Capello as clueless as the rest of us as the blame falls squarely at the players’ feet

The knives will be out in days to come. Having been resoundingly beaten by arch-rivals Germany and slumping to the worst defeat in their competitive history, England are heading for a national hiding.  The ever-fickle tabloid media have already rounded on the side almost as quickly as they rallied behind them after the Slovenia game, and the vast majority of fans are feeling deeply disappointed, disillusioned and even disgusted.   But when the initial anger fades, serious questions will arise. Yes, England were denied an equalizer in scandalous fashion. Yes, Sepp…

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Ghana Camp Focus – Black Stars must be on song to knock out Suarez and co.

Milovan Rajevac will certainly be the toast of Africa after Ghana reached the quarter-final stage of the World Cup for the first time in their history. In what has been a disappointing tournament for the likes of the Ivory Coast, South Africa, Cameroon, Algeria and Nigeria, the Black Stars are quickly becoming an unlikely contender to gate crash the usual success of Europe and South America’s big guns. The dismal behaviour of Inter’s Sulley Muntari a week previous has not affected the Black Stars’ march into the later stages of…

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Germany Camp Focus – Low shows England the best form of defence is counter-attack

Germany’s 4-1 victory over England in the World Cup second round was a victory for modern football over football from the Dark Ages, rapier-like counter-attacks allied to dynamic movement and intricate passing getting the better of static play from two banks of four with no invention in between. Joachim Low is leading a thoroughly modern side to at least the World Cup quarter-finals, but who knows how far after that? It was a game Germany won not through old-style characteristics of obstinacy and bluster, but rather incision and speed. England…

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Change in England set up needs to be immediate

With England’s World Cup campaign coming to an absolutely shambolic end, the potential ramifications are now being digested and acted upon – whether Fabio Capello will remain as England’s manager seems to be the most pertinent question given his lack of success in guiding England to the previously expected quarter-final stage. Indeed, England’s inability to reach the same levels as they did under the up till now maligned Swede Sven G

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England’s ‘Golden Generation’ – what next?

When Adam Crozier, to the joy of tabloid editors nationwide, labelled the current group of players as England ’s “Golden Generation”, eyebrows were raised – eyebrows and expectations. Outclassed by Brazil in 2002, outfought by Portugal in 2004 and 2006, before being outclassed once more by Croatia in 2008 and now Germany in 2010 – the English public are left wondering when these superstars of world football going to deliver on the international front. For their clubs at least, England ’s ‘big players’ are indeed big players. Frank Lampard, Wayne…

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Germany 4-1 England – The future is now for this talented German team

GERMANY 4Klose 20, Podolski 32, Muller 67 70 ENGLAND 1Upson 37 The main talking point in Germany’s demolition of England in the round of 16 World Cup game will no doubt be Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal at 2-1 down and how it cost England the match. However this would do a serious disservice to the explosive young German team that came of age, when many doubted their ability. The Nationalmannschaft included six players in this squad that starred for the European U-21 Championship victory in 2009 – Mesut Ozil, Sami…

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Day 17 World Cup action round-up – England and Mexico dreams shattered, Germany and Argentina progress

Day 17 of the 2010 World Cup saw the day England fans had all been waiting for quickly develop into a nightmare. Germany took advantage of some shaky defending to record a 4-1 drumming over the Three Lions and despite the rampant score line, England fans cannot help but think what could have been if goal line technology was in use. Elsewhere, Argentina continue to impress, comfortably defeating a talented Mexico side 3-1 to set up a quarter-final with Germany. GERMANY 4 Klose 20 , Podolski 32, Mueller 67 70…

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World Cup day 18 match previews – Netherlands, Slovakia, Brazil and Chile fight for quarter-finals berth

The bottom half of the World Cup draw gets underway on Monday with the Netherlands looking to break the shackles of three defensive minded wins in the group stage, taking on the conquerors of Italy, Slovakia. Brazil will be aiming to do similar, as they take on a stylish Chile side in the late game. NETHERLANDS vs. SLOVAKIA3.00pm – Durban Stadium Solid and yet unspectacular has been the way of things for Bert van Marwijk’s Dutch side during the World Cup thus far, but the boss will be looking for…

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England Camp Focus: World Cup exit exposes deficiencies in the English game

For an England at the last-16 there is little to offer in way of an excuse. Many will point to Frank Lampard’s “ghost goal” as a decisive factor in losing to Germany and if given it may have played a part, but in truth England were desperately poor, continually exposed by a team with vastly superior movement. What must be remembered is this is an England team which spectacularly failed to qualify for the last major tournament. Although much of the blame was placed firmly on the shoulders of Steve…

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The ADL Index – World Cup player ratings – Germany 4-1 England

England were dumped out of the World Cup by arch-rivals Germany in a game marred by controversy and lacklustre defending. Miroslav Klose grabbed the first goal of the night – barging past lone defender Matthew Upson to run onto keeper Manuel Neuer’s goal-kick and slotting past David James. Germany then took advantage of more woeful defending – passing the ball around the few left at the back before playing in Lukas Podolski for their second on 32 minutes. Despite the setbacks England began to control possession, and were rewarded with…

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Argentina 3-1 Mexico – Tevez brace sends Mexico packing

ARGENTINA 3Tevez 25, 52, Higuain 33 MEXICO 1 Hernandez 71 Argentina cruised to victory over Mexico to set up a quarter-final against Germany but they needed the help of an offside goal to set them on their way. Carlos Tevez struck twice, including the hotly disputed goal, and Gonzalo Higuain also scored for Argentina with Javier Hernandez grabbing a consolation for the Mexicans. Mexico came close to scoring twice in 30 seconds after eight minutes. First Carlos Salcido hammered a 40 yard shot that smashed against the bar after the…

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England Analysis – Germany 4-1 England – Referee’s blunder cannot be ignored, but neither can England failings

England against Germany – one of the most historic rivalries in football suffered from the one aspect of the game that is ancient. Despite an overpowering German second-half performance, the decision not to allow a second English goal has again influenced a high-profile contest. Frank Lampard’s opportunistic effort bounced off the bar and landed comfortably over the line, only for all four officials to fail to award the goal. Sepp Blatter has fought off the campaign for technology to be used in football, but this was another glaring chink in…

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Germany 4-1 England – Pitiful England upstaged by ruthless Germany

GERMANY 4Klose 20, Podolski 32, Muller 67,70 ENGLAND 1 Upson 37 England crashed out of the World Cup with a heavy defeat against Germany in Bloemfontein as the calls for goalline technology began in earnest. Goals from Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski and a Thomas Muller double ended English dreams but there was controversy when Frank Lampard’s shot bounced clearly over the line but was ruled out. The goal would have levelled the scores at 2-2, coming a minute after Matt Upson had scored for England. Mesut Ozil could have scored…

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Benitez to offer Cambiasso as part of Mascherano deal

New Inter Milan boss Rafael Benitez is attempting to thrash out a deal to prise Argentina captain Javier Mascherano away from Anfield, however the current asking price for the defensive midfielder is too high. Therefore, Benitez is willing to offer Esteban Cambiasso as part of the deal, according to the Mirror. Surprisingly, Cambiasso was not selected for the Argentina squad to go to the World Cup, despite his treble winning heroics in Italy. Cambiasso is still thought to be one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, although older…

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Argentina Camp Focus – Maradona’s men possess all the tools to surge past Mexico

One thing that has been evident for the Argentines in this World Cup campaign is that Lionel Messi is starting to find his best for his country. The Barcelona star has certainly had his critics whilst playing in the blue and white, from both the media and sections of the fans, but the three wins that Argentina have achieved in the group stage have all starred Messi, who has been the focal point of their attacks. The playmaker who celebrated his 23rd birthday today has received the ultimate compliment for…

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Tottenham news – Spurs in Luis Fabiano talks, Fulham ready to take Gudjohnson, Woodgate out for pre-season

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Tottenham. Today: Spurs in Luis Fabiano talks. Sevilla’s Luis Fabiano has become the latest player to be targeted by Tottenham Hotspur. The 29-year-old is currently out in South Africa with Brazil but was headhunted by a number of clubs before the tournament even began. According to the News of the World, Chelsea, Milan and Manchester City are also in the race to sign the striker who only has a year left on his…

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Milner wants to make £28m move to Man City

Aston Villa star James Milner is keen to push through his move to Manchester City and will hand in a transfer-request on his return to England from the World Cup, according to the Mirror. Milner is much sought after by top clubs following his performances this season with Villa and his impressive displays with the England national team. Man City are now favourites to sign the midfielder, with Milner willing to rebel if Villa block his £28m transfer to the Manchester club. Milner is said to be unable to resist…

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World Cup Morning Report – Africa rejoices as Ghanaians achieve quarter-final berth

Ghana is most certainly the team of the moment, and it is the Ghanaians who are taking it upon themselves to keep the whole of Africa partying for as long as they possibly can. Having been the sole African side to have launched themselves through the group stage thanks mainly to an organised and determined rearguard and two penalties due to handballs, they have now gone one better and surged impressively into the quarter-finals after their triumph over the United States last night. The win is also a further feather…

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Tactical Breakdown – United States 1-2 Ghana – Contrasting midfield systems lead to close battle

In what was always going to be a tight, competitive game, the battle of the two central midfields was one which was always going to be pivotal in the outcome. Milovan Rajevic lined up his Black Stars with the 4-5-1 formation that had got them to this stage. Of course, to execute a gameplan based around a lone striker, that individual has to be strong, mobile and one of the best players in the side. In Asamoah Gyan, Rajevic is fortunate to have a player who ticks all of these…

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Today’s World Cup Preview – Make or break for the Three Lions

The big guns enter the knock-out stage of the World Cup on Sunday. Germany and England write a new chapter in their seemingly endless rivalry in the early game, while the late game sees Argentina and Mexico meet in a repeat of their last-16 match at the 2006 World Cup. GERMANY vs. ENGLAND3.00pm –Free state Stadium, Bloemfontein Possibly the most intense rivalry in international football is set to reconvene again during the last 16, with a young Germany side taking on England, a team yet to hit top form during…

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United States 1-2 Ghana – Asamoah Gyan’s strike fires the Black Stars into the quarter-finals

UNITED STATES 1Donovan (pen) 62 GHANA 2Boateng 5, Gyan 93 Ghana overcame a spirited USA side to set up a quarter-final against Uruguay and continue to represent Africa in the World Cup. Asamoah Gyan’s superb excellent left-footed strike would be the decider that propelled the Black Stars forward in the competition. The last time these two sides met was in a group phase match in the 2006 Fifa World Cup match in Nuremberg where the Black Stars managed to beat their opponents 2-1, a score line which the Americans wanted…

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United States Camp Focus – stars and stripes look to terminate Africa’s last hope

The USA head into the first round of knockout matches today facing Africa’s last remaining hope in the World Cup. After entering the tournament with six teams all hopeful of progression through the group stages, it is only Ghana who remains contenders to win the competition. South Africa, Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria and Ivory Coast were all eliminated from the tournament while the scorpions battled through group D to take second place. Facing them will be Bob Bradley’s USA, who, met by a horde of American soccer fans as they drove…

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Uruguay 2-1 Korea Republic – Suarez show sends South Americans into quarter-finals

URUGUAY 2Suarez 8, 80 KOREA REPUBLIC 1 Chung-yong 68 Uruguay defeated Korea Republic 2-1 at a wet Nelson Mandela Bay stadium as they secured a World Cup quarter final place for the first time since 1970. Uruguay were the more solid team but South Korea created numerous opportunities to take the game into extra time. The telling difference was the South Americans’ quality in front of goal which carried them through. Going into today’s match Uruguay had not conceded a goal in the tournament and with Diego Forlan and Luis…

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Tottenham prepared for £28m move for Palermo duo

Harry Redknapp is prepared to make a double swoop for highly rated Palermo duo Edinson Cavani and Simon Kjaer, according to the Daily Mail. Cavani, who has previously been valued by £25m by his club, could come at a much cheaper price if Spurs sign his teammate Kjaer at the same time. Kjaer, recently knocked out of the World Cup with Denmark, is a popular centre-back who is being tracked by many teams. Cavani is currently enjoying life with Uruguay in South Africa, but this interest from Spurs is genuine…

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