vice captain

Liverpool

SHOULD SUAREZ BE LIVERPOOL'S CAPTAIN?

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With Liverpool playing Spurs in a vital game today where three points are a must in order to return to second-place again, the question has been asked by many people:

In the absence of Steven Gerrard, who should be made Captain of the team?

Daniel Agger is the obvious candidate as he is now the club's Vice-Captain since the departure of Jamie Carragher.

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger’s agent won’t rule out Barcelona move

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Daniel Agger's agent left the possibility of a move to Barcelona very much open after Liverpool rejected an offer from the Spanish champions. The Denmark international has been linked with a transfer to Camp Nou as the Catalan giants seek to bolster their defensive options. The Reds have rejected an opening bid, believed to be [.

Defender: Gerrard best “by a long way”

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Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher has hailed club teammate and compatriot Steven Gerrard as England's best player in the tournament "by a long way".

Despite the England midfield's struggles to creating imposing opportunities on the offensive end against both France and Italy, Gerrard played very well in a box-to-box role en route to resisting defeat in both those matches.

Carragher backs Reds signings

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Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson have all come under heavy criticism having struggled to find their feet after moving to the Merseyside with expensive price tags .However Liverpool vice captain Jamie Carragher insists that the club's new signings should not take the blame for the side's poor performances this season.

Carragher determined to Enjoy Wembley

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Jamie Carragher is determined to enjoy Saturday's FA Cup final after admitting he does not know how many big matches are left in his career

The Liverpool Vice Captain who has made 696 appearances for the Reds, lost his regular place in the starting lineup after the impressive partnership between Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger.

Norwich vs Liverpool – Player Ratings

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Jose Manuel Reina 6.5

Reina didn't have to do much and had to make just one serious save for a long-range effort during the entire game.

Glen Johnson 7

Johnson made several crucial blocks and put a foot in to make sure shots were off target.

Carragher eyes strong finish

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The Liverpool vice-captain reckons the competition for FA Cup final places will help turn around the Reds poor form as the Barclays Premier League goes into the final few games,but Carragher insists that gathering three points, in order to push the Reds closer to their Merseyside neighbors in the Barclays Premier League, must remain the priority.

Carra Hails Vital Suarez

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Jamie Carragher believes it is "vitally important" to keep Luis Suarez at Anfield, insisting he would not swap the striker for any other player in England.
The Uruguay international has expressed his desire to extend his stay with the Reds despite a testing first full season which saw him serve an eight-match ban after being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra last October.

Carra Hails Vital Suarez

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Jamie Carragher believes it is "vitally important" to keep Luis Suarez at Anfield, insisting he would not swap the striker for any other player in England.
The Uruguay international has expressed his desire to extend his stay with the Reds despite a testing first full season which saw him serve an eight-match ban after being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra last October.

Carragher – “I wouldn’t swap him for anyone in the league”

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Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher insists he would not swap Suarez for any other player in England.

The Liverpool No 7 has expressed his desire to extend his stay at Anfield despite a testing first full season and Carragher believes it is "vitally important" to keep hold of the 25-year-old.

Player Ratings: Liverpool 3-0 Everton

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Reina 7.0

Dealt with the considerable aerial threat from Everton with consummate ease. Good distribution and was tested very little by Everton.

Kelly 7.5

Strong in the tackle and showed plenty of pace going forward.Stuck to his task defensively against Pienaar and Baines and also made a significant contribution at the other end with a powerful shot which lead to Gerrard's opening goal

Carragher 7

The Reds Vice-captain may have lost some pace over the years but he's got a good footballing brain on his shoulders and he used that against Everton.

Carragher admits to some frustration at Liverpool role

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The Liverpool vice captain admits losing his place in the starting line-up this season has given him a new appreciation of his career at Anfield.

However, Carragher is not ready to give up on his footballing days just yet as he is keen to add more winners' medals to the Carling Cup the club lifted last month.

Champions league is the next step for Liverpool

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The vice-captain insist a return to the Champions League football next season should be the main target for the reds having played his part in ending Liverpool's six-year long trophy drought.The 34-year-old came on as a second-half substitute for Daniel Agger during Liverpool's cup final victory over Cardiff City at Wembley on Sunday.

Danes set to loose Agger while Bellamy is set to lead Wales in tribute match

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Daniel Agger has been withdrawn from Denmark's squad to face Russia in a friendly on Wednesday.The Liverpool center-back was forced off and was replaced by Jamie Carragher four minutes before the end of normal time with an injury in the Carling Cup final.

Manager Kenny Dalglish said he thought the player had broken a rib in the after-match press conference.

Arsenal

Arsene Wenger confirms Per Mertesacker will captain Arsenal

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Boss in the first press conference of the season. #AFCvAVFC #Arsenal pic.twitter.com/C7t2N41oeO Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) August 16, 2013 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Per Mertesacker will captain the club for the start of the new season. Club captain Thomas Vermaelen is a long-term injury absentee, while vice-captain Mikel Arteta has been ruled out [.

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta out for six weeks

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Mikel Arteta is set to miss the first six weeks of the new season with a thigh injury. The Arsenal midfielder picked up an injury in training this week. Arsene Wenger said yesterday morning that the Spaniard would be going for a scan which was expected to show a slight strain. Instead, it revealed a [.

Arteta expects to carry on at Arsenal for years to come

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The Spaniard Mikel Arteta, who has been appointed as the Arsenal vice-captain under Thomas Vermaelen this season, doesn't expect the fact that he is now approaching his 30th birthday will affect his ability to play at the highest level, in fact he doesn't feel old at all!

"I still feel really young and I always have that mentality," he said.

Arsenal v Sunderland Preview : It’s Here Again

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More games for the Coq

Match day. No sweeter two words after a 2 months plus break from The Arsenal. Unless of course the two words are "Champions Now". Then again, that's not the way the game is played. There's the entire season ahead of us and today is the beginning of it all. Another full season for us to savour, enjoy or be upset about.

Arsenal captain: “I won’t change”

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Thomas Vermaelen has made it clear that he won't change his ways after being awarded the captain's armband, insisting that he will continue to focus on leadership qualities that have taken him thus far.

Vermaelen has steadily grown into one of the Premier League's best defenders in recent years and deputized as the vice-captain to Robin van Persie as the Gunners secured a third-place finish.

Centre Is The Only Position

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Directions from an experts

Yesterday, we talked about the goalkeeping situation. Today, we'll touch on the centre back position. I won't be the first one to say it but I won't be the last either. Goals wins matches but clean sheets or a tight defence wins championships. We conceded 49 goals in the league last season, a number too high to even think about challenging for the title.

The armband – does it mean anything?

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As I touched on in my article last week: with Robin van Persie surely set to leave Arsenal this summer, the club is about to face yet another change in captaincy, with the Dutch striker having only replaced Cesc Fabregas as skipper a year ago.

I suggested Bacary Sagna as a replacement in my last piece (that will not be the focus today), but whoever gets the armband next will be the fifth different captain we've had since we last won a trophy.

Gunners star stresses communication

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Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is confident of the club's future prospects as long as the players continue to give each other feedback with complete transparency rather than holding back on important communication.

Vermaelen sat down with Arsenal Player to reflect on the club's chemistry off the field and in the dressing room, which has been praised in recent weeks by the likes of Andre Santos and Mikel Arteta.

Vermaelen stunned by teammate criticism

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Arsenal vice captain Thomas Vermaelen has revealed that the emergence of defensive partner Laurent Koscielny this season is not much of a surprise to him as he knew the Frenchman's potential was much higher than detractors could have imagined.

Koscielny secured a move to the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2010 and was criticized for lacking the strength needed to survive the tenacity of the Premier League at the end of his first season.

Gunner talks up Spurs battle

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Arsenal vice-captain Thomas Vermaelen has emphasized the importance of staying ahead of cross-town rivals Tottenham Hotspur to ensure an automatic berth in the UEFA Champions League group stage next season and also maintain an upper hand in the bitter rivalry.

The Spurs have been praised for their increasingly competitive mentality in recent years and although the Gunners have generally been criticized for under-achieving during the same period, the latter outfit always manages to finish with the better record.

Gunner issues Spurs warning

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Bacary Sagna has admitted that his Arsenal return a few days ago has coincided with an unacceptable run of form and one that the Gunners desperately need to end if they are to avoid yet another disappointment in this weekend's North London derby against the in-form Tottenham Hotspur.

The Spurs emerged 2-1 winners at White Hart Lane thanks to goals from Rafael Van der Vaart and Kyle Walker when the two teams met earlier this season but it could be more difficult for Tottenham this time around given that they will be playing at the Emirates.

Defender vows to repay Gooners

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Arsenal vice-captain Thomas Vermaelen admits that the club's performance throughout last night's humiliating 4-0 defeat away to AC Milan was unacceptable and even if progression to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals is nearly impossible, the Gunners must fight for pride in the second leg.

When Newcastle United were thumped 5-0 at Tottenham on Saturday, Magpies defender Danny Simpson credited the club's traveling fans as the night's only saving grace.

Former Spurs midfielder rips Arsenal

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AC Milan's former Tottenham playmaker Kevin Prince Boateng has dismissed the credentials of Arsenal ahead of tomorrow's Champions League clash at the San Siro, labeling the Gunners as inconsistent and inexperienced.

Boateng, 24, has been one of Milan's standout players this season and even though the Italian champions have also shown signs of struggle of late, the Ghana international believes that they have the experience that Arsenal desperately need.

starting line

The Ideal Arsenal Staring XI for 2012/13, featuring Vertonghen, M’Vila, Podolski and RVP

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The Ideal Arsenal Staring XI for 2012/13, featuring Vertonghen, M'Vila, Podolski and RVP - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal have been through something of a rollercoaster season, starting very slowly before a revival has the north London side 90 minutes away from a respectable third place.

What now for Bocanegra, Edu, and Bedoya at Rangers?

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Rangers FC in crisis: What lies in store for Bocanegra, Edu, and Bedoya?

Rangers FC is in crisis undergoing Chapter 13 or financial administration. The news gets worse as players have been warned that many of them will be let go. As many as eleven face the axe. By the end of the day we will get to know.

Frank Lampard

John Terry won’t be allowed to lift the Champions League trophy if Chelsea win

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If you don't like John Terry, then prepare to root for Chelsea in the Champions League final. The Chelsea captain was shown a straight red card after giving Alexis Sanchez a knee to the backside in the 37th minute of their Champions League semifinal second leg match against Barcelona. Though it pushed Chelsea towards certain doom, the rest of the team kept their focus and beat Barcelona to earn a place in the final.

News & notes: Mikel fit for Everton, Christensen to join in summer

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A few notes from around the club today, including the signing of another young talent (as seen below).


Window shopping

Mikel to be fit for Saturday, Lampard likely
• After some seven weeks on the shelf, John Obi Mikel is finally ready to resurface.

applause

Noticias : The Spanish Europa League Inquisition, Valencia & Raul’s Pichichi Flower Ceremony

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Que maravilloso! Following their victories yesterday, Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia are all through to the Europa League semi-finals with Sporting Lisbon taking up the final spot.

Uh-Oh (Villarreal 1, Real Madrid 1)

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Lightning Strikes Twice in the space place in 3 days. This had Madridisimo collectively groaning: "Oh Shit - Not Again!" .
Just a week after we started to fancy our Champions League odds by drawing APOEL Nicosia last Friday while enjoying our 10 point lead in La Liga, we have all of a sudden decided to expose our soft underbelly.

coach

Giallorossi’s Future Entwined To That of Enrique’s

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Roma head into the Derby Della Capitale in a state of flux. Last week's limp 4-1 defeat to Atalanta has seen coach Luis Enrique's authority over the club once more coming into question. His position has not been aided by a poor away form and constant off-field concerns surrounding his vice-captain, Daniele De Rossi.

Abby Wambach New Co-Captain of U.S. Women’s Soccer Team

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Abby Wambach will have a new title at the London Games.

Coach Pia Sundhage recently named the 31-year-old Wambach a co-captain of the U.S. women's soccer team- or essentially the vice-captain to team leader Christie Rampone.

It makes sense, given that the dominant striker was already the team's go-to spokeswoman and vocal locker room leader.

The Rest

Transfer Rumor: Alvaro Fernandez Possibly Joining Deportivo Cali On Loan

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Ever since the Seattle Sounders started talking about being open to adding a Designated Player during this transfer window, speculation ran rampant about who might be moved in order to make room. If a report out of Colombia is to be believed, it appears that player is Alvaro Fernandez. The reports, which remain unconfirmed by official sources, suggest Fernandez would go to Colombia's Deportivo Cali on a one-year loan.

Top 10 conclusions: Norway 0-1 England

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1. ‘Absurd day light hours, attractive high cheekbones, anti-social vikings –  you boys took one hell of an unremarkable beating!' Never riveting but reliable, Hodgson displayed his trademark characteristics to bring England their first win in Norway for 32 years. 2. Brede Hangeland got sold a dummy more easily than an irate parent desperate to pacify [.

Fantasy MLS: Which game should SBI use?

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

With a new MLS season four days away, it's time to start up the SBI Fantasy MLS League yet again.Â

We'll have our league set up by Thursday so you can select your teams and vie for SBI Fantasy MLS superiority ahead of First Kick, but before we do that we want your input on which game we should use.

Portland Timbers vs. AIK Preview Interview with Georg Süss

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I initiated contact with Georg Süss who writes for AIKBloggen.se to continue the tradition of answering questions for the upcoming match. Geoff and Ryan were kind enough to let me ask the questions.

The answers are fantastic. I asked a mixture of the usual report on the team but also asked about the organization, its history and traditions.