Tag Archives: Wesley Sneijder

Bert van Marwijk Made Right Decision with de Jong

Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong has come under fire after he broke Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa's leg with a scissor-like challenge over the weekend. Courtesy Paul Blank

By Kevin Koczwara

Nigel de Jong’s tackle on Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa made me cringe. As de Jong slid into his challenge my mind shifted to Stuart Holden. The Netherlands and Manchester City midfielder broke Holden’s leg in a friendly between the United States and Holland on March 3.

Holden nearly missed this summer’s World Cup with the U.S. because he sat out six weeks with a broken leg. He landed on Bradley’s final 23-man roster, but he never saw the field for the Yanks in South Africa.

Xabi Alonso felt de Jong’s pain during the World Cup. He and Holden should head a committee on the Dutch midfielder’s lack of passion and reserve in the middle of the field. Alonso received a Lui Kang-like kick to the chest during the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. Alonso continued to play the rest of the match, which Spain won, 1-0, in extra time. de Jong recieved a yellow card from referee Howard Webb for the drop kick. It should have been a red card.

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Silly Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez hit out at his old club Liverpool this week saying that the board "didn't know anything about football." Bold words from a man who left one of the world's most popular and successful clubs in riuns. Courtesy Djdannyp

By Jonathan Gold

While it’s been pretty clear for quite awhile that Liverpool’s board of directors knows nothing about soccer, it’s nice to hear a top-tier manager come right out and say it. I mean, isn’t it obvious that someone with the undoubted sporting acumen of…wait, Rafa Benitez said it? Oh, forget it.

Although I don’t support Liverpool, I loathe them a bit less than the rest of the big-name English clubs who aren’t my beloved Arsenal. This means that watching them choke and gasp their way toward mediocrity is not something that has me grinning as broadly as I would be if, say, Chelsea was imploding so violently. Liverpool, say what you will about their overrated Kop and easily aggrieved fan base, have an inarguable pedigree as one of the top clubs in the world. They are, in short, serious business.

Which is why it’s kind of depressing that the likes of Rafa Benitez – who clearly bears a significant quantity of the blame for the club’s recent troubles -has carte blanche to criticize Liverpool so openly.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — Sept. 23, 2010

Revolution midfielder Pat Phelan wins a header in the midfield over FC Dallas captain David Ferreira. Courtesy Revolutionsoccer.net

New England Soccer Today – Disappointment in the Big D — by Brian O’Connell

The New England Revolution looked to be on the verge of finally sealing the club’s second road win of the season and ending FC Dallas’s 14 game unbeaten streak, and then it all came undone like it has so many times this year. The Revs were able to survive with a 2-0 lead into the 80th minute when Dallas midfielder David Ferreira stepped up to the penalty spot for the second time in the game — he missed the net on his first try earlier in the game– and the Hoops captain banged in a goal for Dallas and brought the team back in the game. A last gasp goal from substitute Jeff Cunningham in stoppage time sealed a, 2-2, draw for Dallas and major blow for New England as the club tried to end its 10 game winless streak on the road.

The Telegraph — Manchester City hit by defensive worries ahead of Premier League clash with Chelsea

Joe looked at the struggles Roberto Mancini has had with his squad selection and keeping his high-profile players happy thus far, and things don’t look to be getting any easier for the Italian. Manchester City will have to take on Chelsea this weekened and City have only three healthy defenders going into the game against the most potent offensive squad in the Premier League. Mancini and City have shelled out millions of dollars on some of the biggest names in soccer, but they are missing quality depth in defense and maybe not so many big name stars, but maybe some more quality players who can fill in when the team is in a tight squeeze.

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What The Soccer Guys are Reading — Sept. 22, 2010

Wesley Sneijder was sold by Real Madrid last summer to make way for Kaka and Ronaldo, now he could be on his way back to Spain if Jose Mourinho has his way. Courtesy Paul Blank

The Independent — Serie A strike called off

Good news for Italian soccer fans: The player’s union and Serie A have come to an agreement and there will not be a strike this weekend. Players will play, and this weekend’s round of games will go on as planned. The player’s union and the league came to an agreement on six of the eight points of contention in the talks over a new collective bargaining agreement. The two sides will try and hash out the details for the remaining two issues at hand in the near future.

BBC — Sunderland’s Titus Bramble arrested over rape claim

Steve Bruce hasn’t had much time to celebrate his team’s miraculous, 1-1, draw with Arsenal on Saturday. Today, Bruce had to wake up and open the newspaper and see one of his summer signings topping the headlines. Titus Bramble has been brought into police custody because a woman has charged him and his brother with rape. Bramble moved from Wigan this summer to the Stadium of Light to bolster Sunderland’s defense.

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Serie A Preview – Juve to unseat Inter

Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero are hoping to overtake Inter Milan, the five-time defending champions of Italy (Photo Courtesy James Adams)

By Kevin Koczwara

Inter Milan dominated the world of top-flight soccer last season. The club won its domestic title in Italy, Coppa Italia and the one trophy the club’s fans and ownership had been dreaming of for 60 years, the Champions League. Inter was on top of the world, and when that happens in the world of soccer, people take notice and try to build off of your success.

Inter Milan needs to find a way to handle this season without manager Jose Mourinho – the “Special One” – who bolted for Real Madrid at just days after winning the Champions League title with Milan.

Inter’s league title didn’t come without tough competition. Roma made a valiant run for the title in the later months as they strung together win after win, but it was unable to knock down the reigning and eventual champions.
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Best and Worst Performers at the World Cup

Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Holland's captain at the World Cup, was a stand-out defender. Courtesy Paul Blank

By The Soccer Guys

Kevin’s Picks:

Strikers

Diego Forlan - Forlan was the most dangerous striker on the field every time Uruguay suited up. He was handed the Golden Ball by FIFA as the World Cup’s best player, and he deserved it. He scored vital goals and did everything for the underrated and under-appreciated Uruguay team.

David Villa - Villa’s five goals tied him for the Golden Boot with Forlan, Germany’s Thomas Mueller, Uruguay’s Diego Forlan and Holland’s Wesley Sneijder, and his goals saved Spain from elimination. Without Villa, Spain might have been watching the final match from home rather than playing and winning the world’s biggest sporting event.

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The FIFA 2010 World Cup final should be an absolute classic.

By Denis Heptonstall of The National Game

The FIFA 2010 World Cup final should be an absolute classic.

Holland and Spain will meet at the Soccer City stadium on today in what promises to be a fascinating match, where Spain are bookies’ favourites at a measly 2-1.

Presumably they have taken a lot of early money on Spain and are seeking to balance the books. Either that or they fear that Paul the psychic octopus, (now on a roll) may be correct again, and his selection might attract a lot of interest from the horoscope brigade. Well you would place a bet on Spain because a mollusk-brained cephalopod appeared to pick them, wouldn’t you?

A female senior manager in the office where I carry out my day job suggested Spain will win the World Cup because “they are better looking than the Dutch.” Do mollusc – brained cephalopods live out of the water also?

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Grow up Robin, Your Country (and I) Need You

Courtesy Florian K

By Joe Meloni

(Before I get into the body of this piece, I must fully disclose that I am an Arsenal fan. I have a vested interest in Robin van Persie being happy and healthy and productive – even though I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a state worthy of those three adjectives simultaneously.)

The scoreboard said 2-0. His country was celebrating, while he and his teammates finished off an easy win over Slovakia and sealed their place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. No, there really wasn’t anything for Robin van Persie to be angry about on that chilly South African evening. So as Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk beckoned to Robin van Persie to exit the game, he probably expected the Arsenal striker to trot off the field with grace as he saluted his Oranje-clad countrymen clamoring in the crowd. Not so surprisingly, van Persie opted, instead, to throw a fit – disrespecting his manager and disgracing himself in the process.

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Who Will Win The World Cup?

Courtesy alexloth.com Picasa

By Kevin Koczwara and Ryan Fleming

Ryan and I talked about a lot of stories we could write about who could and who would win the World Cup over the last few months. I have rattled my brain over and over again trying to make arguments for players and teams I like, but only one team stood out from the rest for me — it was almost the new look Brazil team lead by Dunga. Ryan thought about who could win the World Cup, especially on style points — so not the new look Brazil. He kept coming back to a certain color, a certain team that has had bundles of talent, but only one major trophy. Our picks are similar in this way. We each picked a team that has never won a World Cup, but has certainly had the talent to do so. We both picked teams that are about attacking their opponents, not sitting back and waiting. We picked teams that as Americans turn us on to the beautiful game.

Let’s take a look…

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The Mighty Mourinho

By Kevin Koczwara

Jose Mourinho’s teams win. That’s just what they do. You can’t say they are always the most entertaining side, or the best team on the field. But they score timely goals, come together in tough matches, and win. It’s that simple.

Mourinho won every trophy he could when he was in charge of FC Porto in Portugal, including the UEFA Champions League. He was introduced to the world during Porto’s amazing run through Europe. Mourinho’s men held off the marauding Manchester United and went on to win the trophy in 2004.

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