Tag Archives: Jay Spearing

What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — Sept. 17, 2010

Tom Hicks is looking to hold onto his shares of Liverpool, but it looks like his partner, George Gillett, probably will not be able to. The Royal Bank of Scotland looks like it won't be refinancing their loan and that spells trouble for the American owners. Courtesy Pitch Invasion

BBC — Iraqi team helping people unite– by Sally Nugent

Iraq has had some tough times, to say the least. The country has been in turmoil after the removal of Saddam Hussein in 2001 from his dictatorship, and even before that the country was a walking time bomb. The country has its internal turmoil, but that doesn’t stop its soccer players from walking on the field, lacing up their cleats and putting on the Iraq jersey for international competition. The major difference between this team and most other international teams: They play soccer behind 10-foot blast walls and have security watching the gate for them, just in case someone decides they want interrupt practice.

MLSsoccer.net — Commentary: High-rollers not built for CCL success

Real Salt Lake doesn’t have the biggest crowds in Major League Soccer, in fact they have a pretty small regional population to draw from in Utah compared to some of the other teams in the league. So, RSL has to follow a smart recruiting and signing policy to attract players and win while keeping close tabs on the budget. Part of the team’s plan has been to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League and hope the potential of playing in North America’s toughest tournament will attract quality players for a cheaper price than a Designated Player like a Thierry Henry or David Beckham. So far the plan has worked to a tee. RSL won the MLS Cup last season and qualified for the CCL, now the club is working on improving on last season’s results with the quality off-season additions they made and by keeping a deeper bench than most other MLS clubs who focus on signing expensive designated players.

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What the Home Grown Player Rule Means for the Future of the English Premier League

By Cameron Dickinson

Since England’s disastrous World Cup campaign everyone has been coming out of the woodwork to bemoan the complete lack of young English talent coming through the ranks in the Premier League, particularly at the top clubs.

The second round would be all the nation could hope for such is the dearth of players available to Fabio Capello; indeed that would be a great achievement in 10 years time when the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ retires.

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The Only Derby: Liverpool vs United

Rafa will need to lead Liverpool a win on Sunday against hated rivals Manchester United if he hopes to keep the clubs championship hopes alive. (Courtesy Nigel Wilson Flickr)

Rafa will need to lead Liverpool a win on Sunday against hated rivals Manchester United if he hopes to keep the club's championship hopes alive. (Courtesy Nigel Wilson Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Manchester United head to Anfield this weekend to hopefully put and end to Liverpool’s title chances. A win for United would be the knockout punch for Liverpool, putting them down for the count with little to no chance at winning The English Premier League for the first time in 20 years.

A Liverpool loss would be their fifth in a row and could the final straw for Rafa Benitez — especially with rumors of Jose Mourinho filling his shoes swirling (he isn’t loved in Italy by any measure). Benetiz needs his side to perform the level that everyone expects of them, because it is believed he is at fault for the poor play of recent.

The way the match-up is working out right now is the efficient United are going into a floundering Liverpool–hampered not only by form but by injuries. That scenario could lead to one of two things:  A United blow-out, or a tightly contested game with a lot of cards handed out, and physical play.

Let’s look at all the factors coming into this game:


Liverpool have the bigger question marks here.

If Torres isn’t fully fit come Sunday, then Liverpool are dead in the water because they don’t have another striker on their bench who can put the pressure on Nemanja Vidic, and any fear at all in the United back-line. If David Ngog starts, then surely Liverpool will be reaching for some attack and praying to the heavens.

Their best option to fill-in for Torres if he isn’t fit to go would be starting Ryan Babel on one side outside midfield position and Albert Reira on the other, with Voronin and Kuyt playing off one another. Kuyt, despite his stature, wins so many balls in the middle through hard work, can gain possession. And Voronin (I hate that I am saying this) is maybe the best option they have the bench for this situation. He is quick, and assertive. He doesn’t hold onto the ball too long and is looking to show the manager what he is made of. So he is a better fit than say Ngog or anyone else on the bench for this game.

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