Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Soccer Break Friday – Time to say goodbye

Photo
-

Blackburn Rovers. Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wigan Athletic. Blackpool. Birmingham City. Five teams, two must go. Who will it be?

Nervy times ahead then for these five Premier League strugglers. Sunday will be traumatic and full of twists.

Blackpool striker DJ Campbell has been relegated before, and is apparently scaring the living daylights out of his teammates with his tales of the dreaded drop.

More Blackpool now, and manager Ian Holloway’s take on things. They are a colourful bunch the Tangerines, and they’ve given all the top teams a run for their money this season. Do you want to see them relegated?

Soccer Break Wednesday

Photo
-

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/A fine Wednesday to you all, and a few statistics to begin with. Attendance at the Nou Camp: 95,486. Estimated crowd noise (in decibels): 121.8. Estimated noise of a referee’s whistle (in decibels): 121.8.

The operative word above is estimated, because of course we have no idea, but a quick dig around on the internet shows some debate about whether Robin van Persie could have heard Massimo Busacca’s whistle despite the defeaning noise at the Nou Camp.

“Big Ziggy” primed to keep Birmingham up

Photo
-

SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUP

With Europe beckoning and their first trophy since 1963, Birmingham City fans have a lot to get excited about.

However they also face a nervy rest of the Premier League season with relegation looming. Cue towering striker Nikola Zigic to the rescue.

Arsenal fans must keep their faith in Wenger

Photo
-

Mike Collett in London on why Arsenal fans should back their manager

SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUPArsene Wenger is the most successful manager Arsenal have ever had, but unhappy fans have very short memories and incredible as it may seem, some Arsenal supporters were calling for his head on Monday.

Irate listeners to radio phone-ins and message boards posters vented their frustrations at Arsenal’s failure to end their six-year trophy drought after they lost 2-1 to underdogs Birmingham City in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

Liverpool’s midfield not as much to shout about

Photo
-

 

SOCCER-EUROPA/In the heady days of Istanbul and Athens when Liverpool fans considered anything less than a trip to the Champions League final a disappointing campaign, the Kop would regularly belt out: “We have the best midfield in the world.”

It was the formidable midfield combination of Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard and later Javier Mascherano that spurred the Anfield faithful into song.

Referees wrestling with a problem they can’t solve

Photo
-

SPORT SOCCER WORLDHow many teams will leave the World Cup happy with the refereeing? If it’s more than one I’ll be surprised as those “crucial” decisions seem to attract criticism only when teams lose.

The dissection of officials’ performances has become the staple of post-match interviews in recent years as, with one or two honourable exceptions, managers let rip (having had the benefit of replays from half-a-dozen angles of course).

West Ham shock as Englishmen buy Premier League club!

Photo
-

Londoners David Sullivan and David Gold have bucked a growing trend in England’s Premier League by taking control of 50 percent of West Ham United.

It returned a club steeped in the tradition of the English game to home ownership after an ill-fated three years of foreign control that has left the club deep in debt.

Could Birmingham’s Hart be Capello’s England number one?

Photo
-

England manager Fabio Capello might well have found himself an unexpected Christmas present this year in Birmingham City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Filling the gap between the sticks at next June’s World Cup finals in South Africa is perhaps the biggest conundrum Capello will face in the run up to soccer’s most glittering event, but Hart may just have made it a little easier.

A proposal from Germany could help cut out diving

Photo
-

Referee Peter Walton could face a suspension from the Premier League list if it is decided he made a mistake in Monday’s 2-2 draw between Liverpool and Birmingham.

Walton reckoned Liverpool striker David Ngog had been fouled by Lee Carsley and ignored the protests of his Birmingham team mates before Steven Gerrard converted the spotkick. Even Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez said afterwards he did not think it was a penalty.

Is Eduardo’s two-match ban too harsh?

Photo
-

UEFA’s decision to hand Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva a two-match ban for diving has infuriated the Croatian media, many fans and national team coach Slaven Bilic.

“It is a shameful decision, especially in view of the fact that Eduardo personifies everything that’s decent in professional sport,” Bilic told Zagreb daily Vecernji List after learning the verdict.

  •