Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

United’s problems will not go away

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Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson rued what he called an unfortunate 3-2 defeat by Tottenham, United’s first to the North London side at Old Trafford since 1989, but the truth is that you can only ride your luck for so long.

Fortuitous wins against Southampton, Fulham, Galatasaray in their Champions League opener and especially at Liverpool, coupled with the opening day defeat at Everton, should have warned Ferguson that United’s relatively good start to the season belied their obvious weaknesses so effectively exposed by Spurs.

It is not the first time that starting with both veterans Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs backfired. While the former is still able to supply long crossfield passes with stunningly consistent accuracy, the latter appears to be running through sand in what could be the final season of a glittering and trophy-laden career.

For all his class and brilliance down the years, Giggs will turn 39 in two months’ time and being substituted at halftime to make way for Wayne Rooney was a timely reminder that having shrugged off the issue for quite some time, the Welshman nowadays looks every bit his age.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Soccer Break Tuesday

SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUPThe pain for Arsenal fans just rolls on it would seem, as a trip to my office's kitchen confirmed on Monday when I heard two voices grumbling about "Van Persie" and "not enough shots".

The North London club's woes of the last two weeks or so have been much publicised, but perhaps at last there is some news to cheer Gunners fans up in the return of former keeper Jens Lehmann? Who would you prefer in goal? Lehmann, or Arsenal's only currently available goalie Manuel Almunia, in good form in the last two matches against Barcelona and Manchester United?

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Drogba, Ferdinand…who next for the World Cup curse?

A top player seems to get injured on the eve of every major tournament and this year it looks like Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand have suffered the World Cup curse.

Ivory Coast captain Drogba is seriously doubtful for the extravaganza after injuring his elbow in a friendly against Japan on Friday.

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