Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Wenger needs to temper obsession with attack

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Yet another season of bright promise ended dismally for Arsenal last Sunday.

The north London side, imperiously dimissed from the Champions League by Barcelona, lost their last slender hope of winning the Premier League and a first trophy since 2005
with defeat at Wigan.

And now? Disgruntled Arsenal fans complain that their cerebral French manager Arsene Wenger is obstinately refusing to make essential changes to his team while he gazes over the horizon in search of an illusive future perfection.

They instance Arsenal’s notoriously leaky defence and Wenger’s apparent inability to buy a top-class goalkeeper.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright is not the only person wondering whether Wenger will extend his contract, which is due to expire at the end of the next season.

Derby fever strikes predictions league

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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.

There is a lot at stake for the two Manchester clubs. A win for United would keep their hopes of catching Chelsea alive, while City need three points to tighten their grip on fourth and a lucrative place in next season’s Champions League.

Is Messi secretly playing our predictions league?

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Such is the dominance of our predictions league leader that many on the Reuters soccer blog terraces are chanting –  ”Are you Messi in disguise?”

The Barcelona forward produced a mesmeric four-goal display against Arsenal just days after predictions league leader Paul Radford racked up four perfect guesses on last weekend’s Premier League fixtures.

Premier League in decline or just a minor blip?

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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.

They joined Premier League leaders Chelsea on the sidelines, as well as Liverpool after their exit in the group phase. The question is whether this is a shift in the balance of power or merely a blip.

Be a good egg and enter the Easter predictions league

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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.

The competition is open to everyone so if you fancy predicting this weekend’s Premier League scores then put your guesses in the comments.

Fabregas gamble made for a great occasion

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/“It was a gamble worth taking, it was an amazing experience,  an amazing game and I will remember it all my life. This was the best team I have faced in my life.”

In a couple of short sentences, Cesc Fabregas summed up Wednesday night’s humdinger of a Champions League game pretty well perfectly, and made a persuasive case for a selection gamble that could make or break the Arsenal season.

Champions League quarter-finals — live

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We’re live blogging the night’s two Champions League quarter-final first legs, with expert commentary and analysis, including on-the-spot details from our reporters in the stadiums (or stadia, if you prefer).

Join us here from around 1645 GMT for all the build-up and action from the biggest club competition in town.

Should fans have the right to buy into their clubs?

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SOCCER-SPAIN/BARCELONA-PRESIDENTInteresting story in the Guardian this morning, saying Britain’s Labour government, if re-elected, are ready to unleash plans to give fans the right to buy their clubs when they come up for sale, and to insist that current club owners give up a stake as high as 25 percent to their supporters.

If we can leave the politics aside (there is an election on the way, and the opposition Conservatives have said acting now, after 13 years in power, makes it a pre-vote gimmick) do you think this is a good idea?

Predictions League could do with Mancini’s passion

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The Premier League run-in is becoming so exciting that even stylish Italians like the usually calm Roberto Mancini are getting hot under the collar and wrestling opposition managers for the ball.

Our Premier League predictions competition needs a panel member to show similar passion or else Paul Radford will have wrapped up the title in a matter of weeks.

At least Liverpool can challenge United in the Predictions League

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Manchester United v Liverpool is the standout game in the Premier League this weekend and how Rafa Benitez’s men would love to damage their rivals’ title charge and boost their own push for fourth spot.

Last week was probably the best collective performance this term from our predictions league panel (with yours truly top-scoring with a shock 16) so it will be interesting to see what we make of the Old Trafford clash given our rich vein of form.

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