Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Bad boy coming of age as Bendtner buries Liverpool

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By Phil O’Connor

A contract running out, in trouble over drunken behaviour and a country qualified for Euro 2012 – whatever one thinks of Sunderland’s on-loan Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner, his life is far from boring.

With the clock ticking down on an Arsenal deal that is highly unlikely to be renewed, Bendtner hit the headlines this weekend as he struck his second goal in two games to all but end Liverpool’s hopes of a shot at next year’s Champions League.

His success, while wearing a face mask,  in the 1-0 win makes something of a pleasant change. Signed by Arsenal at 17, Bendtner has too often wound up in the newspapers for all the wrong reasons.

But things might be changing – after a recent arrest for damaging cars whilst on a night out with team mates, he issued an apology to fans via a Danish newspaper and promised to concentrate “only on football” in future.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Aston Villa’s Bent buy will flummox O’Neill

SOCCER-ENGLAND/

If eyebrows were raised when Aston Villa decided to spend up to 24 million pounds on striker Darren Bent then former manager Martin O’Neill’s forehead must have been pinned to his living room ceiling when the news broke on Tuesday.

The absurdity of the switch lies not in the inflated figure or Bent’s abilities on the pitch and in front of goal, but in the timing of Villa chairman Randy Lerner choosing to dig deep into his pockets.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Midweek Premier League special. Can you beat the panel?

Never let it be said that we at Reuters Soccer Blog shirk a challenge. Our attempts at score prediction on the opening weekend produced results that were modest at best but never fear, we're straight back in for another shot (that'll doubtless be blasted over the bar).

Once again, please send in your own predictions ... they can scarcely be any worse than ours, and if you do especially well, we'll gladly let you lord it over us here on the blog.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Twitter might not be harmless fun for players

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.

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