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Capello cracks whip to free Three Lions

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by The Independent

As with any winter sport, reviewing a calendar year carries a sense of unfinished business; all the more so with a World Cup to come. In choosing 100 heroes or villains from the past decade last week, this newspaper justifably placed Fabio Capello in the former category. Of vastly greater import for English football, however, is which classification he will merit in 12 months' time. Or seven mon...Full Story »

Half-time report: lessons from around Europe

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by The Independent

Ronaldo fitness holds key Off the pitch Real Madrid's signing of Cristiano Ronaldo is already paying off with Adidas set to double their €30m annual sponsorship of the club and extending the current deal, which was due to end in 2012 to 2014. On the field his importance was underlined when, after an unbeaten run of seven games at the start of the season with him in the side, they lost ...Full Story »

Top-four finish can happen for likely lads

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by The Independent

As Liverpool stumble and others leap ahead of them, the possibility grows that this will finally be the season when the top four teams in the Premier League cannot be predicted with customary certainty. For all Manchester City's money and Tottenham's promise, Aston Villa under Martin O'Neill have often looked the most likely lads, which makes today's game at Arsenal a key fixture and the lessons...Full Story »

Ferguson says LMA must stop exits like Hughes

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by The Independent

A man with a birthday on New Year's Eve finds this an even more reflective period than most, and Sir Alex Ferguson – 68 on Thursday – has been contemplating one of football's wider issues as well as Manchester United's more immediate engagements at Hull City today and against Wigan on Wednesday night. Solidarity with fellow managers has always been important to him and on occasio...Full Story »

Hard times force new equality on the Premier League's economic miracle

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by theguardian.com

John Terry reacts after Aston Villa's James Collins headed the winner at Villa Park in October. The question we all dread from foreign visitors to these islands is: "What does Britain actually do?" All we can say is that we surge into cities on overcrowded trains and then disperse mysteriously, pointlessly invade far-off countries and talk an awful lot about the Premier League. England's highe...Full Story »

David James wants reunion with Harry Redknapp at Tottenham

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by theguardian.com

Calling Harry? David James may be heading for Spurs. Photograph: Allstar David James has said he welcome a move next month from Portsmouth to Tottenham Hotspur, where he would be reunited with Harry Redknapp. The goalkeeper is a target for the Spurs manager, under whom he had a successful spell at Portsmouth, and believes the transfer would strengthen his hopes of going to next summer's World ...Full Story »

Man City 2 - 0 Stoke

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by BBC.com

Mancini (left) celebrates the first goal of his reign with assistant boss Brian Kidd Roberto Mancini calmed the turbulence around Eastlands as he started his reign as Manchester City manager with a comfortable victory against Stoke City. Mancini was warmly greeted by City's fans after taking charge following the controversial sacking of Mark Hughes - and his opening victory will have been gree...Full Story »

RSL end magical season with MLS Cup

Posted Saturday, December 26, 2009 by MLSnet.com

Salt Lake caps move to top by winning first Anschutz Trophy Once they claimed the 2009 MLS Cup as their own, Real Salt Lake came full circle during a sometimes turbulent season.RSL went from a team touted as one of the top Western Conference teams in the preseason to a group seemingly on the verge of not even making the playoffs in just a few months. When Real finally put together an amazing ...Full Story »

Five big questions for Real Salt Lake

Posted Saturday, December 26, 2009 by MLSnet.com

With the 2009 season in the rearview mirror, here are the answers to some of the biggest questions surrounding Real Salt Lake as the club prepares for 2010:WHAT DO REAL NEED TO DO TO DEFEND THEIR 2009 MLS CUP TITLE? Simply put, Real Salt Lake must find a way to duplicate their newfound ability to win away from Rio Tinto Stadium. Once RSL overcame continued road game struggles in the playoffs,...Full Story »

Keith Andrews: 'We should have walked away and let everyone resent the French team'

Posted Saturday, December 26, 2009 by The Independent

Left in tears by Henry's infamous handball, written off as a lightweight at Blackburn, Keith Andrews has come through a tough 2009. He tells Ian Herbert he's confident the dark clouds will clear next year. Keith Andrews is sitting in his club's education facility examining a Plasticine model of himself – and given the way his emotions have been stretched this way and that across the cours...Full Story »

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