Reuters Soccer Blog

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England were dreadful but don’t be surprised



People can and will talk about Frank Lampard’s wrongly-disallowed goal all day long but to concentrate on that would miss the much bigger problems that contributed to one of England’s worst-ever World Cup performances.

Claims that their players play too many games, suffer from not having a winter break and that the national team is hurt by the number of foreign players in key positions at the Premier League’s major clubs are all valid.

But the underlying issue is that England’s players, for all their superstar status at home, have rarely been good enough to challenge for a semi-final slot, let alone actually think about winning the World Cup. In this tournament they were undone by their inability to reproduce their club form as individuals or see the big picture as a team.

Coach Fabio Capello deserves his share of the blame, having promised to pick players on form but then going back on his word with spectacularly appalling results.

Lampard and Gerrard: to play or not to play, that is the question


Lamps with Stevie G

Both are English, both are midfielders, both are top performers in the Premier League, both can’t play together for England…. Sound familiar?

The dilemma that seems a permanent thorn in any England manager’s side has reared its ugly head once more; how do you get Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to play well together.

Why don’t Englishmen like Lampard want to play abroad?


Frank Lampard’s decision to sign a new contract with Chelsea and shun the advances of Inter Milan was hardly a surprise.

The midfielder made a wise choice if he based the decision on the previous experiences of English players in Italy.

Eto’o proves transfer talk is not always tittle-tattle


Very few people believed the story that Samuel Eto’o was considering a move to Uzbekistan’s Kuruvchi.

All of sudden it turned out to be true with Barcelona’s Cameroon striker speaking at a news conference in the country’s capital. Despite mega money being thrown in his direction, Eto’o will probably not end up there but at least they got him to go out and talk. Even if it was just a publicity stunt, it worked.

A special mission for Mourinho – saving Serie A


Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho, who hopes to sign Frank Lampard this week, sees winning trophies as just part of his job as the new coach of Inter Milan.

The former Chelsea and Porto boss also aims to help stuttering Serie A rule the roost like it did in the 1980s and 90s by serving up entertaining soccer and burying the troubled recent past.