Club Focus – Blackburn Rovers – The future could be bright for Blackburn

Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic bagged a brace as Blackburn Rovers secured a vital 3-1 victory over newly-promoted West Brom. The win was Steve Kean’s first as Blues boss and lifted some pressure off the Scotsman following a poor result against Stoke last time out. Shortly after the shock departure of Sam Allardyce, Kean was appointed as Rovers’ manager until the end of the season, much to the bemusement of some fans. However, despite a stuttering start to his managerial career, the former first team coach seems to have won a…

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Club Focus – Liverpool – Liverpool fresh and ready for Wolves game

Having missed their last two Premier League fixtures due to the freezing weather conditions, Liverpool will be raring to go when they face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield tonight. The Reds’ lack of action has meant that they now sit in 12th place in the league table, albeit having played less games than the teams around them. With Wolves next up, followed by Bolton, both at home, this could be the perfect opportunity for Roy Hodgson’s men to get a couple of wins under their belt and go on a good…

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Club Focus – Tottenham Hotspur – Wingmen prove their worth to give Redknapp a Merry Christmas

One could say this year has been a success for Harry Redknapp and on a grander scale, Tottenham Hotspur. This Christmas was even more important in context of Spurs’ season and their success over this festive period could entail to be the pinnacle of the London side’s charge on the Premier League for the rest of the domestic season. So far this season Redknapp has had to rely a lot on his midfielders and the attacking threat they provide, and with Robbie Keane due to leave in January, Peter Crouch…

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Club Focus – Stoke – Bittersweet Christmas for Potters

Stoke go into the new year with mixed emotions after a festive period that shone a beacon on their strengths and weaknesses in equal measure. The Boxing Day win over Blackburn at Ewood Park underlined the progress that Tony Pulis’ men have made this season. The Staffordshire side enjoyed a relatively comfortable victory at a ground where only Arsenal and Chelsea had won during the campaign so far, launching themselves to the dizzying heights of eighth in the Premier League in the process. The game illustrated the improvements in Stoke’s…

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Club Focus – Everton – Goals still an issue for Toffees but transfer window salvation looms

Everton’s 1-1 draw with West Ham yesterday evening told a tale all too familiar to David Moyes this season, one of long periods of possession, relative control over the match and pretty football through midfield, but a scarcity of goals and, most importantly, points, at the final whistle. Seamus Coleman was the player to pick up the strikers’ slack this time. After Tony Hibbert deflected the ball past his own keeper in the 16th minute, Everton, without a recognised forward on the pitch but with three sitting on the bench,…

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Club Focus – Newcastle – Little festive cheer for Magpies fans

Newcastle United ended what has on the whole been a successful 2010 with a deserved 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. It was the team’s second consecutive loss over the festive period, with new manager Alan Pardew quickly brought back to reality after a winning start to his tenure. With the Magpies slipping into the bottom half of the table on Tuesday the gap between themselves and the relegation zone has become much closer than it was a fortnight ago. Newcastle fans will be pleased to see the back of a…

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Arsenal news – Walcott confident, No Vela exit, Style to help next generation

Walcott confident. Theo Walcott has told reporters he wants the Gunners to get it right in every game from now until the end of the season, and bring the Premier League trophy back to the Emirates according to Express.co.uk . The England winger has been in good recent form and helped Arsenal end their top two hoodoo by beating Chelsea 3-1 on Monday. He said: “We would be disappointed if we win against Chelsea and then lose at Wigan. These games are very important, just as big as facing Chelsea…

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Chelsea news – Kaka deal on, Hiddink rules out return, Pastore links grow

Hiddink rules out return. The agent of former Chelsea boss and current coach of the Turkish national side Guus Hiddink has rubbished rumours that he is set to return for a second spell at Stamford Bridge should Carlo Ancelotti’s tenure at the English champions come to an end according to a report on The Independent’s website. Chelsea’s poor form continued with a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal on Monday but Roman Abramovich, who is a close friend of Hiddink’s following the latter’s time in charge of the Russian national side, has…

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Tottenham news – Redknapp demands discipline, Woodgate to Cardiff, Kranjcar set for exit

Redknapp demands discipline. Harry Redknapp has demanded discipline from his players after watching his side’s scrappy 2-0 win over Newcastle, but he did admit that his side’s class shone through to earn the points nevertheless. Despite the victory Spurs were once again reduced to 10 men following the sending off of Younes Kaboul. It saw the second consecutive match that Spurs won with a reduced number having seen Jermaine Defoe dismissed in the Boxing Day win over Aston Villa. Redknapp told Sky Sports: “A fantastic result. We went one-up and…

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Man City news – City move for Dzeko, Mancini: Balotelli homesick, Robinho prevented Kaka move

City move for Dzeko. Manchester City have entered into ‘advanced talks’ over the capture of Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko, according to sources at Sky Sports. Recent reports suggest Mancini is in the market for another striker, with the Bosnian international topping his list. Funds for the deal could be supplied by the departure of Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz who are set to leave Eastlands this January. City are prepared to pay 30million Euros (£25.6m) immediately for Dzeko along with a further 5m Euros (£4.3m) if the club qualify…

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Liverpool news – Gerrard return latest, Reds mourn Cohen, Babel loan rejected

Reds mourn Cohen. After suffering serious head wounds following a motorcycle accident in his native Tel Aviv, former Liverpool left-back Avi Cohen has died. Cohen played for the Merseysiders between 1979 and 1981, scoring the goal which clinched the league title in 1980 under Bob Paisely’s stewardship. Tributes have been raining in to salute him. Kenny Dalglish remembered Avi as, “A lovely man who will be remembered fondly by everyone at Liverpool who knew him.” He told the Daily Telegraph: “He quickly integrated himself into the football club when he…

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Club Focus – Manchester City – Balotelli hat-trick inspires City annihilation of woeful Villa

The time may not yet have arrived to uncork the champagne bottles, but Tuesday evening was an evening of celebration for the blue half of Manchester nevertheless. Their cross-city rivals not due in action away at Birmingham City until later, a Mario Balotelli inspired 4-0 annihilation of an abject Aston Villa side took Manchester City to the Premier League summit. Whilst Manchester United and Arsenal have crucial games in hand, the convincing nature of City’s victory must surely set the tone for the rest of the season. Make no mistake,…

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La Liga Daily – Copa del Rey: Athletic Bilbao hold Barca, Real Madrid rout Levante 8-0 and goals galore at Sevilla and Almería

The final fixtures of the year in Spain featured the last-16 first leg ties of the Copa del Rey, with all three of Tuesday’s games ending in draws. The performance of the night, however, belonged to Athletic Bilbao, who claimed a deserved goalless draw in the Camp Nou thanks to an outstanding defensive display – not even the introduction of Lionel Messi and David Villa in the second half could give Barca the advantage. The local derby between Valencia and Villarreal at the Mestalla also ended scoreless, with home boss…

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Club Focus – Arsenal – Pressing game leaves Chelsea feeling blue

Arsene Wenger has been hailed as a genius in the transfer market and has revolutionised the way English clubs play and train, but question marks have arisen over his tactical awareness, particularly in light of his side’s recent record against the top sides. Monday night was a chance to put that right, and Le Professeur didn’t disappoint, laying on a tactical master class as his choice of tactics and personnel ensured a comprehensive victory for the Gunners. In recent times Arsenal have been overpowered by the Blues, a fact evidenced…

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Man Utd news – Utd in for Diarra, Interest in Bayer ‘keeper confirmed, Foster: No regrets

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Man Utd. Today: Utd in for Diarra. Manchester United are lining up a January transfer swoop for Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra, according to the Mail Online. Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to bolster his midfield by adding the former Portsmouth and Chelsea anchorman because of Owen Hargreaves ongoing injury woes. Diarra should be available, having fallen out of favour due to the recent acquisitions of German midfielders Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.…

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Tottenham news – Woodgate faces loan spell, No Jan Young move, Gameiro nogo

Woodgate faces loan spell. It seems Jonathan Woodgate is set to face a spell out on loan before he returns in a Tottenham Hotspur shirt. Woodgate has been injured for over a year and has finally returned to training but Harry Redknapp believes a spell out on loan could help the centre-back in his recovery from such a long time out. The Press Association reveals that Woodgate has spoken with manager Redknapp and that the 30-year-old defender is keen on the idea of a loan to help him in his…

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Blog: Venky’s bet the Ewood farm on Kean

There is no point lying on two fronts. Firstly, the decision to appoint Steve Kean as manager until the end of the season is a monumental gamble on the part of Blackburn Rovers’ new owners Venky’s London Limited. Even if the situation goes horribly wrong and is re-visited in a few months, terminal damage may well have already been done by placing the wrong man at the helm. Equally, Kean will know that he is not the object of universal goodwill. Even in the festive season, there will be fans…

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Man Utd news – Utd on Young alert, No Beckham return, Blues game for March

Blues game for March. The postponed title clash between Manchester United and Chelsea has been provisionally rearranged to take place on March 1. The original match was called off because of heavy snow, which claimed all but 3 fixtures last weekend. The proposed fixture will go ahead so long as neither team are involved in an FA Cup fifth-round replay. In related news, Barcelona have announced a pre-season friendly with Manchester United on July 30, which will be hosted in Washington DC. No Beckham return. Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled…

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Arsenal news – Gunners eye Canales, Bayern RvP bid, Gameiro nogo

Bayern RvP bid. Robin van Persie is the subject of a shock £30m bid from Bayern Munich, according to Give Me Football. Reports in Germany believe that underachieving Munich are looking to bolster their attacking options, and Louis van Gaal sees compatriot van Persie as a viable option. One potential stumbling block is that the Dutchman would be cup tied for the Champions League, but it is believed van Gaal’s priority is to improve the club’s league standing. Despite being one of the Gunners’ most experienced players, van Persie is…

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Blog: Leeds need taking seriously again

For more than thirty years, Leeds United have been a club that has not exactly enjoyed ‘second club’ status amongst large swathes of football supporters. The origins of this go back to their immensely successful side of the 1970’s. During Don Revie’s time at Elland Road, he put together a team that stayed largely unchanged for a decade, and combined some enterprising, purposeful football with aggression and a real team ethic. Many fans of other clubs and neutrals alike saw Revie as a man who did not engage with the…

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Liverpool news – Diouf Carragher rant, No Benitez return, Blackpool game in doubt

No Benitez return. Rafa Benitez’s six month tenure at Inter seems to be all but at an end. Even though his sacking has yet to be officially confirmed, already the whispers are starting that he may be set for a sensational return to Liverpool to replace struggling manager Roy Hodgson. Justifiably, Hodgson is perplexed by the rumours and has spoken out about how Benitez’s position at Inter affects his own in the Anfield hotseat. “You would have to ask the owners about that but it’s not extra pressure for me,”…

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Man City news – £38m Dzeko too much? Lazio in for Santa Cruz, Nani dismisses City hopes

Nani dismisses City hopes. Manchester United winger Nani has claimed only Chelsea can prevent his side from achieving a record breaking 19th domestic crown this season. City missed the chance to spend Christmas at the top of the table after their Monday night defeat to Everton and with United overcoming Arsenal last week, Nani believes the challenge for the title will be a two horse race. “I no longer see anybody winning the Premier League this season outside of Manchester United or Chelsea,” said Nani. “And hopefully it will be…

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Bundesliga Daily – shocks aplenty in DFB Pokal

The Bundesliga may have closed for the winter break, but there was some unfinished business before Germany’s footballers could put their feet up for the holidays. The DFB Pokal, the German equivalent of the FA Cup, saw the round of 16 played over Tuesday and Wednesday night, and as in the English version there has been the usual share of shocks. The opening round of the competition took place on the weekend before the league season commenced back in August. Two Bundesliga sides crashed out at this stage: newly promoted…

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Arsenal news – Gunners want Samba, Vermaelen return delayed, Denilson wants stay

Vermaelen return delayed. Arsene Wenger has revealed that Thomas Vermaelen’s return from injury has been delayed at least a further fortnight, according to The Independent. Vermaelen suffered an Achilles injury back in August which was initially only thought to keep him absent for a matter of days, and has worked his way to the cusp of a comeback before suffering setbacks. Wenger admitted that another month is a “cautious” estimate – hopefully. He said: “I would rather say late January. But I have been hit so many times with backlash…

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Chelsea news – Blues target Godin, Jones move still on, Loan exits planned

Jones move still on. The Daily Mail reports that Chelsea are looking to cement their interest in Blackburn defender Phil Jones with a bid in January. Jones is attracting much interest from the top end of the Premier League, and a £10m bid from Arsenal was rejected in the summer, though the rumours have continued into this week. Just two days ago The Telegraph reported that Jones’ present four-month layoff due to a knee injury could be the deciding factor in a potential move to the Emirates. The 18-year-old could…

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