English Premier League

The 200% Pre-Season Previews: Chelsea

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It was a penalty shoot-out like no other. In the intensity of the moment, perhaps the longer term significance of Chelseas Champions League victory against Bayern Munich was forgotten, but its ramifications have been felt throughout the Premier League this summer, with the stop-start nature of Chelseas season being swept to one side in those few tumultuous minutes.

Swansea & Norwich: Cities Counting The Hidden Costs Of Success

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This weeks news concerning the apparent departures of Brendan Rodgers and Paul Lambert to Liverpool and Aston Villa respectively means that the warm glow of satisfaction hanging over The Liberty Stadium and Carrow Road following a job well done last season seems unlikely to last for much longer. Swansea City and Norwich City were treated with derision by many upon their arrival into the Premier League a year ago, but the two clubs confounded expectations to complete their first seasons in their new home with so much as the concept of relegation crossing their minds.

Rooney’s mistake paves way for Crouch to be England’s Euro hero

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Say what you want about Roy Hodgson's England appointment, the cultured manager certainly likes his target men.

In my view, this will suit England perfectly with Wayne Rooney's badly-judged sending-off in the qualifiers opening the door for Peter Crouch, who has consistently impressed as an England player under any manager.

Arsenal Supporters – disillusioned or pathetic?

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Witch hunts, apathy, delusion and greed, all pathetically wrapped up in an unshakable belief in a divine right to win. Recognise it? Of course you do. Unfortunately it describes many so-called Arsenal supporters, who today stand supreme amongst football folk in their ability irrespective of the injury situation and short of any real knowledge of the internal politics or financial situation facing the club, to defame our great clubs name just by confessing their poisonous support.

Scudamore Misses the Moment On Racism

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So, the English Premier League will not be staging that dreaded 39th game overseas any time soon, which perhaps allows some of those grassroots fans to be thankful for something while they see the rest of their game being taken away. Chief executive Richard Scudamore certainly wanted to distance himself not only from his own failed idea but also from Scottish Premier League chief Neil Doncaster's idea of taking the Old Firm abroad, which could be taken as simply a throw-away comment or a cheeky notice to Mr.

1962: Hibs Move To End Relegation

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Outrage reigned last month when the idea of removing promotion and relegation from England's top flight was discussed.

The Guardian reported Richard Bevan, chief executive of the League Managers Association, as saying:

"There are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation in the Premier League, If we have four or five more new owners, that could happen.

Will The Premier League Pull Up The Drawbridge Once And For All?

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The warning signs were there, and it now looks as if there is at least a chance that the damn will burst. When Liverpool's Ian Ayre made his comments regarding the sale of television rights last week, there was widespread derision aimed in his direction, although this was tempered by the belief some even say understanding that Ayre was only saying aloud what others were thinking.

Everton’s David Moyes points finger at referee in defeat to Liverpool | Andy Hunter

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Everton's David Moyes points finger at referee in defeat to Liverpool | Andy Hunter

• Jack Rodwell sent off by Martin Atkinson for clean tackle • Moyes and Atkinson clashed last year in draw against Man Utd The Liverpool team coach snaked out of Goodison Road with police vans for an escort and irate Evertonians lining the route to bid it adieu.

Everton’s David Moyes points finger at referee in defeat to Liverpool

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Everton's David Moyes points finger at referee in defeat to Liverpool

• Jack Rodwell sent off by Martin Atkinson for clean tackle • Moyes and Atkinson clashed last year in draw against Man Utd The Liverpool team coach snaked out of Goodison Road with police vans for an escort and irate Evertonians lining the route to bid it adieu.

The Beauty & Glory Of Missing An Open Goal

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He shoots, he scores! Or, if you happened to be Fernando Torres yesterday afternoon, you didn't. There are several reasons why a Premier League match which had, as they say, a little bit of everything, will most likely remembered for one moment of aberration, some connected to the eye-watering amount of money that Chelsea played for said player, others through a sense of a relief that it effectively ended much chance of a tight finish to a match that Manchester United should have long since wrapped up, but most for reasons of good, old fashioned schadenfreude.

Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll illustrate perils of a striker’s lot | Paul Hayward

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Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll illustrate perils of a striker's lot | Paul Hayward

Spain and England left out £85m of misfiring striking talent this week but when a centre-forward is on song it lifts the entire team As any Middlesbrough fan will tell you – just mention Afonso Alves or Massimo Maccarone as prompts – buying the wrong striker is a peculiarly calamitous act that invites external derision and internal angst.

Tottenham Hotspur

DT Exclusive: Luka Modric brings awkward end to his Spurs revolt

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Spurs midfielder Luka Modric decided to skip the club's first training sessions of the preseason and missed the team flight to the U.S. in an attempt to force them to sell him to Real Madrid. Well, that didn't work and instead all Modric got was a large fine and the derision of chairman Daniel Levy and new manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Harry and England: Whose Is the Greater Love?

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The public are comfortable with Harry Redknapp. His rumpled, down-to-earth persona harks back to a bygone era before football became a commercial monster, evoking soft fuzzy Sunday evening television images of a time when society was less complicated and life was better. With Harry, like him or not, you know where you are.

Euro 2012

More Conclusions: The State Of The Homegrown Program

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Starts with "M," Dan...."M!"

Darius Tahir bookends John Parker's piece on youth development with a closer look at the present-day state of the Homegrown Player program in MLS.

For the data review in Darius's piece, please see this Google Spreadsheet.

After the Brazil loss we were told—as previous TSG writer Joshua Wells noted—that unless we found such results "unacceptable" the team would never become an elite one.

A Very German Home, Plus Thomas Mueller Does Risotto

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This home in Germany certainly wins an award for patriotism, though the design gurus and neighborhood council will look upon it with nothing short of derision. The homeowner's name is Dennis Rheinhardt. He's presumably single, though "family" is noted in the caption. (Can't be true.

Greece out to shock the world again

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Greece caused an almighty upset in 2004 when they went all the way and won the European Championships and they are again playing the role of over-achievers, having defied derision to make it into the knockout stages at Euro 2012.

Fernando Santos' side was written off before a ball was kicked and they did nothing to promote any real optimism with their opening draw against Poland and subsequent loss to the Czech Republic.

Neville will Pull no Punches

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Having recently been named as part of Roy Hodgson's back room team, Gary Neville has insisted that he will be frank and honest with the players, promising not to shirk difficult discussions, if they are needed.

The former Manchester United and England right back, who retired from playing in February 2011, said: "I believe in honesty and, if a football player makes a mistake, he has potentially a billion people watching it around the world, depending on what game it is.

Euro 2012’s Men In Black (Or Fabulous Fluorescent)

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Sadly, this guy is not on the list. (But he should be. And he is certainly fabulous.)

The men to earn hate and derision from entire nations take charge of the Euro 2012 next summer have been given their summons papers, along with, hopefully, a sizable security detail. Refereeing is one of those jobs that knowing the names at hand isn't necessarily a good thing, as the premier among them go unnoticed.

The Rest

The Weight of History: Great Britain & Brazil play at Wembley

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According to the FIFA preview for this event, Team GB's game against Brazil will be the first women's football match ever played at Wembley.*

I'm a big supporter of Team GB. They have great players - just the midfield features Jill Scott, Rachel Yankey, Fara Williams, Anita Asante. There's Kelly Smith, Ellen White, Alex Scott - all fantastic and very experienced players.

It Really Isn’t What Football Fans Want to Hear?

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Greg Clarke is a defender of your football club. No really. Stop snorting with derision in Pompey, Plymouth, Leeds, Wrexham, Coventry (supporters of other clubs are also available in snort-mode) ... He says so himself. So it must be true.

In a telling exchange with MP Damien Collins at the DCMS enquiry (from 12.

“Stop Bunching!” – Are Tactics All They’re Cracked Up To Be?

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Ex-professional football players occupy a unique position in British society. For anyone else of any other profession or social standing, years having engaged in an activity on a professional basis day-in day-out would afford you with a modicum of respect and a reputation for expertise. You have been there, on the inside.

TFC solidify place as league's most embarrassing club

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"Free The Escobar Three!" Or not. Whatever."Things can only get better right?" This was a common refrain a couple of weeks ago after the Aron Winter dismissal. It was the genuine belief of many Toronto FC supporters that the on-field disgrace that is TFC must surely be due for an upswing.

Chelsea survive a missed Lionel Messi penalty to eliminate Barcelona from the Champions League

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Normally I don't steal other people's words for my blog posts as I like to stay as original as I can but I'm breaking my own rule tonight in favor of a Facebook post from my son who was commenting on Chelsea's epic Champions League Semi Final elimination of Barcelona at The Nou Camp stadium tonight.

Steve Zakuani Has Forgiven Brian Mullan, But What's Appropriate For Fans?

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Steve Zakuani is an amazing human being. Ever since he first started talking about the injury that has so far left him with a nasty scar, already cost him a year of his career and quite possibly changed him as a footballer forever, he's opted for the high road. In talking to the media before Saturday's game, which should be the first time Brian Mullan will face the Seattle Sounders since he threw that ill-advised tackle, Zakuani urged fans to be forgiving, too.

CONCACAF Congress in Budapest: Not as bizarre as it sounds

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CONCACAF's announcement that the new confederation president would be selected at their Congress in Budapest -- Hungary! -- raised eyebrows and drew considerable derision from the media and the Twitterverse. The Congress will meet on 23 May to select a president who will complete the remaining four years of Jack Warner's term.

Ching Tops Among Issues Facing Dynamo in 2012

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Kermit the Frog didn't give us the entire truth. While it might not be easy being green it seems even a touch more difficult being Forever Orange. Houston might be one of the more unlovable clubs in the league stretching back to 2006 with their origins birthed to the detriment of the city of San Jose and its an original MLS franchise.

LFC LEGEND insists: He will be 'BETTER than Xabi Alonso'. Agree?

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Earlier in the season, former Liverpool defender Gary Gillespie argued that Charlie Adam has the potential to be as good as Xabi Alonso, an opinion that was met with derision by many Liverpool fans. Now, Gillespie has gone one further, stating that he believes Adam can be even better than the Spanish midfield maestro.

Newcastle United’s Season Continues To Revive Mike Ashley’s Reputation

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At St James Park this lunchtime, Newcastle United beat Everton by two goals to one and in doing so leap-frogged Manchester United for a couple of hours, at least into second place in the Premier League table. Such a result may prove to be the tipping point for a rewriting of the popular perceptions of the competence (or otherwise) of Mike Ashley and, while the knee-jerk journalistic response is something along the lines of, "Yeah, but they have to play Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea next", it is difficult to argue against the simple point that a team can only be judged upon how it has already played, rather than the ones that it has yet to play.

Steve Zakuani Channels Beyonce, Wants to Upgrade You

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Recently many American soccer teams have begun their season ticket renewal campaigns. Some of them have been met with derision. Some have been welcomed by The Don. And others involve dinner dates with Steve Zakuani. Can you guess which one is funnier?

Never trust a Lib Dem

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So after making a big show about forcing a "Listening Exercise" over Lansley's NHS Reform bill the Lib Dems meekly voted for the reforms in the same way they voted for them in the first place.

So now pandora's box is open and the NHS is all about competition...The private sector can swoop in on the profitable areas whilst leaving the scraps to the NHS in the same way the vultures jumped on the profitable areas of the Post Office's business.