Wednesday, December 28
Dalglish faces new year questions - BBC - Anfield stalemate against Blackburn raises doubts over Liverpool's progress
Money and surprises - 2011 review - BBC - The BBC's Durosimi Thomas looks back at the highs and lows of the African footballing year 2011
It's a bit 'soft' but football is not the be all and end all - London Evening Standard - In the spirit of the festive season I'd like to share an experience that reminded me what is really important. Spurs arrange visits to local hospitals and it's always nice to see the smiles on the faces of those we meet.
Here's to 2012 - Sky Sports - Our experts and columnists look towards the future and reveal what they are looking forward to in 2012.
Henry: Why Gamble On Sentimentality? - Football365 - Ian Rush, Mark Hughes, Andy Booth - they've all gone back, but for reasons both practical and sentimental, Nick Miller wouldn't like to see Thierry Henry return to Arsenal...
Leading the way - BBC - Universidad de Chile set an example for the rest of South America to follow
Former Liberian soccer great dies penniless - NJ.com - The legal notice ran in this newspaper’s back pages, tucked between a name-change announcement and a court summons. "George Sacko has died at Saint Michael’s Medical Center," it read. Within 17 short, clinical lines, it catalogued a few other facts: Sacko’s birthplace and birth date — Liberia; May 19, 1936 — and his last known address.
Narrow view - Fox Soccer - Latin American studies expert Manuel Barcia thinks the FA has taken a very narrow view in the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra race row.
Europa League can bring new-found hope to Greek football - The Independent - A new year represents a time to repent those sins of the past. For Greek football, those remnants of match fixing and corruption still linger over the country with efforts to clear its name far from complete just yet
Title still City’s to lose - Yahoo Sports - Manchester United and Manchester City are level on points again almost halfway through the Premier League, but I still make the men in blue the favourites to win the title this season
Petit: France are better as outsiders - FIFA.com - A legend in French football circles from the moment his shot hit the net at the Stade de France on 12 July 1998, Emmanuel Petit can look back on a hugely successful career in the game. The midfield linchpin rounded off the scoring as the hosts beat Brazil 3-0 in the 1998 FIFA World Cup™ Final and he then followed that up with continental glory at UEFA EURO 2000. At club level Petit racked up an equally impressive collection of winners’ medals during spells with Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea
Old Firm One Defeat from Catastrophe - THe Telegraph - To amend an old dictum about the pressure on Old Firm managers, it could be said now that they are never more than 15 points away from a crisis.
The Redknapp report - Sky Sports - Jamie Redknapp assesses all 20 Premier League clubs as the season reaches its halfway stage
The new Bale, with a licence to thrill - Daily Mail - We are seeing an evolving Gareth Bale. We've seen him play out-and-out wide left, but my dad thinks he's got more to offer. Gary Speed played him in other areas for Wales and Gareth enjoyed that. His two goals last night came through central areas. When you are as good as Bale, you can play anywhere. He is world class. Why would you stick him out on the left where teams double up on him? He is good enough to go looking for the ball. When he advances through the middle, it's harder to mark him and he's harder to stop.
Bundesliga winter break does no harm - The Independent - In a week in which Roberto Mancini has, in his own grammatically peculiar way, fiercely criticised the timetabling of the Premier League, players in Germany have been sinking into their Christmas armchairs, safe in the knowledge that they will not have to start running off the Lebkuchen until at least a few days into the new year.
European Soccer's Christmas Vacation - Wall Street Journal - Every December, European leagues follow a familiar ritual: They play their final set of games on the weekend before Christmas and then stick the Gone Fishin' sign on the door. The one European exception is the British leagues: England and Scotland. When everyone else takes a breather, they don't just keep playing. They actually play more.
The great Boxing Day sport tradition - The Guardian - We have a football game in Sheffield to thank for a tradition that goes back to 1860
Is It Time To Question Club Tribalism? - Football365 - With the headlines in football currently dominated by anything but the game, Philip Cornwall asks if it's time to leave club colours to one side and get back to reality...
Royal of the Rovers: And Wills even has the shorts to play for England - Daily Mail - With his grandfather in hospital, perhaps he was looking for a way to take his mind off his worries. The Duke of Cambridge took part in an 11-a-side football game on Christmas Eve after he had travelled to the Queen’s Estate in Sandringham.
Van Persie proved us wrong but whether he'll be an Arsenal icon... time will tell - Daily Mail - Robin van Persie: An Apology. On August 25, 2011 in an article headed: Time will tell over captain Van Persie, this column suggested that the striker was not a natural leader. Van Persie is well on his way to proving this to be incorrect. In the piece, the column claimed he was ill-suited to the role.
Five simple steps to help the game walk tall again - London Evening Standard - My new year's resolutions may last as long as the leftover turkey in 2012 but the underlying sentiment of self-improvement is a healthy one that football can always adopt.
More than winning - Fox Soccer - For clubs like Roberto Martinez's Wigan, Premier League life's about more than trophies.
The Rovers' Swift Descent From Riches to Rags - NY Times - That man, Jack Walker, could not have foreseen that a decade after his death, his team, Blackburn Rovers, would be at the bottom of the pile, struggling for its existence in the rich league. And never could Walker have envisaged his Rovers in the ownership of an Indian family that scarcely has the time to visit the stadium, even on match days.
Why are Liverpool struggling to score goals? - Soccer News - Liverpool started the season on a crest of a wave after a good finish to last season under club legend Kenny Dalglish. Expectations were high as usual in the red half of Merseyside. However Liverpool’s season has stalled in recent weeks.
‘Tis the season to be paranoid - Yahoo Sports - It is that time of year, the time managers turn all seasonally paranoid. And while we might expect Mick McCarthy's hangdog expression to insist that the world is against him, it was more unexpected coming from the normally rational and calm Roberto Martinez
The campaign to kick out racism is being swamped by football's tribal loyalties - The Independent - Even on Merseyside, where some have long claimed that victimhood is not so much a tendency as a vocation, doubts are emerging about the wisdom, not to mention the morality, of the decision of Liverpool Football Club to dress their players in training tops depicting Luis Suarez.
Lindegaard Clean Sheets Adds Pressure to De Gea - The Telegraph - Anders Lindegaard has underlined the growing threat he poses to David de Gea at Manchester United with a tweet boasting about his record of six clean sheets in seven games this season.
Abramovich's £5million annual New Year's Eve bash in St Barts - Daily Mail - Millions have been spent on luxury food and drink, rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers will entertain 300 guests and fireworks are expected to light up the Caribbean sky as midnight strikes. It can only be Roman Abramovich’s New Year’s Eve party, a glittering celebration on which the Russian billionaire is spending more than £5million with plans to eclipse even last year’s sparkling event.
Footballers are TV stars, and should act like it ... - World Sports - The ruling by the Football Association to ban Liverpool and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez for eight matches and to fine him $63,000 for racial abuse has proved controversial for a number of reasons
Could all three promoted sides survive the drop this season? - Soccer News - It’s very rare that a season goes by that a promoted team doesn’t get relegated from the Premier League. However all three teams promoted from the Championship last season have given themselves a good fighting chance in this campaign.
Best Free Kick Takers - About.com - A look at 10 of the best free kick takers in the world.
Team of the Year 2011 - UEFA.com - Voting is now open for the UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2011, which gives users the chance to pick a team of players who have lit up the European game in the last 12 months.
Things we learned on Boxing Day - The Guardian - Berbatov has still got it, Cole appears to be losing it and Carroll is just unlucky
Berbatov picking right time to shine - New Zealand Herald - Mancunians gleefully accepted goodies from a man in red and white this festive season. The brilliant Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov brought three gifts to remind football fans he is still around and keen to deliver some Christmas cheer.
Post-Christmas cheer in Oslo for out-of-contract players - Reuters - For many football fans, the post-Christmas blues will be banished by the prospect of their club buying big when the transfer window opens in January. But the out-of-contract players taking part in the FIFPro Winter Tournament in Oslo are hoping to get their futures sorted out before the window opens again.
Pennant Having a Chrome Christmas - The Sun - The shiny chrome Aston Martin DBS may as well have 'Property of Premier League footballer' written all over it. The man with the keys to the ostentatious vehicle is Stoke City midfielder Jermaine Pennant.
Ronaldo's Fiancee Back to Work - Daily Mail - Irina Shayk ditched her clothes for a campaign with German lingerie company Lascana, stripping to her smalls in a pretty black and red wine bra and French knickers set.
Sing Song Mario on High ...- The Sun - Mario Balotelli made a last-ditch bid to get a transfer from the naughty to the nice list before Christmas.
Retired footballer Edgar Davids can't keep his eyes off his stunning fiancée - Daily Mail - Most of us would have been happy with a view of a pretty Christmas tree or even some snow-capped fields during the festivities. But lucky Edgar Davids was treated with his pretty fiancée showing off her curves in a skimpy bikini as they jetted off to warmer climes.
The Juventus jersey for the 2013/14 was released earlier this week. Be the first to wear the colors of the Old Lady.
Bayern Munich are kings of Germany and hope to be crowned kings of Europe at Wembley later this month!
The new PUMA evoSPEED 1.2 FG. A great new soccer cleat with classic look and first time for PUMA to be on the cleat.
Chelsea won the Europa League on Wednesday. The Blues defeated Benfica 2-1 on injury time goal from Ivanovic.
The Liverpool 2013/14 soccer jersey is available for pre-order. The Reds are eager to compete for silver next season.
Ajax has released their away soccer jersey for the 2013/14 season. Get in the Gear.
One of the top soccer cleats for control the Nike CTR360 will not let you down on the field in tight spaces.
The adidas Nitrocharge is the most talked about new cleat in years. It was released on May 15 and will take your pitch by storm.
The push for more color on their cleats, adidas has added the infrared colorway to the adiZero f50 Line.
Borussia Dortmund hears Wembley Calling and are headed to London for the Champions League final.