs and Manchester City have used the hefty weight of hard cash to burst their way through into the Premier League elite, upon their arrival the glass has been refitted and strengthened behind them, leaving their opponents out in the cold.

Wenger aims to finish off Barcelona

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Most online sports betting pundits will still have Barcelona down as favourites to progress to the last eight of the Champions League at the expense of Arsenal. This is despite the 2-1 win for the Gunners last night at the Emirates.

One man who believes the English team can overcome the Spaniards in their own back yard in a couple of weeks though is Arsenal Wenger.

Arsenal break through mental barrier but biggest challenge still remains

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Though most Arsenal supporters will have groaned when they were almost inevitably drawn with Barcelona in the Champions League it is perhaps a good thing that they have the chance to face the Spanish side again so quickly.

The club took a while to recover from their 6-3 aggregate mauling at the hands of the Catalan club last season, with the press taking a particularly hard stance on Arsenal's desire to play the same way as the Spanish club, namely with the ball on the floor.

Gyan praises new arrival at Black Cats

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Asamoah Gyan has lauded new Sunderland team-mate Stephane Sessegnon, insisting he has a bright future in the Premier League.

The midfielder arrived on Wearside last month in a £6million move from Paris St Germain.

He has already put in some impressive displays for the Black Cats and has managed to establish himself as a fans' favourite.

Can Arsenal defeat Barcelona in toughest European fixture yet?

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Barcelona star Andres Iniesta has warned his team-mates about the threat sport club Arsenal pose.

The La Liga outfit face the Gunners in the last-16 of the Champions League, with the first leg taking place at the Emirates tonight.

The two sides played each other at the quarter-final stage of last year's tournament, with Barca clinching progression with a 6-3 aggregate victory.

Ancelotti ends title challenge

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Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has remarkably ruled out Chelsea in this season's Premier League title race, claiming his team have too much to do in order to catch current leaders Manchester United.

Sitting 10 points behind the Red Devils means that sports betting pundits were starting to write off their hopes, but for the Chelsea boss to concede as much is rather surprising.

Holloway hoping for goalkeeper boost

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Ian Holloway is hoping to bring in a new goalkeeper after Paul Rachubka picked up an injury in training that could keep him out of action for an extended spell of time. With Rachubka joining Matt Gilks, who has a knee injury, on the sidelines, keeper Richard Kingson is the only option now available to Holloway as he attempts to stave off what had seemed so unlikely just a month or so ago: relegation.

Will we see the return of wing-backs?

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Liverpool and manager Kenny Dalglish have been widely praised for their tactical master class against Chelsea on Sunday, which successfully snuffed out a Chelsea frontline including former Red Fernando Torres for the first time.

His formation though was a throwback to the mid 90s and the early boom of the Premier League.

Speed faces first Wales test

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New boss Gary Speed takes charge of Wales for the first time tonight as his side faces the Republic of Ireland in the newly formed Nations Cup.

The former Wales skipper, who has only four months managerial experience with Championship side Sheffield United, will go up against Italian legend Giovanni Trapattoni; winner of seven Italian league titles and five European tournaments – including the European Cup with Juventus.

Premier League holds its breath to see Torres impact

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Ask a Chelsea fan a few weeks ago and they probably would have told you that Fernando Torres is an over-rated, injury prone whinger.

Ask Liverpool fans and they would have almost certainly told you he was one of the most gifted players ever to wear the red shirt and the man to lead Kenny Dalglish's Anfield revolution.

Neville announces retirement

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Manchester United full-back Gary Neville has announced he is to retire from football with immediate effect. Neville represented the Red Devils 602 times but has struggled with injury and his appearances in a Manchester United shirt were limited to 31 appearances over the last four seasons.

Neville enjoyed an illustrious career, winging the Premier League 8 times and the Champions League twice, most famously against Bayern Munich in 1999.

Suarez sweeps in new Anfield era

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A massive PR exercise has been taking place at Liverpool in recent days.
Make no mistake the departure of Fernando Torres was a hammer blow to the club's morale.

He, alongside Steven Gerrard, was a talisman and the two players they could truly call world-class.

The signing of Luis Suarez was meant to persuade the sulky Spaniard to stay at the club, a sign of their ambition, and fans were drooling at the prospect of the pair playing together and the fans would be keeping a close eye on the livescore to see how they got on.