Opinion

Major League Soccer

The Brave New World of MLS 3.0

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Sigh. I can't be bothered to start a "MLS Does Not Suck" column to respond to Deadspin's coverage. The first article reeked of somebody who didn't actually watch the league, but the second column made a lot more solid points about the Atlanta expansion situation. Take a deep breath and realize that, big picture, media coverage is a good thing.

MLS Salaries: Starting at the Rock-Bottom

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One of the key things for any employee entering the workforce is starting salary: it normally sets the baseline for future earnings and possible raises. That's why it's so sad that management has played professional sports player unions for fools, pitting veterans against rookies in negotiations (at least in North America).

The Number One Reason Why MLS Should Expand to Topeka, KS

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So, MLS is expanding all over the place. Sometimes, they occupy and share an NFL stadium. Other times, expansion cities scurry to build lovely soccer-specific stadiums. In their haste, though, they sometimes, ahem, have to clear out still-in-use churches. In Orlando City, the municipality balked at a local church's initial asking price (tens of millions) and jumped straight to eminent-domain and litigation.

Manchester United

David Moyes & The Cult Of The Football Manager

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The axe, which had been glistening in the background at post-match press conferences for much of this season, finally made contact with David Moyes' neck this morning. Moyes' departure from Old Trafford was a most modern managerial sacking. Trailed on social media, the lead item on the lunchtime news this afternoon, and with considerable excitement in some quarters, at least over the effect that the decision had upon Manchester United's value on the New York Stock Exchange, the removal of the club's manager couldn't really have happened at any point in the past.

Reaction: David Moyes Sacked By Man Utd As Another Loveless Arranged Marriage Goes Down The Spout

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By Chris Wright

David Moyes: At least he tried

Good of them to hold off until after the Bank Holiday, but after rumours starting swilling on Monday afternoon, David Moyes has been sacked by Manchester United after just 10 months in charge at Old Trafford.

United have exercised remarkable patience by modern footballing standards, though it would seem an 11th league defeat of the season and the fact that the loss against Everton signalled that Champions League qualification had officially become a mathematical impossibility (the first time United haven't qualified for top-tier European football in 19 years) was the final nail in the coffin.

The Fall And Plateau Of Manchester United

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It is more of an FA Cup word than a Champions League word. But there's no denying that during their 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich this week, Manchester United were "plucky." The FA Cup analogy is not entirely inappropriate. I'd missed the meetings where everyone was told that United were in for the sort of walloping Arsenal and Tottenham have almost patented in big EPL games this season.

Manchester United vs Manchester City: A Personal View

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As the full-time whistle blew at Old Trafford this evening, the strangest feeling came over me. Prior to the match, if you'd asked me, I'd have probably said that I wanted Manchester City to win this match. It's a reflex reaction to twenty years of unprecedented success from Manchester United the taste of schadenfreude can be prove to be surprisingly enduring and the lingering residue of the idea that Manchester City are the underdogs in these fixtures, an idea that became throughly ingrained in my psyche over the thirty years or so of my football watching life up to the point at which Abu Dhabi United took over the ownership of the club.

Man Utd Board Rumoured To Have Discussed Prospect Of Sacking David Moyes For First Time

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By Chris Wright

David Moyes: It never rains...

It would appear that the prospect of Manchester United sacking David Moyes as their manager may have been brought up at boardroom level for the first time following their embarrassing 3-0 home defeat against Liverpool on Sunday.

Champions League

EDEN HAZARD: Would you start him tonight?

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Surprising news yesterday afternoon that Eden Hazard HAS been named in the 20-man squad that travelled to Madrid despite sitting out the morning training session. If he's fit enough to be named in the squad, would you start him tonight?

Before you answer there are plenty of things to think about here.

US Players: The Winding Path Backwards & Ahead

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Remember all the buzz when Jozy Altidore first signed for Sunderland? He'd just scored a plethora of goals in the Eredivisie and was ready to return to the EPL and take it by storm! Yes, the manager at the time was a bit crazy, but the team had survived relegation. Surely Jozy could knock in ten goals and guide the Black Cats to mid-table security?

Talking Point: Did Arjen Robben Dive Against Arsenal? It Would Appear Not… (With GIF Evidence)

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By Chris Wright

Now, believe us, we take zero pleasure in defending Arjen Robben and his ilk. Nil. Zilch. The man continues to offend us almost each and every time we seem him play; swooning daintily to the ground under the slightest duress with the same frail, feeble, gossamer-light constitution as the elderly well-to-do ladies who faint at the first sight of blood in Agatha Christie stories.

The next eight games could make or break Chelsea's season.

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Sitting at the top of the Premier League, with the Champions League just around the corner, the next eight games Chelsea face could make or break our season.

There is so much being made of the title race and the remaining games Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham have to play.

Chelsea

Liverpool v Chelsea - You ALL know if anyone can beat them it's Chelsea!

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Credit Liverpool for the fantastic run of form they are currently in, sitting top of the Premier League with the destiny of the title in their own hands. In two weeks time however, that will all change because they know, you know and the rest of the world knows that if there is one team that can go to Anfield and beat them in their own backyard, it's Chelsea!

"Stamford Bridge is intimidating" - "Playing there is hell"

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Stamford Bridge on Champions League nights and especially the big games, has an amazing atmosphere. Sometimes we are slated for the lack of noise during the "smaller" games but tonight I know the Chelsea faithful are going to be right up for this one.

Ahead of another massive night for the Football Club, I wanted to bring to the Chelsea fans attention two quotes from players that are more than interesting.

Why have Chelsea struggled to perform against the so called lesser teams?

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As usual, with any Chelsea defeat, the press have a field day that seems to continue for days after the event. There were plenty of questions asked after the final whistle on Saturday. Why can we produce a performance like we did against Arsenal and then the following game perform as we did at Selhurst Park?

"I don't think whoever gets Chelsea would be happy"

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As the final whistle blew at Old Trafford and in Dortmund last night, we finally knew who the last eight sides would be in the Champions League draw tomorrow. As a Chelsea fan, who would you like to face in the next round?

Chelsea will line up alongside Manchester United as the English representatives in the draw.

Chelsea Supporters Safe Standing Survey

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We are jointly running a survey to gather Chelsea supporters' attitudes to Safe Standing at football grounds in collaboration with other Chelsea supporter organisations, blogs and fanzines including: BlueTinted - CFCnet - cfcuk - Chelsea Daft - Chelsea Fancast - Chelsea Mad - Chelsea Supporters Club - Chelsea Supporters Group - Chelsea Supporters Trust -Famous CFC - Oh Dennis Wise - Plains of Almeria – Rivals - Talk Chelsea – TheChels - The Chelsea Blog - The Chels podcast - The Podding Shed - We Ain't Got No History - Vital Football
The survey will take about 5 minutes to complete and ends Sunday 16th March.

Chelsea star looking to leave!

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Chelsea's forgotten man Marko Marin has expressed an interest in turning his loan spell in La Liga with Sevilla into a permanent transfer. If you were to ask me, the club should be willing to get the deal done.

I will admit, for the most part this season, I have been wrapped up in what is happening with the first team but that's only natural.

Aston Villa v Chelsea - Pick YOUR starting Chelsea eleven.

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Tomorrow evening, Chelsea travel to Villa Park just days before we take on Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League. Would you make changes or play the strongest eleven possible?

For me, I would maintain our challenge for the Premier League title and go as strong as we have possible at Villa Park.

PREDICTION: Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal will ALL drop points this weekend.

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Right now as it stands, the Premier League looks good for Chelsea. Despite the other sides having games in hand on us to claw back some points, things are looking positive. By Monday we will know if things have got even better!

A potential slip up, a massive North London derby and Liverpool taking on traditionally, their biggest rivals, one way or another, Chelsea could gain an even bigger advantage as long as we get the right result ourselves at Villa Park.

Mourinho talks teamwork.

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Chelsea last suffered league defeat away at Stoke on 7th December. Our win over Spurs has extended our run to fourteen league games undefeated and you have to admit watching Chelsea, it's all down to teamwork.

We are all still celebrating the victory over Tottenham on Saturday and most of us would have loved our bragging rights at work today however, as we all know, Tottenham were well in the game right up to the penalty and sending off.

OPINION: Would you rather be in Chelsea's or Man City's position now?

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Jose Mourinho said at the weekend that he would rather have the games in hand than the points on the board in the Premier League title race. I want to know if you agree with him or disagree?

For me all day long it has to be the points and I am sure he is just playing mind games and putting pressure on Pellegrini.

OSCAR - Would you play him tomorrow from the start?

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Here's a question for Chelsea fans ahead of the game tomorrow - based on recent performances and Andre Schurrle's performance last weekend, would you start Oscar tomorrow?

Before you think to yourselves the answer, and I am not digging Oscar out here, I want you to consider his recent performances.

GARY CAHILL - OUTSTANDING THIS SEASON.

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Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, there is one player who should be right up there in contention with others for the Player of the Year award and that's Gary Cahill.

We read everyday comment and focus on Jose Mourinho, John Terry and Eden Hazard but it's important that we should not forget the MASSIVE impact Gary Cahill has had on Jose Mourinho and this Chelsea team.

SCHURRLE: Has his performance on Saturday given Jose a problem?

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Andre Schurrle's devastating hat-trick against Fulham last weekend has opened debate for all of us ahead of Tottenham this Saturday. Has he given Jose Mourinho a real problem?
Let's be honest, Schurrle although spent a time missing with injury, has played a bit part in Chelsea's run of thirteen Premier League games unbeaten that has seen us sit four points clear of second place.

BURN OUT! - Is that now the worry at Chelsea?

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Here's a question for you the Chelsea fan reading this post. Do you think that any of our players look tired and could do with a rest after watching our recent performances?

You could say that we have been extremely lucky this season with player injuries and suspensions as thankfully, they have been kept to a minimum.

Brendan Rodgers takes aim at Chelsea's approach to games. Do you agree?

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Brendan Rodgers made a comment at the weekend aimed at Chelsea and I wondered what YOU the Chelsea fan reading his quote feels about it.

Rodgers was asked to compare the way his Liverpool side plays and their philosophy compared to Chelsea's and he said:

"I worry always to play good football.

What do you make of the Ashley Cole situation now at Chelsea?

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Ashley Cole remains on the Chelsea bench week in, week out now under Jose Mourinho and I am wondering how you see the situation at the moment. Is Mourinho right to leave him out?

I will admit to being surprised to see Jose Mourinho make a single change for the FA Cup game at Man City last weekend.

What do you think of Nemanja Matic since his return to Chelsea?

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Speaking after our disappointing draw against West Brom on Tuesday night, Nemanja Matic has re-iterated that Chelsea will continue to fight and believe in themselves until the end of the season.

You would be hard pushed to find anyone who has not been impressed by Nemanja Matic since he made his return to Chelsea a couple of weeks ago.

Are Liverpool SERIOUS title contenders with Arsenal, City and Chelsea?

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Everyone has been talking about a three horse race for the Premier League title this season but after Liverpool's last gasp win at Fulham last night, they are right up there in contention. I am asking YOU reading this post if you believe they are serious title contenders?

Apart from the Aguero / Negredo combination, there is no one better at the moment up top than Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge for Liverpool.

Manchester City

Sorry Manuel Pellegrini - Football is a results business!

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Ahead of this past weekends games, Manuel Pellegrini aimed a dig at Chelsea and Jose Mourinho about our style of play. It's funny though because now, a couple of days later, Manchester City seem to have let the title slip from their grasp!

Before I go on to give my view on here, this is what Pellegrini said when he spoke about the title race.

OSCAR - Time to give him a rest?

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Oscar's performance levels have dropped in recent weeks culminating in a really disappointing first half performance against Everton this afternoon. Is it time he is given a rest?

I know that Oscar was named on the bench in both games against Man City but you would think that with being named in the side starting today, he would be keen to make an impression.

The Rest

COURTOIS OPINION: Stay in Madrid for come to Chelsea?

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Thibaut Courtois has stated that he expects a decision to be made on where he will play his football next week and revealed that Atletico Madrid are in negotiations with Chelsea. Should he be allowed to stay there or is it time to bring him to Chelsea?

We have to put sentiment to one side and think of the good of the football club.

It will take more than Psycho to fix Forest

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If grounds could talk, its tale would be the grandest of them all. It is no Camp Nou, no Bernabeu. You could hardly find a more inauspicious set for this Hollywood plot. Across the waters of the Trent, beyond the graffiti-spattered Lady Bay Bridge and gloomy, half-abandoned industrial units, Nottingham Forest's giant, dirty goalpost Trent End is impossible to miss, standing proud alongside the boat clubs on the banks of the river.

Stuart Pearce Officially Set To Become Nottingham Forest Manager And I Don’t Quite Know How To Feel About It…

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By Chris Wright

#NFFC have announced Stuart Pearce will become their new manager. http://t.co/xAKtCo3Rqq pic.twitter.com/nP571u9vnB

— Nottingham Forest FC (@Official_NFFC) April 3, 2014

Well then, it's official.

Derby County, Sheffield United & All The Fun Of The Merry-Go-Round

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It was all over within the space of three minutes at Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon, as two goals from Ryan Flynn and the spectactularly bearded John Brayford with more than a little assistance from a deflection were enough to send the League One club through to an FA Cup Semi-Final match to be played against Hull City of the Premier League at Wembley next month.

The Despotism & Ignorance Of Vincent Tan

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Perhaps now we at least might have some understanding of why Vincent Tan has been so insistent on the subject of changing the colours of Cardiff City's shirts over this last couple of years or so. By wearing red, all associated with the club are better prepared to mask the redness of their faces as the club's owner repeatedly drags its name through the mud.

Get Well Soon, Butch: On The Subject of Wilkins’ Progress

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Depression is a horrible, confusing and misunderstood affliction. Not only does the settling of a dark cloud over the mind have a rubberising effect on the emotions, blowing the most ridiculously tiny considerations out of all proportion whilst shrinking everything that matters to mere triviality, but it also is also a condition that still, even in the twenty-first century, can feel mildly embarrassing.

Every World Cup Article Ever Written: Stupid Price Hikes!

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It's simple math. A major sports tournament at an exotic locale looms. A journalist gets on an online travel website, looks at the price for a hotel in a city during a regular summer month, then they look at the price for that same hotel during said sporting tournament. The numbers don't add up! One is bigger!

The Neymar Transfer Third Party Party

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I've already written about third party ownership. In the best light, it's a way for poorer countries and clubs to pool risk and invest in players. Regardless of your opinion, it's a product of the transfer system: as long as clubs exchange lots of money to get players, folks will try to get a slice of that pie.