Arsene Wenger

Not The Best Birthday Present For Wenger

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Arsene Wenger rued Arsenal's unusual lack of creativity as they were held to a goalless draw by Middlesbrough.

The Gunners' boss was celebrating his 67th birthday as they fought for their seventh consecutive league win but an impressive performance from Boro goalkeeper Victor Valdes and a lack of creativity in midfield kept the game goalless.

Stoke 0-0 Arsenal: Solid, but toothless

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Match report Video By the numbers

It's measure of how assured our defensive performance was that at no stage did I feel the usual flutters of nervousness during yesterday's game. Normally Stoke are a team – much as we dislike them – that cause us real problems. From set-pieces or throw-ins, or even on the break, we find them difficult to cope with.

Official Cazorla is official

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Morning to you.

It's like the day after getting a package you were anxiously waiting for. You're glad it's finally arrived and the waiting didn't seem that long after all. Officially, 100%, Santi Cazorla is a Gooner. He signed from Malaga for the ubiquitous undisclosed fee on a long-term contract.

First Photos: Santi Cazorla In An Arsenal Shirt – The Deal Is Done!

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By Alan Duffy

It's official, Santi Cazorla has joined Arsenal for a fee believed to be somewhere in the £15 million range. In short, it's a bit of a bloody bargain. As we've already noted, we're super, super excited to see him take to a Premier League pitch.

First Photos: Santi Cazorla In An Arsenal Shirt – The Deal Is Done!

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By Alan Duffy

It's official, Santi Cazorla has joined Arsenal for a fee believed to be somewhere in the £15 million range. In short, it's a bit of a bloody bargain. As we've already noted, we're super, super excited to see him take to a Premier League pitch.

Santi? Course he’s coming to town.

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Morning all,

and the main event this grey Friday is, of course, Santi Cazorla. Absent from training at Malaga yesterday he traveled to London as everything had been agreed between the clubs, underwent a medical and all going well should be unveiled as an Arsenal player today.

It is, perhaps, 12 months later than Arsene Wenger would have liked.

New York Red Bulls

Petke discusses Red Bulls’ need for creativity, Convey, and more

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New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke has every right to be frustrated.

The 2013 Supporters Shield champions were battered 4-1 in their opening matchup with the Vancouver Whitecaps. They followed that performance with a generally dominant effort against a young Colorado Rapids side, only to have a questionable penalty call cause them to walk away with just one point.

Tim Cahill About To Run With the Red Bulls

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Bit of a personal note here.

Tim Cahill was very much the reason that Everton FC is a frequent watch at TSG headquarters. The now 32-year-old who joined the Toffees in 2004 epitomizes the club.

In his younger days, he had the perfect concoction of two parts lunchpail, one part creativity that made him perhaps one of the most complete squad players anywhere in the Prem.

SB Nation Power Rankings Week 17

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This week in the SB Nation Power rankings, the Chicago Fire took a bit of a fall, dropping into eighth place after having climbed up to sixth the week prior. The Fire looked pretty tired and didn't seem to show a lot of creativity on Sunday. A seventh place ranking would've seemed more justified especially after getting results on the road the previous week.


Street Dreaming in Senegal Whether it’s a city park, a...

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Street Dreaming in Senegal

Whether it's a city park, a dirt lot or a fenced-in turf field, children across the world spend day after day chasing the same dream to be the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. But while the quality of the pitch might change from region to region, and while some footballs might be more tattered than others, the same expression of joy is always apparent as kids momentarily transform into their idols once they step onto their local pitch.

"If they explain it to you with football, you get it" The idea?...

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"If they explain it to you with football, you get it"

The idea? You can get a guy to understand anything by speaking about it in the context of football.

From why he should take out the trash to explaining that this relationship isn't going anywhere, these spots from Libero Football Magazine showhow the world's most popular sport can be used as a vehicle to talk about other topics such as culture, art and style.

St. Pauli, still splattering with creativity… ‘Tis...

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St. Pauli, still splattering with creativity...

‘Tis the season of the kit launch. The big clubs are all trying to outdo one another, but if there is anything I have learned, it's that no matter what the Chelseas and Real Madrids do to promote their new design, St. Pauli will still come out looking like champions.

Newcastle United

Newcastle’s Creativity Simply Hopeless This Season – Fact

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There's a really good article out by NUFCSTATS, a Newcastle fan, a couple of days ago in EPLINDEX, where you get all the stats of both the players and the Premier league sides, and it points out the woeful creativity of Newcastle United this season. Demba Ba's handball goal at Reading the only one form [.

Newcastle Concerns About Hatem Ben Arfa

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Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, our top two French Internationals haven't played yet in pre-season, after they have been back at Newcastle for only a week,  since having some rest following their Euro 2012 exploits. Hatem Ben Arfa in action earlier this year Alan Pardew has said that Newcastle lacked some flair and creativity in the game at Den Haag on Saturday, and certainly [.

Major League Soccer

Revs vs. Union in a Nutshell

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The Union midfield did well to silence Fernando Cardenas and the Revolution's midfielders. (Photo: Walter Silva)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. A game to forget for the both the New England Revolution and the Philadelphia Union. A dour 0-0 draw where neither team really showed a desire to score a goal or put the opponent on the back foot.

Late Valdes winner lifts Union over Impact

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CHESTER, Pa. -- For more than 80 minutes, the first-ever meeting between the Philadelphia Union and the Montreal Impact left something to be desired. But in the last 15 minutes, that all changed.

Philadelphia took the lead in the 82nd minute when Lionard Pajoy pounced on a loose ball in the box, only for Montreal to answer moments later when the Union fell asleep on a corner kick and conceded an own goal.

Ferreira’s Impact in Season Debut

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Using the Opta Chalkboard to analyze the FC Dallas playmaker

Article by Anders Aarhus

To say it's been a tough season for FC Dallas would be an understatement. Plagued by injuries to key players throughout the season the team has won just three games and is dead last in the Western Conference on 15 points.

Soccer Coaches & Coaching

European Super Cup: Atletico tears Chelsea a new one, 4-1

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If you every hypothesized that the Europa Cup last season was the competition with the talent, the passion, and the more compelling matches, then you had your proof today. It was Atletico at the end looking as if it could have played another 90 minutes while Chelsea looked like it wanted back those 90 minutes, each minute more painful than the one before.

Sahin transfer: This is not a Liverpool coup

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Brendan Rodgers: Salesman extraordinaire

Brendan Rodgers is broadcasting the Nuri Sahin loan transfer as a sales pitch that swayed the Turkish midfielder in Liverpool's direction. Nothing can be more untrue.

Sahin had set his heart on coming to Arsenal and it was the club's insistence on a provision to buy him out that became a deal breaker.

Euro 2012: Group C: Spain use Ireland for target practice, 4-0

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szólj hozzá: Spain vs Ireland 4:0 MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Spain at their ridiculous best. Fernando Torres looking like the old Torres, eating up real estate with each huge gallop and flourishing a trenchant finish. Can we anoint Andres Iniesta? And did David Silva's eye popping goal bring a tear to your peepers?

FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup

FIFA U-20 WWC: If We're to Judge by Cold Once-Overs, I'm Going With the Germans

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This once-over comes courtesy of the German keeper in blue.

And it turns out I'm right about picking the young Germans, led by Maren Meinert and Bettina Wiegmann and Silke Rottenberg, all of whom, unbeknownst to us all, strategize with their hands on their chins. Like Team USA had any answer to this.

FIFA U-20 WWC: Canadians Move the Ball Like Studs

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Studs like hugs.Everything I said earlier about how fearful the world should be of Japan and how they're securing their positions as a true force in women's soccer--if not one of the forces, a true effing powerhouse, in women's soccer--let me now apply this to the Canadians. It's exciting, I have to admit, as a fan of this game.



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Liverpool's possible new signing in Nuri Sahin shows his dazzling array of skills in this patchy video mostly playing for Dortmund of the Bundesliga in Germany in 2010/11 before he joined Real Madrid last season.

From this, he takes an excellent free-kick, is an offensive, attacking midfielder with a keen eye for goal.

How Will Brendan Rodgers Shape Liverpool?

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Watching Liverpool play last season was a frustrating experience for all concerned. Clearly a team with talent, they were over-reliant on Luis Suarez for creativity while those around the Uruguayan often didn't take enough responsibility. In fact,...

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Sterling Impresses Rodgers

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Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for teenage winger Raheem Sterling after his goalscoring display at Anfield on Sunday.
The 17-year-old scored the opener as Liverpool produced a convincing display to beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-1.
Lucas Leiva and Andy Carroll were also on target against the Bundesliga side but it was Sterling's outstanding performance that caught the eye and Rodgers was impressed.

Ramirez nears Liverpool Switch?

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According to reports Liverpool are  lining up a £16million bid for Bologna winger Gaston Ramirez.

The 21- year olds agent earlier confirmed that the midfielder is holding talks with a Premier League club, and if recent reports are to be believed Liverpool are favourites to land the highly-rated Uruguayan international .

Blues boss comments on summer signings

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Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo took some time to reflect on his team's summer signings ahead of today's pre-season training opening day, asserting that the new arrivals will only strengthen the European champions.

The Blues lost experienced trio Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, and Jose Bosingwa this summer but added future stars such as Marko Marin and Eden Hazard, both of whom the manager has backed to shine in the Blues uniform.

Irish Outclassed

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Quality difference telling

Had something written up since Sunday but work commitments meant that it was never published. So, in order not to waste your time (you know how much I treasure your time), here's just a recap of how things went in the Euros.

England v France

  • Roy Hodgson went for his tried and trusted 2 banks of four and that worked.


It’s official: Oscar joins Chelsea, finally

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Talk about worst kept secrets.

Chelsea have finally announced that the club has completed the signing of Oscar from Internacional for a fee widely being reported to be around £25 million. The 20-year-old, a Brazilian international, adds even more creativity to a side that has been bolstered by the likes of Eden Hazard and Marko Marin already this summer.

Dynamo v Philadelphia Union: Late Ching PK Gives Houston the Win

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It wasn't a 90 beautiful minutes, but it was a solid first half combined with a nice response in the second half that gave the Dynamo a much needed 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union. Goals from Brad Davis and Brian Ching (sure it was a PK but at last he scores at BBVA Compass Stadium) led Houston to the three points.

Portland Timbers

Portland at Chivas USA: Quotes, stats, and Links

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After 10 hours of scoreless road soccer here is what everyone had to say.


Portland Timbers Quotes

Timbers general manager/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson

Thoughts on the game:
"I think in the first half we lacked a little bit of energy, we lacked imagination, we lacked creativity - our ball speed was a little bit poor and individual areas cost us the goal.

Timbers go to Colorado, suck Rocky Mountain Oysters

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Quick Recap

The Portland Timbers came out flat and looked terrible making the Colorado Rapids look like Manchester United. Colorado took advantage and scored two early goals. Their lead held up as Portland continued their uninspired play and added another one late. 3-0 loss.

First Half

Portland's road woes continued as they came out flat and uninspired.

The Rest

DEBATE: 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 for Chelsea?

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I have taken some stick on my blog over the past day or so because I have changed my opinion. As we all know, Chelsea have played with the tried and trusted 4-3-3 formation ever since Jose Mourinho was manager in 2004. That formation has brought Chelsea major successes as we know.

In recent seasons however, it seems that the opposition had worked out how to defend against the 4-3-3 formation we were using and Chelsea found it very difficult to break down.

Becoming Andres Iniesta

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It's always wonderful to see creativity leaking into the world of sport, and Andres Iniesta's latest ad is no different. Though having him a jagged mess of limbs clacking together and held by bits of string doesn't seem to parallel the smoothest man in football. Or maybe that's the point.

Maybe I should just shut up and you should watch.

Revolution Player of the Month, July: Lee Nguyen

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The New England Revolution would be very happy if the entire month of July just evaporated into thin air. At this point, I think the Revs could use a do-over. After kicking the month off with a convincing 2-0 win over New York, the Revs didn't win another game (and still haven't), finishing July with a 1-3-1 record.

Guy to Join Guam National Team

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On Wednesday, Revolution midfielder Ryan Guy announced his intentions of joining the Guam National Team. (Photo: Kari Heistad)

Ryan Guy may not be on Jurgen Klinsmann's radar, but that won't stop the Revolution midfielder from earning his first international cap before the close of the calendar year.

A Horrible Week Comes To A Lousy End

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More of the same from the Rapids. Boneheaded defending combined with a complete lack of creativity led to a 2-0 loss and the loss of the Rocky Mountain Cup, again. I won't discuss the Rapids offense because there was none. 0 shots on goal in the game. On the defense things were relatively solid until Wynne brain-locked again.

Attacking The Different, the Unique

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  • You need to grow up ... too grown up, and you're no fun.
  • You need to show some class ... too much class, and you're a snob.
  • You're filthy rich ... too little money, and you're a loser.
  • You're an academic dropout ... too much academics, and you've got no real world experience.

What Are You Talking About?

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Lack of definitions is a huge problem!

In the context of soccer, when one says:

  • "Culture"
  • "Creativity"
  • "Possession"
  • "Attacking Style"
  • "Development"
  • "World Class"
  • "Great Coach"
  • "Great Player"
  • etc ..

Those things can all mean wildly different things, unless you have a proper reference.

Euro 2012 Special: The Best Fan Photos From Match Day 2 featuring Spain, Sweden, Italy, Poland, France And England

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From grown-up Spanish men dolled up in flamenco costumes (brillante!), couples kissing in the Ukrainian rain to Swedish "body rockers", here's our photo special featuring the best fans from Euro 2012 Matchday 2! (See Part 1 here).

Sweden may have been defeated by England last night, but it wouldn't have mattered to these fans anyway they couldn't have watched the game through that mask!