English Premier League

Will Podolski Leave Arsenal In January?

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Lukas Podolski admits he is unhappy with the bit-part role he is playing at Arsenal, conceding he could leave the club in January. The 29-year-old, who won the World Cup with Germany in the summer, also revealed that he could have left Arsenal before the transfer window shut, but there were no offers forthcoming.

Premier League 2013/2014 – a graphical review

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The BBC website produces match reports for all of the games every single Premier League side plays during the season. From Premier League and FA Cup, to Champions League to League Cup ties the BBC reports on them all. I thought it would be interesting to compile all of these reports for each of the twenty Premier League sides, and to produce word-clouds for each side.

B Teams – we might not get lucky next time

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I was going to write something about B Teams, but after writing a few sentences I realised just how ridiculous the idea was and gave up. I can't help but think Shoot were rubbing their hands in glee thinking they'd be able to stretch their pre-season "Team Ladders" editions over three issues. Anyway, I just thought I'd add a few words of warning about the whole scheme.

Mata: United one of the biggest clubs in the world

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Juan Mata has insisted that, whilst this season might be a write off, United will be back competing for the title next season.

"I think Man Utd is always going to be fighting for every title," Mata said. "This season in the Premier League we were not winning that well earlier in the season, but I think next year and the years coming this team is going to fight for every title.

Premier League: Doing the double over other clubs

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If a club wins both the home fixture and the away fixture during a league season then they are said to have "done the double" over that side. In the Premier League during the 2012/2013 season 16 of the 20 sides did the double over a rival.

The following lists show the teams that each club in the Premier League managed to do the double against.

Alliterative Footballers in the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two

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A list of footballers who have played in the Premier League, Championship, League One or League Two this season with their first name beginning with the same letter as their surname. Please let me know if you are aware of any others.

  • Adebayo Akinfenwa (Northampton Town)
  • Adebayo Azeez (Wycombe Wanderers & Leyton Orient)
  • Ahmed Abdulla (Barnet)
  • Akwasi Asante (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Ali Al Habsi (Wigan Athletic)
  • Almen Abdi (Watford)
  • Andreas Arestidou (Morecambe)
  • Andrey Arshavin (Arsenal)
  • Antolín Alcáraz (Wigan Athletic)
  • Barry Bannan (Aston Villa)
  • Bartosz Bialkowski (Notts County)
  • Billy Bodin (Torquay United)
  • Brian Barry-Murphy (Rochdale)
  • Chris Cohen (Nottingham Forest)
  • Christopher Chantler (Carlisle United)
  • Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)
  • Clarke Carlisle (York City & Northampton Town)
  • Conor Clifford (Portsmouth & Crawley Town)
  • Courtney Cameron (Rotherham United)
  • Craig Cathcart (Blackpool)
  • Craig Clay (Chesterfield)
  • Craig Conway (Cardiff Dragons)
  • Craig Curran (Rochdale)
  • Cyrus Christie (Coventry Dragons)
  • Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace & Ipswich Town)
  • Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)
  • Darryl Duffy (Cheltenham Town)
  • David Davis (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
  • David De Gea (Manchester United)
  • David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers)
  • Diego De Girolamo (Sheffield United)
  • Donervon Daniels (Tranmere Rovers)
  • Dorian Dervite (Charlton Athletic)
  • Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Bury)
  • Frank Fielding (Derby County)
  • Gábor Gyepes (Portsmouth)
  • Gaël Givet (Blackburn Rovers)
  • Gary Gardner (Aston Villa)
  • Gianluca Gracco (Dagenham & Redbridge)
  • Gordon Greer (Brighton & Hove Albion)
  • Harry Hooman (Cheltenham Town)
  • Heidar Helguson (Cardiff Dragons)
  • Jake Jervis (Portsmouth, Tranmere Rovers, Carlisle United & Birmingham City)
  • Jake Jones (Walsall)
  • Jamie Jones (Leyton Orient)
  • Jermaine Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday)
  • Joe Jacobson (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Johnnie Jackson (Charlton Athletic)
  • Jussi Jääskeläinen (West Ham United)
  • Kei Kamara (Norwich City)
  • Keith Keane (Preston North End)
  • Leon Legge (Gillingham & Brentford)
  • Leroy Lita (Sheffield Wednesday & Birmingham City)
  • Marcus Marshall (Bury)
  • Mark Molesley (Exeter City & Plymouth Argyle)
  • Marko Marin (Chelsea)
  • Marvin Morgan (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Mathieu Manset (Carlisle United)
  • Matt Mitchel-King (AFC Wimbledon)
  • Matthew McClure (Wycombe Wanderers)
  • Matthew Mills (Bolton Wanderers)
  • Michael Morrison (Charlton Athletic)
  • Modibo Maïga (West Ham United)
  • Nyron Nosworthy (Watford)
  • Olanrewaju Oyebanjo (York City)
  • Osayamen Osawe (Accrington Stanley)
  • Oulwasanmi Odelusi (Bolton Wanderers)
  • Paul Parry (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading)
  • Phil Picken (Bury)
  • Richard Ravenhill (Bradford City)
  • Robbie Rogers (Stevenage)
  • Sam Saunders (Brentford)
  • Sam Slocombe (Scunthorpe United)
  • Sam Sodje (Portsmouth)
  • Scott Shearer (Rotherham United)
  • Sean Scannell (Huddersfield Town)
  • Sean St.

Premier League table for the 2012 calendar year

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Manchester United were the club who picked up the most Premier League points during 2012. They are followed by their city rivals Manchester City who despite losing the same number of games as United, couldn't convert many of their draws to wins.

Premier League table for the calendar year 2012

Interestingly Everton picked up more points than both Chelsea and Arsenal during 2012 though this may have something to do with the fact that Everton played more games than both Chelsea and Arsenal during the year.

Radamel Falcao and the Biggest Chelsea Transfer Rumors of October

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As October comes to a close the January transfer window looms for clubs all over the globe in two month's time. A period that is full of excitement and fixture mayhem at the turn of the new year will also usher in yet another period of press thumping and wind-up merchants galore looking for the latest news on any and every transfer rumor to be even thought up.

United target set to decide future

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Manchester United target Sofiane Feghouli has told reporters that he's one step closer to deciding his future after opening talks with current club Valencia over a new contract. The Algerian international has reportedly been on United's radar for some time now, as well as that of big spenders Paris St.

Major League Soccer

Report: Chivas USA to go on potential two-year hiatus following nearly $100 million sale

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PhotoKirby Lee/USA TODAYSports


The future of Chivas USA has seemingly gotten a bit clearer as the league as reportedly found a buyer for the ailing club.

A report in ESPNFC.comstates thatMLS hasagreed to sell the club to an unknown investor for $100 million, with conditions of the sale requiring that the club goes on hiatus.

Impact remove De Santis from position as sporting director

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Photo by


Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo promised to make changes earlier this season, and after two more debilitating losses for his club, he's remainingtrue tohis word.

The Impact announced on Wednesday that Nick De Santis has been relieved of his duties as sporting director, though he will remain with the club in an unspecified administrative capacity.

Manchester United

Van Gaal: I set clubs up for the future

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Louis van Gaal has ticked all the right boxes in his interviews since becoming the manager of Manchester United. This week he has again shown why he is the perfect man for the job, focussing on developing players from the youth team, which follows on in the steps of Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Manchester United to unveil a player/manager?

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When the announcement was made earlier this week that David Moyes would lose his job at Manchester United, and that Ryan Giggs would potentially take charge as aplayer/manager, my mind instantly turned to an old photo of Bryan Robson. For many, this wouldn't be the automatic thought, but I've always absolutely loved staged press photos of footballers (you can see more at the marvellous http://awkwardfootballphotoshoots.

Late 1970s proposal for a British Super League

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In the late 1970s a company called Marshall Cavendish released a series of football magazines which the avid reader would slip into binders to create their very own football encyclopaedia. One of the articles contained within is a lament about the struggles of the British game and part of the argument for improvements made by the author suggests the introduction of a British Super-League.

Kevin Strootman and the Biggest Manchester United Transfer Rumors of October

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Kevin Strootman of PSV (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Manchester United has looked really good for the majority of the current campaign. However, one thing that they have not looked is great. With a history are rich in victory and silverware as that of Sir Alex Ferguson in his past 25 years at the club, it is frustrating to any United fan to be dealing with their current state of being just not quite there.


League One 2012/2013: Players who started the first and last game of the season for their club

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The following list shows the players who started the first and last league games for their League clubs in the 2012/2013 season.

  • Stevenage (8) James Dunne, Luke Freeman, Marcus Haber, Darius Charles, Chris Day, Mark Roberts, David Gray and Bondz N'Gala.
  • Carlisle United (7) Liam Noble, Brad Potts, Lee Miller, James Trevor Berrett, Danny Livesey, Matthew James Robson and Paul Thirlwell.

League One 2012/2013: Players who started the first and last game of the season for their club

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The following list shows the players who started the first and last league games for their League clubs in the 2012/2013 season.

  • Tranmere Rovers (8) Liam Palmer, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, Andy Robinson, Ash Taylor, Danny Holmes, Zoumana Bakayogo, Ben Gibson and Owain Fôn Williams.

La Liga table for the 2012 calendar year

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Unsurprisingly Barcelona and Real Madrid dominated Spanish football in 2012. Barca accumulated over 100 points, whilst Real Madrid were ten points behind their bitter rivals. Interestingly during 2012 Valencia and Rayo Vallecano picked up the same number of points as each other, however Valencia drew 10 of their games, Vallecano drew just one a goalless game with Sevilla in September.

Bundesliga table for the 2012 calendar year

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With German football currently taking a winter break, Eintracht Frankfurt can look back on 2012 with a satisfaction that few other clubs can match. Since their promotion to the Bundesliga last May they have accumulated an impressive thirty points and currently sit fourth in the table, behind only Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund.

Ligue 1 2012 review

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As the calendar year 2012 comes to an end and with French football all wrapped up for another year, it's unsurprising to see that "Zlatan Ibrahimović'sParis St. Germain" are the club that have topped the French charts during 2012.

It's quite interesting to note that the three promoted sides Bastia, Reims and Troyes haven't performed very strongly in the first half of the 2012/2013 season.

The Rest

Cardiff City back in blue

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"Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars."

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

In 2012 I was a Cardiff City supporter. I was a season ticket holder and made the two hundred and sixty mile round trip for home matches.

How to fix the FA Cup / Does it even need to be fixed?

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Every year around this time there's a rush of suggestions and ideas of ways to improve the FA Cup. The three ideas are mentioned below in the tweets are ideas that I've seen more than once and I can understand where the thoughts originate from. They come with the best intentions.

My concept for revamping the FA Cup in the Huge TV Deal era.

A Letter To The Rapids FO

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Patrick Quinn has allowed me to share his letter to the Colorado Rapids organization, which nicely sums up my current feelings after last night's game as well.
To Whom It May Concern,

It really and truly is hard to put into words how incredibly disappointed I am with this club. In fact, I do not think I have ever been more disappointed in this club since 1996.

Hull City vs Tampa Bay Rowdies

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In the height of the North American Soccer League tours by British clubs to the States in the summer were common. What perhaps wasn't so common was an American side travelling to the UK to play a fixture. This is exactly what Tampa Bay Rowdies (coached by Rodney Marsh) did in 1984 when they travelled to Hull to play the first-leg of the alliteratively named "Arrow Air Anglo-American Cup".

The Crystal Palace crowd potential (A tale of London club catchment area)

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The concept of a club's catchment area will be a well understood idea by any fan of one of the country's smaller football teams. This understanding will be more acute for fans of clubs which are based in highly populated areas. So the below image of eleven of London's clubs published in the late 1970s may well be of interest to supporters of capital city teams where arguments rage as to which area belongs to which club.

Maidstone & The Conference: It’s Time To Change Tack On 3G Pitches

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It's tight at the top of the Ryman League Premier Division. With a little less than half of the season left to play, just seven points seperate the top six clubs in the table and it remains, for now at least, anybody's guess who from Kingstonian, Maidstone United, Wealdstone, Dulwich Hamlet, Bognor Regis Town or AFC Hornchurch will be taking a place in the Conference South.

Half Season Loan Report

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As the year comes to a close today it will be the start of more activity on the Chelsea loan front with some players finishing loan deals and moving on to bigger and better clubs, some players looking to get a club where they can get more game time and possibly some players who have yet to go out on loan get their moves this season.

Kenny Dalglish in a wheelbarrow, a book review of the SCOOP 1980 annual

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In the days before boring football blogs, football fans would get their information from newspapers and magazines. Football annuals would then fill the void as Christmas presents for information hungry youths.One short-lived annual from the early 1980s went under the name of Scoop, and luckily for you the 1980 edition recently came into my possession.

A medley of links

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As you probably weren't aware Spirit of Mirko took a bit of a break this summer. Watched some cricket, spent time outside and generally ignored the world of football.

1. A fantastic analysis of the Sodje dynasty over at From the Inside Right.

2. A lovely poem about Swansea City's new signing Wilfried Bony.

Game 39: We’ve been here before haven’t we?

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You might assume that the practice of two English clubs facing one another abroad was a recent invention, something adopted as part of the Premier League's plan for global domination, however that assumption is far from correct. We haven't quite reached the point where a Premier League match is hosted abroad, but that can't be too far away, however friendly matches involving two English clubs are commonplace in the pre-season calendar (America and the far East being the two favoured destinations).

Brentford vs Wigan Athletic: Freight Rover Trophy Final 1985

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Brentford and Wigan Athletic will make trips to Wembley over the next few weeks for differing reasons. Brentford will be playing in the League One play-off final against Yeovil Town, whilst Wigan Athletic will feature in the first FA Cup Final of their history against Manchester City.

Despite these heady days for both clubs it's not the first time Brentford and Wigan have played at Wembley.

Being a Football Manager in 2013

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The subject of managerial changes has arisen a few times this season. Generally these changes have been presented in a negative light by the media and fans. Often as "good men" are fired from positions in which they appeared to be safe. Both Nigel Adkins and Brian McDermott steered their respective clubs to excellent promotions in 2011/2012 and were then fired before they'd had the chance to complete a Premier League season many thought they had earned the right to see out.

Welsh League Division Three: Llantwit Major 2 Risca United 2

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On Saturday I travelled to south Wales. Whilst there I took a trip down memory lane to a place where I had played football many times in my youth, to the evocatively named Windmill Lane, home of Welsh League Division Three outfit Llantwit Major FC.

The town has never been known for its footballing prowess and only reached the heady heights of Welsh League football for the first time when they were promoted last season.

An unexpected Christmas gift

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A month or two ago I innocently posted a tweet saying: "All I want for Christmas is a Hearts of Oak kit".

For those who aren't aware, Hearts of Oak sport one of the finest kits in African and world football. Three magnificent primary colours of red, yellow and blue adorn their dazzling shirts.

Liverpool’s cluttered flat leaves Brendan Rodgers with problems

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As price of players corkscrews upwards, the transfer of mediocre players for incredulous prices has become an epidemic in the English game.Liverpool are probably the main culprit of this practice, having signed Jordan Henderson (16m), Stewart Downing (20m) and Andy Carroll (35m) in recent years.

Nürnberg vs. Hoffenheim zur Champions Leage Zeit

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Englische Woche, 14. Spieltag der Bundesliga und für uns alle passiert heute wieder mal so eine kleine, unwichtige Randnotiz. Es geht dabei um die Anstosszeit beim Spiel 1. FC Nürnberg gegen die TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Das Spiel beginnt nämlich erst um 20.45 Uhr und das ist für ein Bundesligaspiel schon sehr spät.

La Barra de Cristo

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01.11.2012 - Después de atacar a Javier Cantero (presidente de Independiente, enfrentado con la barra roja), de calificar a Mauro Martín como "hincha calificado" y de negar (una y otra vez) la existencia de barras bravas en el club que lo tiene como vicepresidente (Boca), Juan Carlos Crespi dio un paso más (hacia la inimputabilidad?

Liga MX Apertura 2012 el torneo devora tecnicos

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Seis técnicos han sido cesados en este torneo de sus respectivos equipos, siendo Atlas y Pumas los mas reciclados.

Aqui el recuento

Puebla - El show inició en la Jornada 5 cuando del Puebla fue cesado Daniel Bartolotta y sustituido por Daniel Guzman, hoy es lugar 16 con 12 puntos.