Could Jorginho be Arsenal’s saviour as well as Italy’s?

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Italy national team boss Giampiero Ventura has been under serious scrutiny in recent months. Due to a draw with Macedonia and a 3-0 defeat to Spain, he was unable to lead the Azzurri to next summer's World Cup automatically, meaning they must face a tough play-off against Sweden. The pressure surrounding the head coach only [.

Jenkinson and Gibbs have proved their worth to Arsenal

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Full backs: by SV I have already today commented on one positive aspect of our game against Sunderland and I would now like to comment on another: our full backs. The abilities of both of our current starting full-backs have come under severe scrutiny by pretty much everyone. There were many (sorry, there ARE many) [.

Mario Balotelli tells his critics they have to shut up, City celebrate Premier League title

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Manchester City beat a 10-man QPR 3-2 with two goals in added time to make Manchester United's 1-0 win over Sunderland irrelevant and win their first league title in 44 years. It was an ending so incredible that it will probably take a few months of intense analysis to make sure it actually happened, but in the meantime, Mario Balotelli has a message for his critics.

What have Chelsea lost?

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What have Chelsea lost? Their minds? Yes. The respect of the footballing world? Absolutely. Their place among Europe's elite for next season? Quite possibly, but that's not what I mean.

How good is their now former manager Andre Villas-Boas? It feels like his time at the highly dysfunctional Chelsea will not serve as a good representation of his skills.


Video: Alan Hansen teaches Michael Owen and Jason Roberts the dangers of being a pundit while you’re still playing

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Those dangers being that the advice you offer to the players you're analysing is probably also applicable to you. After Match of the Day 2 guest Michael Owen spoke about the ease of coming off the bench to score goals, Alan Hansen decided to subject Owen and fellow pundit Jason Roberts' current scoring record to [.

Video: The Great Game – old school information film about football

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This classic film produced by the British Council gives a fascinating insight into football in Britain in the 1940s. The film looks at the professionals who go into schools to teach football to youngsters, the amateurs who play at the weekend for their local team and the Cup Final: the absolute pinnacle of the game [.


Brazilian Midfielder To Be Used As A Scout By Liverpool

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Brendan Rodgers has revealed that he will be using midfielder Lucas Leiva as a scout after injury ruled him out of action for more than two months.
The Brazilian midfielder missed much of the last campaign through injury, and after making his return this season, has once again been ruled out after picking up a thigh problem against Manchester City.

Liverpool Linked With Swoop For Portuguese Midfielder

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Liverpool are being linked with a surprise swoop for former Everton midfielder Manuel Fernandes.
According to reports in the Mirror, the Merseyside giants are weighting up a bid for the £7 million-rated Portuguese, as new boss Brendan Rodgers looks to strengthen his squad before the start of the new season.

Liverpool starlet: I thrive on criticism

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Jordan Henderson believes that the criticism he endured during his first season at Liverpool prepared him well for the scrutiny he received upon being called up for England. In fact, the youngster is now enjoying all the criticism and scrutiny.

Henderson, 21, scored two goals for the Reds in 48 appearances across all competitions but despite being overlooked for the Three Lions' first squad, he was called up as a replacement for the injured Frank Lampard.

Henderson Relishes Challenge

Anfield Red at related • 0 views

Jordan Henderson insists any criticism that comes his way will only act as motivation as he bids to make his mark on Euro 2012 with England.

The Liverpool midfielder was a late inclusion in the Three Lions squad for the tournament after Frank Lampard was ruled out due to injury. Manchester City's Gareth Barry was also forced to withdraw.

Why do English players warrant such inflated transfer fees?

Football To You at related • 0 views

Liverpool have been the biggest culprits when it comes to spending over the value for English talent this season. With the new homegrown rules firmly in place it seems the chase for England's hottest up-and-coming prospects is set to continue, or will it encourage more teams to gamble with their own youth setup?

Everton are Verminated

Arsenal Insider at related • 1 view

3rd place has never looked so good, has it? A win at Goodison Park last night continued an excellent recent run of form to move Arsenal above Spurs for the first time this season.

Although there were many chances for Arsenal, this will go down as a hard-fought, scrappy 1-0 away victory, with a defender, Thomas Vermaelen, the main hero, scoring the winner early on from a corner and defending like a hero throughout.

Tottenham Hotspur

Dempsey gets back to work as USMNT continues preparations for qualifiers

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Photo by

Preparations for two World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica continue for the U.S. men's national team, and according to U.S. Soccer, all 23 players had arrived in Miami (Nick Rimando will replace Sean Johnson in camp after the first match) ahead of Tuesday's training session.

Spurs linked to Madrid target man at related • 0 views

There has been a fair bit of speculation in the newspapers this week about a possible Spurs move for Athletico Madrid's 24 year old centre forward Adrian. However, on further scrutiny and given the players' overall record, many Spurs fans might be hoping it's a non-starter.

Adrian's overall career is patchy and he is some way down the pecking order when it comes to international honours.

Didier Drogba

TORRES: It's a bold statement but he will score 30 goals this season.

A Chelsea Fans Blog for Chelsea Fans at related • 0 views

Fernando Torres has had to get used to the pressure of his price tag and the constant scrutiny of the press and media about his performances ever since he signed for Chelsea. Now that Didier Drogba has gone, there are already stories about Chelsea "lacking" firepower this season but today Fernando Torres has a chance to start the season on a high and begin to answer all those critics with goals against City at Villa Park.


A Chelsea Fans Blog for Chelsea Fans at related • 0 views
I have posted articles similar to this at the end of last season but after Chelsea's transfer dealings this summer so far, it has even more relevance so I need to post this again.

As we all know, Chelsea had been labelled as "has-been's" for god knows how long. We had to put up with reading numerous articles about how we need to evolve our squad and get rid of the "dead wood" for at least two or three seasons didn't we!

Euro 2012

Mario Balotelli takes control of Euro 2012 with a powerful blast and serious flex

Dirty Tackle at related • 1 view

Prior to Euro 2012, Italy striker Mario Balotelli warned that if racially abused, he would walk off the pitch and go home. But after having racially charged bile hurled at him from opposing fans and even newspaper cartoonists back in his home country, Balotelli decided that instead of leaving, he would stay and score goals and flex his muscles.

Euro 2012 : Ronaldo’s Coming Of Age As Portugal Captain

Futbolita at related • 0 views
Portugal vs Denmark
Matchday 2 Group B
Lviv, 18:00

If you were to look back at the international tournaments Cristiano Ronaldo has played in (from the Euro 2004, World Cup '06 to Euro 08′ and beyond), you'd quickly realise that "O capitão" has finally come of age.

England striker Jermain Defoe flies home from Euro 2012 after father’s death

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Tottenham forward Jermain Defoe is returning to London from England's Euro 2012 base in Krakow following the tragic death of his dad. Jimmy Defoe, aged 49, passed away last night. He is believed to have been ill for some time. A statement from the Football Association read: "England striker Jermain Defoe has returned home to [.


Report: Ronaldinho's Flamengo contract terminated after legal dispute

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Ronaldinho is reportedly up for grabs.

According to reports out of Brazil, the former two-time FIFA World Player of the Year has won a legal dispute against Flamengo over $20 million in unpaid wages and other payments and as a result has been freed from his contract with the club.

Print Media Renaissance: the Popular Stand Fanzine

thetwounfortunates at related • 0 views
The rules and regulations of online comment, if indeed they exist at all, have been subject to much scrutiny in recent months. Legally, boundaries are not so much grey as pitch black and there has been a sense of finding one's way through a minefield of potential problems. This site has been prominent in recounting the issues that have faced two Yorkshire based websites, Viva Rovers and Boy from Brazil after both bit the dust, and the closure of a cluster of other sources has left the footballing blogosphere in a state of flux.


A Chelsea Fans Blog for Chelsea Fans at related • 3 views

Now I want to start by saying that yet again, this is another foreign interview that is being referred to. I mentioned it the other day and will say it again, it's ALWAYS when we hear about our foreign players going away on International breaks that something is said about Chelsea. Why can't these players just keep things "in house".

The Rest

Spanish press analyze Cristiano Ronaldo’s handwriting, learn obvious things

Dirty Tackle at related • 1 view

Cristiano Ronaldo has The Sad. Aside from a tweet explaining that it is a professional matter that has nothing to do with money, it is quite unclear what The Sad is.

The Spanish press are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to discovering the source of The Sad, and have little option but to resort to the pseudoscience of graphology — or handwriting analysis — to give an explanation.

The Gender of Second

From a Left Wing at related • 0 views
Mariya Savinova and Caster SemenyaWhen Caster Semenya raced from last to second in the final stretch of the women's 800 meters, some wondered is she aimed for silver. She has a turbo drive of a kick - if she'd engaged it sooner she might have taken gold. Maybe.

Second guessing someone who comes in second is a strange thing.

United States Women vs Canada Olympics Semifinal- Gamethread

Sounder at Heart at related • 0 views

The US Women face Canada in the Semi Finals of the 2012 London Olympics today at 11:45 AM Pacifc on NBC Sports Network (Comcast 626, 603 on DirectTV). The United States has come under scrutiny for the Canadian's claim that their set piece defense is illegal, which is just a precursor to the excuses issued for yet another Canadian loss to the US.

Rangers and the SPL: Looking for leaders

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Another week slips by and the saga of Rangers drags on.

It seems the capacity this story has for delivering farce is almost limitless.

Where are we this week?

Hard to know exactly:

  • Charles Green and his largely unknown consortium still want to take control of Rangers, delivering them from evil either through a CVA or the unknown delights of a newco
  • "Take control" rather than buy: it seems Green - and his still conditional offer - will involve him and his mates spending cash that Rangers will then need to pay back, with interest, over the next eight years
  • A CVA offer has gone out - showing that debts have risen since the scale of Rangers' financial dunderheidedness was first revealed - but outstanding tax cases and outstanding legal challenges make a proper appraisal of that CVA offer look all but impossible
  • Duff and Phelps are under increasing scrutiny regarding their relationship with Craig Whyte - a scrutiny they dismiss as the muckraking of the tittle tattle brigade - but seem to be pretty sure of their own multi million pound payday whatever happens
  • Rangers took the SFA to court and won over the transfer embargo, the SFA being told that they'd need to consider a punishment within the specific sanctions laid out in their own guidelines
  • The SFA are preparing another appeals panel in light of that court ruling while FIFA - for whom clubs taking such matters to national courts is about as appealing as a transparent trial of goalline technology - consider how they're going to deal with what is no longer Scotland's little local difficulty
  • To the sound of hoofs rumbling through an unlocked door the SPL agreed to bring in a selection of financial fair play rules but decided that decisions on newcos getting into their exclusive club would be decided on a case-by-case basis by all the clubs
  • Oddly Charles Green - who currently owns about as much of Rangers as any taxpayer - was allowed to play a part in that SPL meeting, the lunatic invited out for tea before taking over the asylum
  • Rangers have finally delivered, three months after being asked, the documentation the SPL requested as part of their dual contact deliberations, with the SPL board set to receive an update on the progress of the league's investigation on 18th June
  • After the BBC's Mark Daly raised the ceiling on ridiculousness with cameos in this story for Joanna Lumley, Prince Albert of Monaco and a "Cockney football fixer," this week we had the SPL's Neil Doncaster suggesting that Gandhi - while possibly a damn fine football chairman - might struggle to pass a fit and proper person test

What next?

Could have done it better...

BoLASEPaKO at related • 0 views
I was wondering if this boy know who is this S.League footballer "in front" of himI would like to apologize for the lack of update of late due to my heavy day job workload that has been piling up in recent months (those who know me personally should know how my workplace has been under scrutiny of since last December).

Evaluating MLS Team Strength And The Injury Factor

Sounder at Heart at related • 1 view

Early season injuries within the MLS rosters create unique challenges when handicapping the relative caliber of the individual teams. Injuries do not exist in a vacuum. Home field advantage, strength of opposition, number of games played, interleague competitions and the overall development arc of teams also play significant roles.

Despite bright start, Red Bulls in search of answers for porous defense

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New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe needed two words to describe his team's defensive effort against the San Jose Earthquakes this weekend.Â

"Ball watching." Â

While the Red Bulls' offense has erupted for 16 goals through six matches, the defense has been woeful, allowing 10 goals – good for third-most in the league -- and the club twice blew one-goal leads at home Saturday, settling for a 2-2 draw with San Jose.

Great Football League Teams 32: Aston Villa, 1987-88

thetwounfortunates at related • 0 views
Poor Graham Taylor. Forever criticized for his bewilderment at people not being able to ‘knock it' and taking on the impossible job, his career trajectory more than stands scrutiny but, even when winning, the praise he is damned with is feinter than feint – ‘a dull long ball merchant, out of his depth in more rarefied climes and the personification of English football's problems'.

Aftermath (EPL Talk Preview Podcast)

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Mid-week games are always so positive in the league. They can shape our perceptions of a side, because we see them outside of the usual ‘weekend' context of intensity and scrutiny. Though it can also open a team up to ...

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CL Recap: The ‘Old Guard’ Rises

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A night to remember. A moment to savor. A season to endure. More, after the jump:

Defying Expectations

Twenty-four hours later, I'm still coming to grips with the realities that lay bare in front of us. The word epic gets bandied about far too often for incorrect situations, but it may well be the only apt adjective to truly describe what was an unforgettable night at The Bridge.

AC Milan’s Maxi Lopez allegedly caught naked on webcam

Dirty Tackle at related • 7 views

The life of a professional footballer can't be easy: they have to deal with pressure on the pitch, constant media scrutiny, and the fear that their webcam masturbation videos could be made public at any moment.

Milan striker Maxi Lopez appears to be the latest footballer to pull a Ronaldinho, as the interwebs are awash with pictures that seem to depict the Argentinean putting on a clothes-less webcam show.

Time for top footballers to stop asking for more? And getting it?

East Lower at related • 0 views

So I was listening this evening to the excellent 5live report on Arsenal's finances, a discussion with some knowledgeable men present: Martin Keown, former Liverpool MD Christian Purslow, Jeremy Wilson from the Telegraph and Nigel Phillips from the AST. It's a great listen and I urge you to have a crack if you've not done so already (not sure if it's available overseas – it seems not).