Wednesday, February 29, 2012

FA In No Rush To Name England Manager

After Fabio Capello's resignation from the England managers job last month, England are still without a manager as Stuart Pearce takes part time charge of the squad in the run up to Euro 2012 and the FA have insisted that no approaches have yet been made to any potential candidates to become the next England coach. 
 
Under 21 coach Stuart Pearce has expressed his interest in taking the team to the European Championships this summer but it is well known that Harry Redknapp is the man the FA want.
 
The Spurs boss is the betvictor free bets overwhelming favourite to  succeed Capello however Redknapp has said that he has yet to speak to anyone regarding the position.


FA chairman David Bernstein, general secretary Alex Horne, Club England managing director Adrian Bevington and director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking have been charged with the task of identifying Capello's replacement.

Bevington has confirmed there have been internal discussions regarding the situation, however, he stressed no talks have been held with possible contenders for the role.

"It is important to stress that, while there have been numerous conversations internally involving FA chairman David Bernstein, Alex Horne, Sir Trevor Brooking and myself, the board have mandated us to report back to them with a recommendation," Bevington told Sky Sports News.

"We haven't, let's be clear, spoken to any external bodies about this, as far as any club or any individual, and no approaches or conversations have been made."

It is an interesting stance that the FA are taking as one would expect that they would have been desperate for some stability going into the Euro's to increase Englands stanjames odds of success in Poland.

On the other hand, there might well be a respect for Harry Redknapps as he previously suggested that the FA should wait until the end of the Premier League season before making a decision regarding Capello's successor.

Redknapp is just 7 points behind leaders Manchester City at the top of the Premier League and they are focused on securing Champions League football and so he wont want any distractions on his Spurs team at this stage of the season!

Following the friendly with the Dutch at Wembley, England are not in action again for three months and Trevor Brooking is not concerned if the appointment is made closer to Euro 2012.
Brooking said: "There's no need to rush into it because we have got a bit of time now before the end of the season.
"Whoever takes them in the summer, the players are of such a quality that they could come in really late and gel them into a good unit so, as I say, let's see how we go."

Winter fumes as Toronto draw


Toronto FC manager Aron Winter has admitted that he is far from happy with his side as the start of the new season gets ever closer; something which does not bode well for those looking to bet on soccer games in their favour.
Toronto produced a poor display in the 2-2 draw against Orlando City in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic and have just over a week left before they face the LA Galaxy in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-finals.
“I’m not happy about the way we played,” said former Netherlands international Winter after the draw. “I’m not happy about the result. We were a little bit lucky. You saw also some good things, but also some bad things. We have to work on it and improve it.”
Toronto’s new center-back pairing of Geovanny Caicedo and Miguel Aceval struggled to contain Orlando’s pacy Maxwell Griffin while their attacking play was too disjointed.
Winter didn’t risk Luis Silva and Ty Harden in the game because they are still not match-fit but they should feature against Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Winter insisted that he only substituted Danny Koevermans in the 32nd minute as a precautionary move as he was struggling with a slight hamstring problem.
The Reds fell behind in the 17th minute when John Rooney converted a penalty kick after Griffin had been fouled inside the area by Caicedo but made it 1-1 thanks to Miguel Aceval’s free-kick.
In the 55th minute Orlando restored their lead when Trinidad and Tobago international Kevin Molino bundled the ball home but Toronto hit back for a second time through the former Germany international Torsten Frings. These results could shape the way for different soccer betting tips.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hart Wants England Captaincy

After John Terry was stripped of the England captaincy last month which consequently lead to the resignaiton of manager Fabio Capello, the nation is anticipating who interim manager Stuart Pearce will name as captain when he chooses his team to face Holland tomorrow evening.

Steven Gerrard is the stanjames favourite to be names skipper but Joe Hart is also a popular bwin free bet, and Hart is certainly up for the challenge and responsibility of leading his country to the European championships.


Hart is aware that there are some big candidates for the role and that he would love to lead his country.
"I think I can speak for everyone in this room who is English and likes football that to captain your country would be amazing and a great honour," said Hart.

"But it's a long way off happening for myself. There are some big candidates and big names and a lot of caps to be put on the table. Whatever happens, happens.

"As long as I'm playing, whether it's with an armband on or not I don't care, I just want to play."
Asked whether a goalkeeper could effectively skipper a side, Hart replied: "To be a goalkeeper and captain your country, I can only look at Iker Casillas and it is definitely possible."
 
Hart had firmly established himself as Fabio Capello's clear No.1 keeper, but insists he never assumed the role was his for keeps, even before the change in management.

"I have felt that (the need to prove himself) every time I've turned up at the squad, there are always three quality keepers who are doing well at their club sides," added Hart.
"(But) Mr Capello played me a lot and I want that to continue."

I wouldn't be too much of a surprise to see Hart get the nod. He is a young player who looks like he will be in the England set up for another 10-15 years and so it would give England a sense of stability that they have perhaps lacked in recent years.

He certainly has the belief and commitment in taking up such role!

Pearce has no more casualities!

Interim England manager Stuart Pearce will have been disappointed to lose a number of selected players for Englands game with Holland on Wednesday, with Darren Bent, Wayne Rooney, Kyle Walker and Tom Cleverly all dropping out of the squad. But there have been no more casualties as Pearce was able to train with a full complement of 21 players at Wembley on Tuesday after Gareth Barry was fit to take part of training as bwin betting has Holland as favourites to win.

After confirming four of his squad had withdrawn on Monday through injury, interim coach Stuart Pearce had hoped to have everyone available for the only full training session scheduled ahead of a testing encounter with the World Cup finalists.

And the fact Barry shrugged off the back problem that prevented him playing any part in Manchester City'sweekend win over Blackburn was good news.

Surprisingly, Stuart hasn't called up any replacements despite Rooney, Walker, Cleverly and Bent dropping out! 

It means he has only three recognised strikers in his squad, who have just four caps between them and a grand total of 82 minutes on the pitch.
It suggests either Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge or Fraizer Campbell, or possibly all three, will have some significant involvement, while the likes of Andy Carrol will be disappointed not to be drafted in.

However there is more interest in who Pearce is going to select as England captain.
An ex-England captain himself, the former full-back had said he would not make a final decision on who gets the armband until Tuesday or Wednesday.

Stanjames odds have Steven Gerrard as favourite to get the arm band!

Klinsmann calls up duo for Italy clash


Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has added Brek Shea and Sacha Kljestan to his squad for the USA’s friendly international against Italy after losing three players to injury.
Timothy Chandler and Jose Francisco Torres dropped out of the squad for Wednesday’s match in Genoa with hamstring injuries while Landon Donovan is struggling to recover from a bout of bronchitis. The loss of such players does not bode well for the USA or the pundits who were intending on placing a bet on soccer games in their favour.
Chandler picked up his injury in the Bundesliga clash between Nurnberg and. Werder Bremen on Saturday, which Nurnberg won 1-0, and has been ruled out for two weeks. Torres also picked up his injury on Saturday as Pachuca drew 1-1 with Tigres UANL.
Meanwhile, LA Galaxy star Donovan, who has only just returned to his club following a brief loan spell at Premier League outfit Everton, has been unable to train since arriving back in the US more than a week ago.
“We hope by the end of next week he’s feeling better so he’s ready to play in Canada and for our home opener,” the Galaxy’s head coach Bruce Arena said after watching his side’s Desert Diamond Cup win over Real Salt Lake.
Shea has been promoted from the Under-23 squad who are continuing their preparations for next month’s CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers.
He has scored a goal in each of the Under-23 side’s last two matches - against FC Dallas and the San Antonio Scorpions - but will not now feature in their game against their Mexican counterparts, which is also scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
Anderlecht midfielder Kljestan has already won 35 caps for his country and last featured in the defeat to Costa Rica five months ago. His continued run of form makes him one of the better soccer betting tips.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tevez Wont Walk Back Into City Team

While Manchester City are sitting pretty at the top of the permier league table, there season hasn't all been plane sailing with the controversies off the pitch with the Carlos Tevez saga, but now that the Argentine striker returns to the club, David Platt insists the places of Manchester City's strikers will not be under threat any more than they have been all season. 

Tevez has been away for 3 and a half months following a fall out with manager Mancini, and of course his return will spark fears that he may upset the balance of the team that is currently playing well and stan james betting favourites for the title.

He is expected to be close to full fitness with the game against Swansea City looking like it will be the host of Tevez' return to action.  
Even a fit Tevez, however, will find it difficult to force his way back into the picture given the form on Saturday of the other trio of strikers blocking his path.
Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko all made their case for remaining in Roberto Mancini's side with a goal apiece in a 3-0 home win over Blackburn to take their tally this season to 39 between them, as seen in the Stan James Review.

City coach Platt has made it clear Tevez's return will not render any of the trio surplus to requirements.

"The strikers have all had a threat to their place all season," said Platt in the Manchester Evening News.
"I don't think there's been one occasion when all three have been on the pitch at one time.
"So there is a threat to their places anyway, just as there is a threat to everybody else's place in the team.
"When we've everybody healthy there are people going in the stand that could get into most teams in the Premier League, and we have a rotation of the squad.
"As and when Carlos is back, he'll add another number to that."

Injury Woes for Pearce

After Stuart Pearce names his England team for Wednesday's friendly with Holland at Wembley, he will be disappointed to see a number of his players forced to pull out of the squad with injuries picked up over the weekend as the victor chandler review shows.

It was a disappointing day for Tottenham Hotspur full-back Kyle Walker who saw his side concede five goals at the emirates against stan james odds, as well as picking up an ankle injury which will rule him out of the game.

Walker played the full 90 minutes in Spurs' 5-2 defeat by North London rivals Arsenal on Sunday, but will not link up with the national team.

It will be a huge disappointment for the 21 year old who will be looking to add to his two caps he picked up, first, as a late substitute in the 1-0 home win over Spain in November after enjoying an impressive start to the season, and then his second, after starting his first game for England in the 1-0 victory over Sweden a few days later.
  
The right-back joins Manchester United duo Tom Cleverley and Wayne Rooney, along with Aston Villa striker Darren Bent, in missing the midweek visit of the Dutch.

Cleverly is awaiting results of a scan on his ankle following his return to action in last weeks Europa League tie with Ajax, while Rooney has missed Manchester United's last two matches with a throat infection.

Darren Bent looked to be in serious pain after landing awkwardly on his ankle at the weekend and was consequently stretchered off.

It is disappointing for the likes of Walker, Bent and Cleverly who would have been looking forward to the opportunity to stake their claim for a place in the England squad for Euro 2012 this summer.

Fortunately for Pearce, he is spoilt for choice for right backs, with Glen Johnson, Micah Richards, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all able to play in that position.  It will be interesting to see which players are called up, particularly in the midfield and centre forward roles.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rush warns Liverpool of pressure

Former Liverpool striker Ian Rush believes the pressure of being favourites could undermine his old side’s efforts of beating Cardiff in the Carling Cup final.

The Reds make their first trip to Wembley since 1996 on Sunday bidding to win their first major trophy since the FA Cup in 2005.
Boss Kenny Dalglish is desperate to win a first trophy since returning to the club last January and openly admits he had targeted the league cup at the start of the season.
With no European campaign to worry about Dalglish has played his strongest team where possible, while three of their opponents on the road to Wembley – Stoke, Chelsea and Manchester City – rested players due to bigger European games elsewhere.
Cardiff meanwhile have been regular visitors to the famous stadium, with this being their fourth visit since 2008.
However, they have never won the league cup and the status as a Championship side means they are rank outsiders in the football betting to overcome their more illustrious opponents.
Their priority is promotion this season, but manager Malky Mackay – who signed a new contract this week – knows that opportunities to win major trophies do not come around too often and is determined to make the most of it.
Punters who want to bet on the Championship side will be encouraged by Mackay’s approach.
Former Wales international Rush, who won the League Cup five times as a player for Liverpool, feels that although his old team are clearly good enough to lift the trophy, the pressure of expectation may given the Bluebirds a chance.
"If you get to any final there is no easy ride. It's what you make of it.
"Yes, Liverpool are favourites to win but if they go about it with the wrong preparation they are in for a big shock. Cardiff are capable of beating any side on the day.
"This is why cup finals are so special because on the day anyone can beat anyone.”

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ferguson Not Retiring Any Time Soon!

While the likes of Andres Villas Boas, Arsene Wenger and Harry Redknapp are all linked with moves away from their clubs or being threatened by losing their jobs, Manchester United haven't had the thought of parting with Sir Alex Ferguson in the last 25 years, and it seems that they still wont have to think about replacing the Scotsman for at least another two years.

Stan james odds have been picking up on recent talk that Sir Alex Ferguson might call it a day at the end of the season but the 70 year old is confident that he can continue to do his job for at least another two years while also claiming that he turned down the chance to sign Joe Hart. 

Ferguson hasn't got too many things wrong in his 25 years at United and his record of 12 top-flight titles, two European Cups and five FA Cups which can be seen in the Victor Chandler review show that. But Hart is certainly a man that Ferguson would love to have safe guarding the Old Trafford goal, especially after the unconvincing performances his current goalkeepers have been producing.

David De Gea cost Manchester United around £18 million while Ferguson said he could have snapped Hart up for just £100,000 in 2005.


Hart, now 24, joined wealthy rivals Manchester City in 2006 from League Two Shrewsbury Town after United passed up the opportunity to secure his services.

"I could have bought Joe Hart for £100,000 so we all make mistakes," said Ferguson, who signed the now-retired Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar in 2005.
"If you look at the England goalkeeper situation for the last 20 years, I would think he's easily the best."

On retirement, it seems that Ferguson just can't pull himself away from the Old Trafford hot seat. He reversed his decision to retire 10 years ago and still he his hungry for more success.


"I think you always want to go out on a winning note," he said.

"Hopefully we can do that. I don't know how long I can last now, but if my health stays up I don't think another two or three years would harm me."

This must be music to the ears of Manchester United fans who will know how lucky they are in having such a stable ship, which has been paramount to their success over the years.

Barry Robson move a "no-brainer"


New signing Barry Robson has moved to reassure Vancouver Whitecaps fans he has not moved to MLS for a cosy end-of-career wind down.

The franchise announced this week they had brought in the former Rangers favourite as a Designated Player and Robson says he cannot wait to get going across the Atlantic and try and transform the Whitecaps into one of the MSL's major soccer betting tips.

"The league is rising and it's getting better all the time," Robson told reporters.

"I can see some good players coming over now, and it's something that's been in my mind for a while. As soon as I got the offer from [Vancouver], it was a no-brainer for me."

The 33-year-old revealed he had turned down the option to extend his stay in the second tier of English football with Premier League hopefuls Middlesbrough, as well as a number of other clubs, because once he "heard something might happen with Vancouver, it was always my first choice".

The three-time Scottish Premier League winner, who knows Vancouver's assistant coach Paul Ritchie from their time together at Dundee United, chipped in with six goals in the Championship this season and said he was keen to hit the ground running with his new club - something which will delight those looking to bet on soccer games.

"I've still got a lot of hunger and fitness still in me, and I don't envisage myself stopping playing soon," Robson said. "I didn't want to come over there and not be able to contribute, so fitness-wise I’m as good as I've ever been.

"I want to come over here and try and make a difference for Vancouver and show everybody that I'm a good player, I can help my teammates, and I can try to help the club get up the league as far as they can."

Martin Rennie's British Columbia outfit begin their Western Conference campaign against Montreal Impact a BC Place Stadium on March 10

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wenger needs to leave and fast


There is absolutely no doubting the fact that Arsene Wenger has done many, many great things for Arsenal FC in England, forcing through a move to a new, shiny stadium in London, in the process helping to bring the EPL into the 21st century, moving forward coaching standards in England, and making players like Thierry Henry the sort of global superstars they are today, but the time has now come for Mr Wenger to move upstairs, or away from Arsenal altogether, in order to save both the club and the manager's long-term reputation.
The Gunners owe a lot to Mr Wenger, but it's worth asking the question as to what he has actually done for them in recent years. Having let the club's best players slip through his fingers, the support of the fans at crucial times has been lacking this season, and it looks like the support of the board is going to slip away from him soon enough. Whether you admire the man or not, the time has come for Wenger finally to admit that his "project" at Arsenal has failed and move aside in order to let someone else move in to help the team that he professes to love so much to improve.
With Arsenal now looking very unlikely to finish in the top four of the EPL this season, they could even be left facing a battle to finish in the top eight, risking a dramatic fall back to obscurity if they fail to win a trophy this season. If that were to happen, it would not make for good soccer betting tips to suggest the likes of Arteta, Wilshere, and Van Persie  would stick around for too long in a team that is not meeting their needs.
If Wenger does go, then Arsenal may just stand a chance of getting this season back on track before the rot goes too far. Those who have partaken in the odd bet on soccer games this year will have seen how much Arsenal have began to struggle against teams they would have previously dominated against.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How close is the EPL to seeing a 'Rangers'?


There may well not be any soccer clubs in the EPL currently petitioning to be placed in administration, something that one of the two Old Firm clubs in Scotland, Rangers, have been forced into, but one thing is clear: the top flight of English soccer is not immune from financial trouble and may end up falling victim to the financial climate sooner rather than later.

The amounts of money paid out by the EPL to clubs (dependent upon where exactly they finish in the league), and the huge TV rights deal means that EPL clubs can earn a small fortune. However, these massive amounts of money end up being squandered, more often than not, on player wages and bringing in new players at increasingly astronomical prices.
The likes of Bolton Wanderers are already massively in debt and will surely find themselves unable to pay money back if the owners of the club were to ask for it, meaning that their future could well be put at risk if they were suddenly, without warning, squeezed a little tighter financially speaking. With only EPL club Arsenal truly self-sufficient (although Tottenham have done their best to become so), the EPL is a division that is massively in debt and under huge amounts of pressure to increase transparency regarding the financial conditions that are prevailing in the EPL. It would not be one of the worst soccer betting tips to consider looking at the potential financial meltdown of any one of a number of current EPL teams.
After all, with the fans of clubs the ones who have the most to lose, there is little doubting that the loss of clubs to monumental tax bills and debts would be a very depressing occurrence for everyone involved with soccer in England. It is worth keeping an eye on the situation and, for opportunists, live soccer betting odds.

Wigan bid to pull off another great escape


Although the English Premier League has witnessed the presence of several high-profile escape artists in recent years, there is one team above all others that has developed a consistent habit of pulling off the trick of EPL survival against all the odds. That team, according to soccer betting tips, is Wigan.
OK, so Wigan may well be the architects of their own downfall, causing themselves far more problems than they need to, but they still manage to pull off the shocks, in the process working out most of their on-field problems by the time the end of the season comes around in a timely manner that leaves EPL fans baffled, live soccer betting pundits pocket-less, and fellow relegation contenders pretty gutted! 
Recently, history has been repeating itself in the EPL; Wigan have managed to string together a run of decent performances that haven’t always been rewarded, but they have started to close the gap between themselves and the other teams in the bottom four or five, which looked so unlikely only a fortnight or so ago. 

If Wigan do manage to pull off yet another great escape, the club may start to win a few more fans, with many neutral fans of the EPL still not really sure what Wigan have to offer after their bright first season, which earned them so many plaudits from soccer pundits.
With Wigan all too aware that relegation could be the death of the club, and fans of other clubs in the EPL keen not to see another victim of the rat race to spend big in order to bring in the big bucks, let's just hope that this season doesn't prove an anomaly in the history of a club that quite simply loves the great escape.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Crucial weekend at the foot of the Premier League

It is a potentially critical weekend at the bottom of the Premier League table.


The games almost have a play-off theme to them – with the bottom six facing off against one another. Blackburn Rovers host QPR, Bolton Wanderers entertain Wigan Athletic and West Brom travel to Wolves in the Black Country derby. The relegation betting stakes could look a whole lot different come 5pm on Saturday.

Ten points separate Wigan at the bottom from West Brom in 15th, with a five-point gap between the Baggies and QPR directly below. Roy Hodgson won’t be panicking too much at the moment, but defeat against bitter rivals Wolves could drag them into a dogfight.

Conversely, Wolves are in deep trouble despite a first league win in ten against QPR last weekend. They have lost their last four home games in all competitions and know a fifth could see them slip into the relegation zone. It will be a nervous 90 minutes for the fans who watch football live at Molineux, Ewood Park and the Reebok.

The side best placed to leapfrog Wolves are Bolton. They won’t have a better chance to get out of the drop zone than against a side without a win in ten. Defeat for Wigan could spell the beginning of the end.

QPR, buoyed by a new manager and high-profile signings, were dragged back into trouble after their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Wolves.

They had showed improved form in recent weeks and looked to be heading for victory at Loftus Road before new signing Djibril Cisse saw red following an altercation with Roger Johnson. That was the last thing they needed and saw them pulled deeper into the mire.

It is an intriguing weekend and one which could well prove decisive in the relegation dogfight. It is not just three points at stake for those sides – it is the psychological advantage that comes with a win over one your rivals.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

England in turmoil as Capello quits

England's Euro 2012 plans have been thrown into disarray after Fabio Capello stepped down as national team manager.

Capello's resignation came after he publicly disagreed with the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

He spoke out against the FA on Italian state broadcaster RAI on Sunday and resigned after a meeting with the FA on Wednesday. People looking to bet on Euro 2012 will have been very surprised.

FA chairman David Bernstein said the board and Capello left on good terms. The FA's attentions have now turned to replacing the 65-year-old Italian.

Bernstein said: "Clearly there is a preference for an Englishman or a British person but in the end we want the best person. I am certainly not prepared to rule out anything but an Englishman or British person would have a good start."

Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp is the firm favourite for the role, but the FA won't be rushed into a decision, despite Euro 2012 just four months away.

"There is plenty of time. Time for new man to get in place, do what he needs to do - we are in a better place than we appear to be," added Bernstein.

England play three friendlies before they start their tournament against France in Ukraine on June 11. The FA have confirmed Capello's assistant Stuart Pearce will take charge of the first of those games against Holland at Wembley later this month.

It is the beginning of a new dawn for England after four years under Capello. The Italian led the side through an ill-fated World Cup campaign two years ago and leaves with a damaged reputation.

England will be hoping a new manager breathes new life into the squad ahead of the summer championships. The next appointment is a massive one for the FA.

Rodgers seals new deal

Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers has signed a new long-term deal at the club after an impressive start to life in the Premier League.


Rodgers joined the Welsh club in the summer of 2010 and led the Swans to promotion in his first season in charge. Despite beginning the season among the favourites in the relegation betting his side have carried that form into the top flight and he has been rewarded with a three-and-a-half year contract.

The 39-year-old said: "I'm delighted to sign the new deal. I've been very pleased with my work over the last 19 months.

"I can only promise that over the next three and a half years I will continue to fight for the club and its people to help us become a sustainable Premier League club."

The former Watford and Reading boss, who had been on a rolling 12-month contract, is highly thought of in the game after a whirlwind start to life at Swansea. He has won acclaim for the style of his football and the work he has done on a limited budget. Watching live football has been a delight at the Liberty Stadium this season.

Swansea have moved quickly to tie Rodgers down. Chairman Huw Jenkins is looking forward to seeing Swansea develop further under Rodgers.

Jenkins said: "His personality and immense qualities highlight the importance of finding the right person to work with us to take the club forward.

"He is very important to us and that's not going to change, so it was very, very important to get the contract sorted out."

Swansea sit in the top half of the Premier League with 14 games to play. Barring a late-season collapse, the Swans will have achieved their first mission of consolidation. Under Rodgers and with the right investment, Swansea could kick on next season.





Monday, February 6, 2012

Henry to keep firing on all cylinders for the Gunners?


Arsenal have revealed that they may try to extend Thierry Henry's loan spell at the club from MLS side the New York Red Bulls as they bid to keep their attacking ranks as strong as possible during a crucial stage of the EPL season. Whenever Henry plays for the Gunners, it seems, Arsenal are transformed into one of the better soccer betting tips so it makes sense for Arsenal to want to keep him.

Henry scored his second goal for the club in his second spell with the Gunners, and 228th for Arsenal since he first joined back in 1999, at the weekend to top a fine win for the London side over EPL strugglers Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates. With Robin van Persie grabbing a hat-trick in the same fixture, the side's reliance on their talisman, who has now scored 22 domestic goals in the English league, was once again highlighted by the eventual score line. 

Henry, although clearly not the player he was during his first spell at the club, undoubtedly takes the pressure off the Dutchman, who has had to cope with the likes of Marouane Chamakh and Andrey Arshavin proving themselves to be among the bluntest of attacking weapons in the league. With Arsenal now catching up on fourth placed Chelsea, who occupy the final Champions League qualification place at the moment, the need for an experienced head to stick around is clear. 

The Red Bulls haven't received any sort of formal extension request from the Gunners, but it would seem that a further two weeks in England wouldn't be out of the question for the 34-year-old, which would provide him with a Champions League fixture and a tough domestic clash against bitter rivals Spurs in which to add further gloss to the legend of Henry at Arsenal FC. With Henry it would be impossible to rule him out as a potential goal threat, particularly in an emotive game against Spurs, which would make him an attractive prospect to those looking to bet on soccer games.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

African tournament fails to draw the crowds

Soccer outside Europe has gained in popularity in recent years, with David Beckham making a high profile move to the MLS in North America, a transfer that transformed soccer into a sport with a widespread global profile and exposed a new generation of potential players to the game, but the latest FIFA tournament, the African Cup Of Nations, has failed to catch the public's imagination.

Even though the tournament is generally regarded as being packed full of talented, skillful players, and traditionally brought to life by a glut of goals, the fact of the matter is that the absence of a few big names in African soccer has been seriously detrimental to the manner in which the tournament is being covered this time around.

With soccer fans around the world always keen to watch a good game of soccer part take in some live soccer betting, it's a real shame that players of the calibre of Samuel Eto’o have not been able to attend a tournament that has suffered from more than its fair share of controversies and negative news events in recent years. Betting markets and soccer betting tips.
are well down this year, reflected in the general lack of interest in a tournament that, it has to be said, is awkwardly placed in the middle of the European domestic season,

If the World Cup continues to be the only soccer tournament held outside Europe that garners worldwide interest, the popularity of the sport will surely remain at a plateau for the foreseeable future, trailing in the shadow of sports that hold local interest in particular countries and in particular continents. Let's hope, then, that the latter stages of the African tournament hold a high enough level of close competition, skill, sportsmanship, and excitement to start changing the dynamics


Probable next England manager accused of dodging tax

Over the years in the world of sport, there have been stories abound concerning the ways in which players and coaches have found themselves embroiled in controversy surrounding tax payments, with certain individuals keen to pay as little tax as possible, but one strange factor about all of these stories is the reason behind the tax evasion; for people who earn so much money, why would they risk getting into serious trouble with the tax authorities?

Now, one man who really shouldn’t be allowing himself to be dragged down in controversy of this kind, but has nevertheless done just that, is a man who many believe will be the next manager of the English soccer team: Harry Redknapp.

With Redknapp allegedly failing to pay tax on a bank account that was set up in Monaco (a part of Europe with a very low tax rate and notoriously used for slightly dodgy accounts), his chances of becoming the future England manager seem to have taken a slightly sinister turn, which has dramatically altered live soccer betting markets and punters’ soccer betting tips with regards to the new England boss. Some papers even starting to debate the chances of him being sent to prison.

If this does happen, the name of soccer in England would be tarnished in an almost irreparable manner, with those involved in a sport where the heroes all earn an enormous amount of money (don’t forget there is no salary cap in soccer, with many players earning more per week than the average person earns per year) seem unwilling to give anything back, whereas the paying public who pay through the nose to attend matches are forced to play by the rules.

With soccer already suffering elsewhere in the world, such as in the US, where the team failed to help the nation to a successful bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, this could be one of the final nails in the coffin for soccer around the globe.