What The Soccer Guys Are Reading – September 3, 2010

Steven Gerrard (left) is expected to lead England on Saturday in its first qualifying match for the 2012 European Championship. (Photo Courtesy Lionartois)

The Guardian – Gerrard needs to find rightful place with England – Richard Williams

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been productive with England, but his contributions at the club level come with more than goals. In the World Cup, Gerrard played well but failed to have the impact he does with Liverpool. Despite a goal against the United States in the fourth minute of the match, Gerrard provided very little to the Three Lions who failed to advance past the Round of 16. Against Bulgaria on Saturday, Gerrard scored will likely see time behind the principal striker – the same position he scored twice from against Hungary.

ESPN Soccernet – Spurs reject large transfer bid for Bale

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale has been one of the club’s most important players through its three matches in the English Premier League and the early stages of the Champions League. The 21-year-old Welshman joined the club in 2007 and may have been close to leaving during the recently closed transfer window. While no club was named, ESPN has reported that the North London club, which many believe has an outside chance at winning the Premiership this season, turned down a substantial offer for the winger.

Sky Sports – Guardiola, Barca near long-term agreement – Francisco Acedo

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is reportedly close to signing a long-term deal with the club. The former Barca player took over for Frank Rijkaard in 2008 and has earned substantial praise for winning the Champions League in his first season and the La Liga championship in both of his seasons. While the club’s management never doubted his ability to lead the club, however, it appeared as though the two sides were only planning on a one-year extension.

The Independent – Blackburn’s Benjani rips Manchester City stars – Phil Medilcott

Blackburn Rovers striker Benjani Mwaruwari believes the excessive spending of Manchester City in the offseason is more likely to bring the club shame than glory. Mwaruwari belueves the players are concerned more with securing their financial futures than they are about winning trophies for the club. Mwaruwari signed a contract with Blackburn last week after two years under contract with City, and he was eventually forced out due to the rapid spending of the last two years.

Fox Soccer – Ibrahimovic takes another shot at Guardiola

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who recently signed with AC Milan after a disappointing season with Barcelona, took another shot at former manager Pep Guardiola, whom he was not particularly fond of in his lone year at the Camp Nou. Ibrahimovic referred to the manager, who is expected to sign a long-term contract extension soon, as a “small-time” coach. The Swede cited no specific instances, but he said the manager never thought highly of him, which was his primary motivation for moving back to Italy

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