Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Soccer Break Friday – Time to say goodbye

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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 Thursday – Power to Portugal

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It was no classic but Porto cemented themselves as one of Europe’s top sides on Wednesday with a 1-0 victory over compatriots Braga in the Europa League final in Dublin, surely the start of better days for the Portuguese game.

Key to this is that Porto’s coach Andre Villas-Boas and figurehead striker Radamel Falcao have agreed to stay at the club, a nice touch in the fast-paced football world where players and coaches come and go all too often.

A proposal from Germany could help cut out diving

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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.

The goals will come for Owen, so should an England recall

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Michael Owen missed four glorious chances in Manchester United’s 2-0 friendly win over Valencia but the very fact that he was there to miss them signals a real chance of the former Liverpool reviving his career for club and country.

Owen’s failure to find the net was described as a wasted opportunity by some, given that England coach Fabio Capello was there watching him, but consider … playing for Newcastle at the end of last season, when did he look in with a chance of scoring even one?

Don’t tell anyone, but this is only Beckham’s 85th cap

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Beckham smiles at a news conference

Paris in the early spring – perfect for a few days’ break, and as long as you are not drowning in credit crunch debt, it is still the most wonderful city to go shopping for the latest fashions.

“You’d like a cap to go with that Armani suit, monsieur? Certainly, I have just the thing. These caps have not gone out of fashion since 1872 … suits you perfectly.”

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