Professional Football

Champions League

Why Redknapp has his work Cut out at QPR

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By Andy Ward

Harry Redknapp swapped his comfortable place on the Match of the Day sofa this week for the altogether more pressurized cauldron of uncertainty that is the Queens Park Rangers hot seat.

Nearly as many managers have come through the revolving doors at Loftus Road as players in recent years, quite an achievement when you consider that the R's have assembled virtually a new team in each of the last three seasons.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: a career in search of the Champions League.

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Following his recent and absolutely spectacularbicyclekick gol against England, a match in which he also scored the other three goals, the buzz around Zlatan Ibrahimovic has grown considerably. Not that people needed to be reminded of Zlatan's footballing skills or his impressive aerial capabilities but, well, let's say that when you score a goal like that everybody and their mothers are going to start talking about you.

Celtic fly Scottish flag

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Celtic's victory over Barcelona in the Champions League was arguably their most memorable victory in Europe since they won the competition in 1967. When Celtic defeated Inter Milan in Lisbon they became the first British team to lift the European Cup. The Lisbon Lions as they became known were all born within a 30-mile radius of Glasgow.

Chelsea do not need Portuguese striker

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For almost a decade now Chelsea tips have linked the club with every relatively big name in football, with every rising starlet or disgruntled legend poised to touch down at Stamford Bridge.

Rarely do these big transfer rumours materialise and quite often – in the case of Andriy Shevchenko and Adrian Mutu – these stars turn out to be flops.

English Premier League

Can Benitez rejuvenate Torres?

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So Roman did what Roman does. Scolari, Ancelotti and Villas-Boas all experienced dips as the cold of winter started to set in and all eventually paid with their jobs. In the case of Di Matteo, Roman decided to change the manager whilst the autum/winter slump was in its infancy. I'm guessing he did this with the hope Benitez can turn things around as previous slumps at this time in the season have casued irreparable damage to the league campaign.

The title contenders ten games in

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Now that we are ten games into the new season I think this is probably the first time we can analyse the contenders for the title.

Manchester City

Last season's champions are the only team who remain unbeaten in the League this season. At this stage last season City had nine wins and a draw and were winning in style.

Theo who? Elsewhere in the League Cup last night

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Asides from the incredible scenes at the Madejski, last night's League Cup action proved how potent the competition still is for those teams outside the top tier. Overshadowed by Arsenal's comeback, the greatest shock of the night was definitely Bradford's penalty victory over Wigan, a gap of three divisions, and definitely the stand-out result of what has been a fairly miserable recent few years for Bantams fans.

A Diamond United

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In Sir Alex Fergusons 25 years in charge of Manchester Untied we have come to learn that he doesn't tolerate poor performances, and certainly doesn't tolerate a home defeat in front of an Old Trafford crowd. That's when you had to fear for Newcastle last weekend. United are typically at their best on the back of a defeat and you could have bet your house that they would have been firing on all cylinders at St James Park last week.

Jobi Mcanuff: Best team player in the Premier League?

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Most people would have spat in your face if you told them captain of struggling royals, Jobi Mcanuff was the best team player in the premier league this season. Wipe away the saliva and show them the recent data provided by Opta Stats, and they will be unpleasantly surprised by the findings:

Top Goalmakers

Player Team Assists % of Team Assists
Jobi Mcanuff Reading 3 38
Arouna Kone Wigan 2 29
Adam Lallana Southampton 4 29
Eden Hazard Chelsea 4 27
Juan Mata Chelsea 4 27
The data comes as a shock considering Reading's sub-par start to the season.

Can Arsenal really mount a title challenge this season?

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With the departure of two key performers this summer and having shipped off a lot of the squad's dead weight too, questions were always going to be asked about the outcome Arsenal were headed for this season.

The demand from fans and further financial gain from these sales provided Arsene Wenger with greater determination in terms of bringing players in however, and the additions of Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud have strengthened things up immensely.

Team of the Week – Week 7

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First of all sorry to all for this late team of the week. Hopefully this will become a regular feature for you all at Dexy's Den.

Goalkeeper Hart

Provided Man City with a long overdue clean sheet, however that is not the only reason for his inclusion in my team of the week. Hart made a modest amount of saves even though his defence, and Sunderlands impotence ensured he didn't have the hardest job to do this weekend.

Chelsea’s lightweight midfield will be shown up soon

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Chelsea FC have completely mismanaged their midfield and will pay the price when up against a strong team who keep the ball well.

Letting go of Michael Essien and Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles isn't looking like a bad move so far this season, but once the likes of Juan Mata and Torres get injured or too tired then Di Matteo's transfer policy will look ridiculous.

We bid farewell to a German class act, Auf wiedersehen Ballack

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By Ross Dunbar

Michael Ballack has been rarely missing from the forefront of German football. But this week, the 36-year-old brought an end to a stunning 17-year senior playing career, despite public interest from clubs spread across the globe, including those in North America and Australia.

What Makes Alan Pardews Eight Year Contract Different?

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It was hugely surprising to learn of the recentpremier league newslast week that Alan Pardew had been handed an eight year deal to stay on as Newcastle manager until 2020. Now in this day and age, we all know just how volatile a managerial hot-seat is – Opta index and their latestfootball magazinesay that since the start of the Premier League in 1992 the average tenure of a Premier League manager is 701 days.

Arsenal will surprise everyone and win the league

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Arsene Wenger has been waiting patiently on the sidelines for his time. He has watched his team being dismantled by the worlds rich kids. Clubs backed by entire governments, premium bonds and oil merchants. Clubs not living in reality. Fabregas to Barca, RVP to United, Nasri to City.

And he has stood firm, despite the loud cacophony of Arsenal fans' bawling and moaning.

The inspiring story of footballer Chris Todd’s battle with leukaemia

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All royalties from this title will go to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Diagnosed with leukaemia in November 2008, Chris Todd tells the story of this period of his life in diary form. It is a personal, honest and often humorous account of a leukaemia sufferer's battle with this life-threatening disease, and also of Chris's career [.

Phill Babb endorses UKFF ambitious development plan

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A bold brave and ambitious Development Plan was launched as promised by UKFF on 1st Septetmber. It involves putting in place a player and club progression Strategy that has won the endorsement of Ex Liverpool Defender Phil Babb and attracted excellent new Premier League and Nationwide Development Coaches as well.

Brendan Rodgers- what are you thinking?

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Just what on earth was Brendan Rodgers thinking when he backed out of the deal for Fulham's Clint Dempsey?
A stubborn refusal to meet Fulham's admittedly lofty asking price for the 29 year-old American has clearly backfired.

Liverpool, still a proud club, but in sharp decline, have seen their strike force limited to just two players in the past 48 hours.

Do you know more than the referee? Take the referee theory test

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From Maradona's 'Hand of God' to the two-footed tackle, match officials can make or break a team's season with their decision making and interpretation of events. Every weekend, football fans across the world leave football grounds disgruntled at the perceived injustice their team has received at the hands of the ref.

Arsenal

Has Wilfred Zaha got the right attitude to succeed in the Premier League?

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The young Crystal Palace star has been called up for the England squad to face Sweden. Since then Zaha has been talking to the press about his ambitions both domestically and internationally in the game.

Confidence is an important quality in a good player and something that the 20 year old has in abundance.

Is this the year that Spurs finally finish above Arsenal?

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Year after year, Spurs fans waltz into a new season brimming with confidence that this year will finally be the one in which they finish above bitter rivals Arsenal. The annual day which Spurs can no longer finish above Arsenal is named ‘St Totteringham's' Day by Gooner fans. But is this the season in which St Totteringham's Day is no more?

Do Arsenal need a new Viera?

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Talent is undoubtedly running through the veins of the current squad but there isn't that character in the team who can pull them through tough games where they are not at their best. In fairness to Arsene Wenger he has recruited some good experienced players in the last two seasons, like the Arteta's and Cazorla's of this world.

Do Arsenal need a new Vieira?

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Talent is undoubtedly running through the veins of the current squad but there isn't that character in the team who can pull them through tough games where they are not at their best. In fairness to Arsene Wenger he has recruited some good experienced players in the last two seasons, like the Arteta's and Cazorla's of this world.

Whose contract is up at the end of the season?

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I've been perusing the Internet to find out players who could potentially leave on a free at the end of the season. Pre-contract discussions can commence in January so many of these players will be on the radar of managers all over Europe. Having assembled their market value, I will be evaluating their chances of leaving in January or for free at the end of the 2012/13 season.

ARSENAL WERE RIGHT TO SELL VAN PERSIE

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DRESDEN, GERMANY, September 21, 2012 –Laureus Ambassador Jens Lehmann, who played in goal for Germany and top England football team Arsenal, says that his former club were right to sell Robin Van Persie to Manchester United for £24 million and believes German stars Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker are good acquisitions.

Wenger or the board – Just go now please

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Last season, it took an embarrassing 8-2 spanking at the hands of Arsenal's once bitter rivals to force Wenger to actually spend some money. All be it, very average ones. Arteta aside, the others were, and are still not good enough to play for Arsenal. It was a lot different this time, as we actually did some decent business early on, but that was it.

The Rest

Video: Guess the football lookalikes

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This entertaining video shows you an image of a professional football lookalike and gives you a couple of seconds to guess who they pretend to be before revealing the answer. There are a couple of corkers in there! Andy Carroll is up there among our favourites...

Barton should stay in Marseille

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English football's controversial outcast Joey Barton has recently claimed he would be happy to see out the rest of his career at Marseille as the midfielder continues to settle down into his loan spell – much to the delight of many English fans.

Barton, who left British shores this summer, has reportedly found a new lease of life on the south France coast away from intrusive media and bear-bating football fans.

Sturridge wants more starting opportunities

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Daniel Sturridge has said he wants to be starting more games for Chelsea after netting in the Blues incredible 5-4 Capital One Cup victory over Manchester United on Wednesday evening.

The England international has fallen down the pecking order under new boss Roberto Di Matteo, with Fernando Torres being the man to lead the line, supported by Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard just behind him.

Cardiff’s Bluebirds Power On

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In such an obscenely competitive division, where any of ten clubs could conceivably be challenging for promotion to the Premier League, it often take great team spirit, consistency, and a little bit of luck to stick your noses out in front. But with a quarter of the season played (already?!) a Welsh club top the Championship, making it a very real possibility that next year's Premiership fixtures could contain a Welsh derby for the first time in decades.

Does a slap in the face warrant more than a slap on the wrist?

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On Friday night Sheffield Wednesday met Leeds United in a fiery Yorkshire derby full of ferocious tackles and debatable refereeing decisions. Everything that is good about occasions like this was ruined by one Leeds fan who slapped an unsuspecting Chris Kirkland across the face.

Nowadays, in the English game as soon as the media get one sniff of racist abuse or the actions of violent fans, everything is blown out of proportion and the press hit the panic button.

For hire – PSV Stadium, manager, cars, kits & UEFA Cup

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PSV EINDHOVEN FANS GIVEN CHANCE TO BORROW DICK ADVOCAAT, HIS PLAYERS, CARS, KIT, VIP SUITES, STADIUM AND EVEN THE UEFA CUP
PSV players advertise they are For Hire to kick off Freo loan league this Saturday
www.gekvanpsv.nl

Calling all football fans have you ever wanted to borrow PSV Eindhovens Philips Stadium, manager Dick Advocaat, captain Mark van Bommel, Jetro Willems socks , Phoxy the mascot, masseur, team bus or the UEFA Cup?

Racism Ruining Our Beautiful Game

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Racism is a poison in our beautiful game and FIFA are doing everything that can to avoid it.
  • Enough is enough as England Under 21 players are subjected to racial abuse.

Tonight all over various social networking sites and newspaper websites the tragic scenes from Serbia are being reported.

Davids to the rescue?

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The dreadlocks and the impressive range of eyewear made Edgar Davids one of the most iconic footballers of the last decade. A move to Barnet can hardly be described as iconic but the eyewear is coming toUnderhill. The mercurial Dutch midfielder has announced his intention to rescue his ‘hometown' club as player/coach.

Top England coach praises England’s new grassroots system

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England coach Gary Neville has spoken out about the undeniable link between better coaching and better football.

The FA have acted after it was clear that no progress was being made on the international stage despite a 'golden generation of players' coming through over the last decade.
They have started where it matters most- the youth.

Melbourne chief calls for visa rethink

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It appears that not only Sydney FC fans are excited by the arrival of Italy superstar Alessandro del Piero because now Melbourne Victory managing director, Richard Wilson, has argued on news soccer networks for a rethink on the number of visa players A-League clubs can sign.

Football Federation Australia and its technical director, Han Berger, have stuck steadfastly to the principal that the quota of foreigners allowed to play Down Under should be cut.

Kazakhstan 1-2 Rep of Ireland Goals

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This was probably the worst game of 2012 as professional football goes, with the Rep. of Ireland snatching an un-deserved victory in the last 5 minutes, Robbie Keane who failed to get a kick at the ball throughout the previous 85 minutes drew Ireland level via the penalty spot before Man of the Match Kevin Doyle who played just over 15 minutes grabbed a dramatic winner inside regulation time.

EX Bristol Rovers Trio Head UKFF Elite Squad Search

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Tom Serry, Ashley Bowles and Jack Camm are amongst a trio of ex professionals who will take part in the launch match of the UK Elite Squad. Ex Jamaican Youth International, Omar Thomas will also appear.

The match vs a Leatherhead Club X1 will take place at their Fetcham Stadium on 15th September and has been arranged by UKFF Executive Chairman, Adam Parry.

QPR Report Saturday: QPR Return to Scene of Crime: Manchester City!...Sale re Bhatia...Green's Future...OTD: Ecclestone-Briatore Takeover...First Game on Plasti

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Today: Manchester City: Past Results/Shared Players/Old Photos


- QPR History: From the 1880s to the 21st Century: Bushman QPR Photo Archives


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- QPR in Video

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The Transfer Window is now closed (till January!