Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Who can Arsenal actually buy?

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With Cesc Fabregas gone and Samir Nasri possibly on the move too, there is a lot of gloom around Arsenal at the moment and Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Liverpool did nothing to help the mood.

Arsenal fans are for the first time questioning the stewardship of Arsene Wenger and have demanded some top signings to prevent yet another trophyless season.

But who could Arsenal actually bring in? Would a really top player want to go to a club resembling a sinking ship? The Gunners also don’t have the same financial clout as Manchester City, United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and even Liverpool nowadays. (The Italian clubs are worse off though).

Valencia winger Juan Mata seems destined for Chelsea after Arsenal’s initial interest but even he is not the wow signing Arsenal fans want to ease the pain of Fabregas going back to Barca.

New Juventus stadium unique in so many ways

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Juventus are due to open their new stadium next month but so far there is no name and no big-name signing to grace it.

From the very start the stadium project was unique.

Juve will be the only Italian club to own their own stadium, something which English soccer fans in particular find very difficult to comprehend.

Do Manchester United need Wesley Sneijder?

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Paul Scholes may have left a huge pair of boots to fill in Manchester United’s midfield, but Alex Ferguson may not have to add a big-money signing to his squad if their performance in a captivating 3-2 Community Shield win over Manchester City is anything to go by.

While Ferguson has apparently made several attempts to lure Inter Milan and Netherlands playmaker Wesley Sneijder to his outfit during the break, United’s second-half comeback at Wembley suggests he may have found one or two replacements closer to home.

Can’t win with kids? United just did.

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“You can’t win anything with kids,” said former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen of Manchester United’s young team in 1995. Alex Ferguson’s troops went on to win the Premier League that season in 1996.

Are we about to see a similar outcome in the 2011/12 season after Ferguson hauled off the experienced trio of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick with United 2-0 down to rivals Manchester City before they staged a second-half comeback to win the Community Shield 3-2 on Sunday?

La Liga’s great divide

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The red carpet was out in the VIP lounge at the Bernabeu last week and four immaculately-dressed Emirates air hostesses helped usher in the dignitaries as Real Madrid presented a new sponsorship agreement with the Dubai-based airline.

No financial details were given, but the five-year deal will no doubt further boost the coffers of the world´s richest club by revenue.

It’s still July and already we see a European domestic shock

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Yes it’s July when people should be on beaches in Europe rather than sweltering in soccer stadiums.

Well modern football (and Euro 2012 at the end of the campaign) dictates we have to start proper matches in July in the European season these days.

Villar success highlights wider malaise

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Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar could win the vote as player of the Copa America – emulating Oliver Kahn, the Germany keeper named top player at the 2002 World Cup.

If, or when, this happens, regardless of their merits as players, the vote could highlight a deficiency in the football played at the tournament.

Japan set new benchmark for Asia with women’s World Cup triumph

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It was case of “anything you can do, I can do better” for Japan’s women footballers as they defied the odds to lift the World Cup just six months after the country’s men had captured a record fourth Asian title.

When Saki Kumagai slotted home the winning penalty in a dramatic shootout victory over the United States in Frankfurt on Sunday, Japan completed an astonishing run that overshadowed any achievement by an Asian soccer team at any level.

From Tranmere to Bayern Munich in a flash

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Dale Jennings may as well be called Roy of the Rovers.

The  teenage striker, who only made his first-team debut last season, completed a dream move from English League One (third division) side Tranmere Rovers to German giants Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Tranmere said the 18-year-old, who scored six goals in 32 appearances and was named League One Apprentice of the Year, had signed for an undisclosed fee.

A game of three thirds in Qatar?

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FIFA could allow matches at the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar to be played over three 30-minute periods if temperatures in the stadiums became dangerously high for the players, a senior stadium engineer told delegates at a conference on Wednesday.

Michael Beavon, a director of Arup Associates who helped to develop the zero-carbon solar technology that will cool the 12 stadiums, told delegates at the Qatar Infrastructure Conference in London that the air-cooling would maintain a comfortable temperature of around 24 degrees Celsius in the stadiums.

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