Tag Archives: Peter Crouch

Poor showing in Madrid leaves Champions League strategy in shambles for Spurs

By Michael King

Effectively, Tottenham’s Champions League hopes have ended; for both this year and next. The Spurs gambled on making a deep run in the competition would out-weigh failure to qualify for next year’s tournament via a Top 4 English Premier League finish.

And now they have little to show for it.

It’s perhaps unfair to argue this position with the ability of hindsight in light of Tuesday’s dreadful performance against Real Madrid. The 4-0 loss in Spain during the first quarterfinal leg puts the London team in an insurmountable hole. Overcoming a four-goal deficit on aggregate is beyond the capability of this team, especially given its most recent performances.

This was not the same Tottenham team that twice appeared the better side against Inter Milan in the CL group stages and defeated AC Milan last month in Italy.

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Champions League succes take center stage for Tottenham

Harry Redknapp has Tottenham challenging for its first European Cup since the Spur's won the 1984 UEFA Cup. Tottenham advanced in the Champions League after beating Serie A side AC Milan. (Courtesy Wikicommons)

By Ryan Fleming

If you’re an Arsenal fan you have to grimace, knowing all in well that the team you utterly despise more than all, Tottenham, has advanced farther than you in the Champions League. Not only do you have to be sadden, even frustrated, you have to be utterly embarrassed.

It might be a strong word to use, but for a team that wasn’t supposed to advance past the qualifying stages in the first place, to move to the next round while you sit at home has to be rather, well, embarrassing. Sure, you can point to the absolute fact that you had to face a harder opponent and one that is up for the “World’s Best Club Team Ever” award. But in Spurs’ perspective, you didn’t and they did.

Much of the plaudits have to be toward Peter Crouch (despite his silly play that certainly cost Spurs a goal on Wednesday). Crouch, like every team knows, when on the field is the focus of attention, yes, even more so than the spiky-haired Gareth Bale. The lanky, often seemingly unathetlic-looking forward, scored the lone Tottenham goal that saw them off to the next round. One goal you say? Where’s the credit for the Spurs defense? I was getting to that.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading

ESPN Soccernet – Serbia hits rock bottom

Serbian hooligans force Italy, Serbia Euro 2012 Qualifier to be cancelled. The disturbances and violence lasted throughout the day.

ESPN Soccernet Blogs Do Sparsely Supported Teams Deserve Their Place in the Premier League ?

Interesting question, but a really simple answer – yes.

The Guardian – Which clubs’ fans have unlikely friendships with their rivals?

A list you won’t find Celtic and Rangers on.

The Herald (Scotland) – The absence of Scott Brown raises some big questions for Celtic

With Celtic midfielder and captain, Scott Brown, out for around 10 weeks, questions are aroused about the club’s talent.

Zonal Marking – Ireland 2-3 Russia: Irish outpassed & outclassed

The Boys in Green dropped their Euro 2012 Qualifier to a Russia team that outplayed them for more than 90 minutes.

Zonal Marking – The tall tale of Peter Crouch’s aerial abilities

Pundits and coaches alike say that Crouch is a better player with his feet than his head, but the stats tell a different story.

Sky Sports – Henry – We’re here to win

New England Sports Venture and its chief owner, John Henry, finally completed the takeover of Liverpool, and he has already stated his intentions to win.

The Independent – Robinho: ‘I would never protest against being on the bench’

But do I believe the talented Brazilian forward? No. He knows he is too good of a player to be watching from the sidelines.

The Independent – Mourinho rules out January spending

This can’t be true. Mourinho will be looking to wheel and deal some underachieving players (Karim Benzema for sure) for players that fit his team’s style and mold.

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Capello out-foxed in Cape Town

Courtesy Celebrity Cartoons Picasaweb

By Mark Duckworth of The National Game


“We’ve seen it all before” the famous line from the England football song Three Lions, and on Friday night that is what we got as England stumbled to a nil-nil draw with Algeria in Cape Town.

The impressive table mountain provides the back drop to Cape Town and with the flanking peaks of Devils Peak and Lions Head you would have thought England would have wanted to play football to match its surroundings. Instead it stuttered out onto the pristine pitch of the Green Point Stadium and simply bottled-it in front of almost a full house in Cape Town. The draw doesn’t mark the end of England’s World Cup campaign, but it looks mighty close.

The pre- and post-match talk was dominated by Capello’s team selection and his handling of the Robert Green situation. With regard to Green, if Capello thinks he isn’t mentally tough enough then he was right to drop him, and with the rumors of another blunder in training then it seems Capello got that right. David James was also arguably England’s best player on the night; he looked calm under pressure and saved England from what could have been the end of a World Cup dream as he cleared what was a terrible back pass from John Terry.

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Key Players for the U.S. Against England

By Kevin Koczwara

I recently wrote about the Americans keys to victory on Saturday when they open the World Cup against England. They weren’t ground breaking keys, but they are important, and should not be taken lightly.

Now I am going to expand on the keys to the game for the Yanks and look at three players the U.S. Men’s National Team needs to show up in a big way on Saturday.

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Capello Finalizes England's Squad

By Cameron Dickinson of The National Game

All the speculation finally ended at 3 p.m. yesterday when Fabio Capello put the nation out of its misery by naming the 2010 World Cup squad.

Gone were the shock call-ups of the past (Theo Walcott in 2006 anyone?) as the manager appears to be placing his faith in those that have experience at the international level, rather than those with fewer caps.

Already some are willing to write off the tournament as they do not agree with some of the choices made by the Italian, but then this would be the case no matter who was in the final 23. At least the questions can stop for now, and we can now look forward to the greatest event in the world — which kicks off in just nine days.

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England Beats Mexico But Capello Still Has Questions That Need Answering

Courtesy The National Game

By Cameron Dickinson of The National Game

A typical English friendly performance saw Fabio Capello’s side secure victory, but in unconvincing fashion, throwing up more questions than answers.

Goals from Ledley King, Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson were enough to see off a spirited Mexico side that showed enough craft to cause the home side’s shaky defense problems.

The technically proficient Mexicans highlighted England’s shortcomings when faced with a good passing side and showed how much they need a quality ball-winning midfielder in the squad. When faced with a side who can really take advantage of their dominance of possession then England could really come unstuck.

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Capello Still Has Decisions To Make

By Mark Duckworth of The National Game

So the dust has settled on another Premier League campaign, and the attention will turn to South Africa and England as they look for glory. But before we get to June 11,  Fabio Capello has some choices to make and with the announcement of Capello’s 30 man squad today, Mark Duckworth takes a look at some of the old and new faces trying to get a seat on the plane to South Africa.

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Injuries Plaguing World Cup Hopefuls and EPL Top Teams

By Kevin Koczwara
There is no substitute for depth in professional soccer. Skill can overcome some hard-ache, and hard-work can definitely make up for a lack of skill, but nothing can make up for a deep bench in the long grueling seasons of soccer. Many teams in the English Premier league are seeing some of their European aspirations heading to the training room instead of to the field, and some players are seeing their World Cup dreams shattered.

This year is different than most because players are training harder, playing harder, and have played more often in the past year or two than regularly. Why is? Simple, the World Cup is coming up and just about every player dreams of putting on their countries uniform and walking onto the grass of a World Cup Final. But they must show their worth in club matches and in international matches. And the wear and tear is showing.

Let’s look over a few teams and players that have been hit enormously by the injury bug, and let’s see who will definitely be sitting out the World Cup because of an injury.

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