Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Vlog on the Pitch: the great Spurs buyback programme

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Could Robbie Keane be the next former Spur to return to White Hart Lane? And what’s behind the signing of Carlo Cudicini?

Join Owen Wyatt, Jon Bramley and Tom Newey for answers to these questions and more in the latest exciting edition of Vlog on the Pitch…

Vlog on the pitch – what do you make of Rafa’s mind games?

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Rafa Benitez was on the attack ahead of Liverpool’s game against Stoke City but then decided to leave Robbie Keane and Fernando Torres on the bench.

The game ended in a goalless draw and on Sunday Manchester United put three past Chelsea to close the gap at the top.

So, Liverpool fans… Are you starting to believe?

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Liverpool seem to have got through their sticky patch and continued failures from Chelsea and Arsenal have limited the damage.

After convincing wins over Bolton and Newcastle Liverpool are clear at the top of the table and will stay there going into 2009.

Champions League draw – your views

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Jose Mourinho will clash with old foe Alex Ferguson in the Champions League last 16 with holders Manchester United playing Inter Milan.

It is England v Italy twice more with Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri facing former club Chelsea while Arsenal and Roma, two teams who love to play the beautiful game, also meet.

Liverpool need a Litmanen, not Michael Owen

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Rafa Benitez needs to pull a rabbit from the hat again in the New Year but if Liverpool are going to end that long wait for a title they need a more creative player than Michael Owen.

If Liverpool fans with longish memories have faith that the coming of a striker can make the difference you can understand why. The last time Liverpool were champions, back in 1990, their successful run-in was inspired by Ronny Rosenthal, an Israeli forward who arrived seemingly from nowhere on or near deadline day (my memory’s a bit fuzzy).

Will predictable Champions League have new winner?

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The 16 teams that reached the Champions League first knockout round were again the usual suspects expected to go through. The group stage of Europe’s premier club competition unfolded rather predictably after a few early shocks.

Ten of the teams qualified for the same stage last season while the other six include twice winners Juventus, who returned with a roar after a two-year absence, as well as former finalists Panathinaikos and Atletico Madrid.

Vlog on the pitch — What is Liverpool’s secret this season?

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Tottenham’s struggles have dominated the Premier League headlines so far this season, taking some of the spotlight off a great start for Rafa Benitez and Liverpool.

The Reds look like they can mount a serious challenge for the title for the first time in over a decade.

So is this really going to be Liverpool’s year?

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Liverpool have shown they have most of the key attributes of title-winning teams this season but there remains one test for them to pass before we can really talk about them as favourites.

As we all know, this Liverpool team have perfected the art of winning when playing badly, coping without their best players and taking points of their biggest rivals.

It really is time to call in the cameras now

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There has been a long-running debate about video technology in football and surely the time has now come to assist referees and linesmen with offside decisions.

This week’s Champions League matches featured several howlers. Both of Dimitar Berbatov’s goals for Manchester United against Celtic were shown to be offside by TV replays yet the Belgium linesman kept his flag down.

Benitez to Juventus? Not likely

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The press in both Italy and Britain are speculating that Juventus want Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez to replace Claudio Ranieri.

On face value the rumour looks plausible.

Juve have not won in four games and there is talk of dressing room unrest while Benitez has obviously had his run-ins with the bosses at Anfield, which is looking no nearer to demolition and a nearby stadium built.

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