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World Soccer views and news

Vlog on the Pitch looks through the transfer window

Join Owen Wyatt and Jon Bramley as they take the opening of the transfer window all too literally and pick out a couple of players who should be among the top targets this January.

Owen reckons Juan Arango of Mallorca and Fulham’s Brede Hangeland could be among the bargains to be had, while Jon has his eye on Serie A…

Do you have other ideas? Let us know in the comments, or send us a video of your own and we’ll happily host it here.

(And it’s good to see they’ve found the best lighting for Jon at last…)

The last thing English football needs is a winter break

Christmas is here and it´s time for the annual debate about whether England´s Premier League should follow the rest of Europe and introduce a winter break … you know, to give the players (and fans) a much needed rest, to ensure they´re not all too exhausted to give their best at the business end of the Champions League.

Except this year, there is no real debate (with apologies to Martin O´Neill). This is an argument that has been settled decisively in favour of the status quo. In fact, I think we´ll see more pressure on the other big leagues to copy the Premier League and go hell for leather over the festive season.

Was Villa right to make Sporting gesture?


David Villa had a trip down memory lane this weekend when Valencia hosted Sporting Gijon in the Primera Liga, the Asturian club where he began his professional career.

The Spanish international striker announced before the match that he would not celebrate if he scored.

Thierry Henry, in the kitchen, with the egg-whisker


Sorry, couldn’t resist this one.

When Thierry Henry is given a day off from Barcelona it turns out he prefers cooking and amateur sleuthing to a night out on the town.

“I stay at home,” Henry said during an interview on Catalan TV, picked up in El Mundo Deportivo this morning. “Yesterday, for instance, some friends came round and I made them ‘torrijas’ (a revolting bread pudding type of thing).

Premier League best in the world? Don’t believe the hype


The British press are purring after Arsenal’s clash with Manchester United was decided by French winger Samir Nasri’s two strikes.

“Onlookers across the world were reminded that this sport, in its modern form, can cause excitement and awe in equal measure,” wrote the Guardian’s Kevin McCarra of Arsenal’s breathless 2-1 win over the champions.

Barcelona’s return to earth suits Guardiola fine


Barcelona have made the best start to the Spanish league season by any club since Bobby Robson’s 1996-97 vintage scored 30 goals in their first nine games.

Under Pep Guardiola, the Catalans have amassed 28 goals from nine league matches, winning their last seven to move to the head of the standings.

“I didn’t just come here for paella and sunshine…”


Watching Villarreal’s Robert Pires bustling around the pitch during Sunday’s match against Atletico Madrid, you would think he was in his mid twenties rather than his mid thirties.

The former Arsenal midfielder, who spent six seasons in London before joining the Spanish Primera Liga side in 2006, turns 35 today and says he is playing some of the best football of his long career.

Media outbursts seldom have desired effect


It seems even the most experienced players can forget that criticising your coach in the media pretty much always backfires.

Germany captain Michael Ballack has backed down and offered an apology after he angered coach Joachim Loew by suggesting in a newspaper interview that senior players were not being treated with enough respect.