Reuters Soccer Blog

Predicting the unpredictable: the Premier League title run-in

April 23, 2010

Chelsea and Manchester United seem to want to make the Premier League title run-in as exciting as possible by dropping points in recent weeks. There’s just a point between them with three games left and you can’t get much tighter than that.

A revolutionary (and slightly wacky) idea to spot handballs

April 19, 2010

I have come up with an idea that will revolutionise football. And I was sober at the time.
 
It would solve immediately the problem of knowing when players handle the ball and help referees and linesmen give the right decision every time and cut out attempts by players pleading they never handled the ball when they have — especially in the penalty area.
 
I admit its still a work in progress … but I reckon someone could invent an electro-magnetic liquid which players have to dip their arms in before kickoff. This solution, invisible, weightless, and undetectable would then dry to create a “second skin” from the points of the arm and hands the laws state constitute the areas of handball.
 
An electro-magnetic chip would then be placed in a ball, or the ball would be dipped in the same electro-magnetic fluid — and every time the two made contact … ball and arm/hand — a buzzer would sound from special loudspeakers in the stadium. The system would also be read through long-sleeved shirts and gloves.
 
Immediatly the buzzer goes off, everyone among the players, officials and fans, would know the player has handled — no argument. Naturally, goalkeepers would be exempt and the system would only be activated when the ball was in play, meaning players could still take throw-ins and pick up the ball when a whistle has been blown. 
 
The beauty of this system is that the referee can still decide whether it is accidental handball or not, or ball to hand.
 
The idea occurred to me after being at Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea v Bolton last week and Spurs v Chelsea on Saturday.

Derby fever strikes predictions league

April 15, 2010

SOCCER-ENGLANDWith predictions league leader Paul Radford fast closing in on the title, attention in the Premier League turns to the Manchester derby and whether Tottenham can build on their memorable victory over city rivals Arsenal against visiting leaders Chelsea.

Premier League in decline or just a minor blip?

April 8, 2010

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/English clubs have failed to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2003, after Arsenal were undone by a superior Barcelona side driven by the brilliant Lionel Messi and Manchester United suffered an astonishing breakdown against Bayern Munich.

Be a good egg and enter the Easter predictions league

April 2, 2010

While the kids are looking for Easter Eggs, the Reuters soccer blog panel will be desperately seeking some points to close the gap on leader Paul Radford.

How did Chelsea ever let Mourinho go?

March 16, 2010

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/There will be plenty of time to pick apart Chelsea’s latest Champions League failure, but for now the question on many a fan’s lips on the way out of Stamford Bridge must have been simply, “How did we ever let Jose Mourinho go?”

Will Chelsea take it easy? Our Predictions League says no

March 12, 2010

Chelsea have a rather big home match against Inter Milan looming on Tuesday but a juicy London derby at Stamford Bridge against West Ham means the Premier League title contenders are unlikely to be stepping off the gas this Saturday.

Predicting another great leap forward from Arsenal

March 5, 2010

SOCCER-CHAMPIONSNow all that Winter Sports malarkey is out of the way, we can cast all thoughts of the Couver out of our minds and get back to the serious business: the title race run-in, and the predictions league tussle that goes along with it.

UPDATE: Who can steal a march in the Predictions League?

February 25, 2010

The weekend’s Premier League action was overshadowed by the terrible injury to Arsenal’s teenage Wales international Aaron Ramsey at Stoke. We wish him all the best for his recovery.

Will Mourinho live to rue the Taste of England?

February 23, 2010

There is a wonderful little shop in the centre of Milan called “Taste of England”.