Tag Archives: Lucas

What The Soccer Guys Are Reading – August 24, 2010

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott scored three goals against Blackpool om Saturday, which led to comparisons to Arsenal great Thierry Henry by manager Arsene Wenger.

ESPN Soccer – Hat trick draws Henry comparisons for Theo

After scoring three goals in Arsenal’s 6-0 thrashing of everyone’s second-favorite Premier League team Blackpool, Theo Walcott has drawn perhaps the ultimate compliment from manager Arsene Wenger. While Wenger praised his future as a striker, he also compared the 21-year-old Englishman to former Arsenal legend and current New York Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry. Walcott has struggled to find regular playing time since joining Arsenal, but with his manager’s backing 2010-11 could be a huge season for the youngster.

The Guardian – Liverpool reject €15m bid from Barcelona for Javier Mascherano – James Callow

Despite his refusal to play on Monday in a 3-0 loss to Manchester City, Liverpool is still holding strong on its financial demands for midfielder Javier Mascherano. The Argentine has already agreed to terms with La Liga side Barcelona, as part of his family’s goal to get the hell out of Liverpool. While Liverpool respects his wish to leave Merseyside, it will not agree to any contract that does not provide any financial benefit. Roy Hodgson will need a lot of motivation to start Lucas 36 more times. Continue reading

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Battle for North London

Manuel Almunia returns to Arsenals goal just in time for the North London derby against Tottenham. (Courtesy Tim Snell Flickr)

Manuel Almunia returns to Arsenals goal just in time for the North London derby against Tottenham. (Courtesy Tim Snell Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Arsenal and Tottenham will face-off Saturday at the Emirates Stadium to lay claim to as who is the best club in North London right now. It is a match-up that looks to be a barn burner because the two teams have high octane attacks and sub-par defenses. The game also has implications to set apart the two teams and give themselves room in the top four (Champions League qualification) on the Premier League table.

Both Arsenal and Tootenham have 19 points coming into this weekends match-up and are only set apart by goal differential — Arsenal at a +16, Tottenham at a +9– and Arsenal’s one game in hand. And both need this win to keep pace with table setters Chelsea (who play a Bolton side  they beat 4-0 in a mid-week Carling Cup match), and to avoid being bumped down by a confident Liverpool side who beat Manchester United last week and is playing a stingy Fulham side that looks tired from all the extra competition that the UEFA Cup has brought. And Manchester City and Aston Villa should surely wrap-up at least 1 point this weekend in their competitions keeping them in the hunt for a top four finish and jumping over the loser in North London.

This game is more than just a derby this weekend, it is a match that will make one of these teams a serious contender for Premier League silverware come May.

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Derby Highlights Courtesy of FootyTube

I search the internet for match highlights every weekend, and each weekend I come to the same conclusion: FootyTube is the best highlight Web page on the internet.

Here are the highlights from the Manchester United v Liverpool match at Anfield from Sunday.

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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:

Injuries

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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