Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Twitter might not be harmless fun for players

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The days when the details of transfer negotiations were closely guarded secrets could be coming to an end with the advent of the 'Twitter transfer'.

On Wednesday, U.S. national team striker Jozy Altidore all but announced a move to English Premier League Hull City on the micro-blogging site, keeping his fans updated while Hull remained silent.

Altidore, who is owned by Spanish club Villarreal, alerted followers to a potential move on Tuesday when he informed them he would be up early on Wednesday morning for a flight to England.

After details about his flight and weather on arrival he held back from announcing the deal but gave the game away by posting info of his first game.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Is Ancelotti the right man for Chelsea?

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As impressive as two Champions League triumphs are, Chelsea's appointment of former AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti will not leave their Premier League title rivals quaking in their boots.

Ancelotti ended his reign at Milan on Sunday after eight years, following top flight stints at Parma and Juventus, all of which amounted to just one Serie A scudetto.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Wenger makes his point with customary elegance

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"Highly intelligent" and "Arsene Wenger" sit neatly together in countless newspaper columns outlining the exploits, achievements and travails of the cerebral Arsenal manager.

Consequently there was no elaborate deconstruction required following an interview with a French television channel at the club's training ground this week.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Manchester United seal Premier League title – your views

Manchester United have captured their 18th English league title after securing the point they needed in a 0-0 draw at home to Arsenal.

It was a subdued display by United but the celebrations began when the final whistle sealed a hat-trick of titles and moved them alongside Liverpool as England's most crowned club.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

The sort of result that wins titles: Middlesbrough 0 United 2

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In Spain, you often hear players and coaches talking about "the sort of match that decides title races". More often that not they're talking about the tricky away game against awkward opposition rather than a high profile match against direct rivals.

Manchester United's 2-0 win away to Middlesbrough on Saturday was just that sort of game, and just the sort of performance that will leave their rivals utterly deflated.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Macheda highlights Serie A’s impatience with youth

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Serie A clubs are understandably upset about English sides scooping up youngsters such as Federico Macheda from their academies.

Lazio President Claudio Lotito cried foul after the 17-year-old, a product of the Rome club's youth system, scored a stunning winner for Manchester United against Aston Villa in his Premier League debut on Sunday.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Champions League draw — your views

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So, here we go again. For the fifth successive season, Liverpool will face Chelsea in the Champions League.

Quarter-finals:

Villarreal v Arsenal

Manchester United v Porto

Liverpool v Chelsea

Barcelona v Bayern Munich

Semi-finals:

Manchester United or Porto v Villarreal or Arsenal

Barcelona or Bayern Munich v Liverpool or Chelsea

Liverpool will perhaps be marginal favourites in the all-English quarter-final after knocking Chelsea out at the semi-final stage in 2005 and 2007 but their fans will need no reminding that last season, when Chelsea got to play the second leg at home, it was the Londoners who came through.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Benitez deal comes at perfect time for Liverpool

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The news that Rafael Benitez has agreed a new deal that will keep him at Liverpool until at least 2014 could not have been better timed for the club.

Uncertainty has stalked the 18-times English league champions for the past few seasons with rifts between co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, confusion over the proposed new stadium and above all the future of the manager Benitez.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Nothing’s gonna stop United … just look at the fixture list

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My colleague Patrick Johnston has been wondering aloud about the effect a 4-1 defeat by Liverpool is going to have on Manchester United. He's in good company, because Guus Hiddink also believes the door is open a little bit.

The match must have been enjoyable for Liverpool fans but it's not going to have an effect on the title race.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Vlog on the Pitch talks title racing with Wenger

Join vlogmeister Owen Wyatt as he takes the plunge and asks John Arne Riise whether he's still a better player than Andrea Dossena, the man who replaced him at Anfield.

And talking of the Premier League, Arsene Wenger thinks Liverpool's title hopes are still alive, and that none of the top teams are playing to their full potential. Dare to disagree with Wenger? Let us know in the comments, or record your own video rant and send us a link. If we like it, we'll embed it here.

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