Referees: Soccer's Secret Society (Part 1)
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 24, 12:31 p.m.
There is a decidedly non-vital, unimportant area of soccer about which we know far too much: the private lives of the players, their girlfriends, their hairstyles, their favorite television programs, foods, colors and much, much more of similar bilge.
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Brazen goalkeeper cheating helps Sevilla win Europa League
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 15, 3:14 a.m.
Is there any excuse for this? That the Europa League cup -- one of soccer's major trophies -- has just been won by Sevilla thanks to absolutely blatant cheating by its goalkeeper?
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Goals (Part 2): A lively weekend when goals were what mattered
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 13, 1:21 p.m.
I was telling you about the weirdo in the Anthony Burgess novel who kept dreaming up absurd soccer scores -- Fulham 19 West Ham 3 indeed!
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Goals (Part 1): Dreadful decision from EPL ref Dowd nixes Suarez's brilliant record-breaking goal
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 12, 9:24 p.m.
In Anthony Burgess' novel "The Doctor Is Sick," the doctor (not a medical doctor, but a linguist) is in a hospital ward where his neighbor talks aloud in his sleep. He intones soccer scores:
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The Soccer Tragedies -- Lest We Forget
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 7, 1:15 a.m.
Ernie was a massive Londoner who used to sell newspapers outside London's Tottenham Court Road subway station. The foghorn voice went with the job and every night I'd hear his cry of "Star, News, Standard" as I headed down the steps to the trains.
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On being unable to see the soccer for the koaches
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 3, 1:21 a.m.
It has been a sweet and sour week. Sweet because the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League have produced some remarkable games and some outstanding individual player performances. Sour because the coaches have been so much the focus of attention.
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Gerrard's tragic stumble puts Liverpool in trouble
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 28, 12:27 p.m.
You wonder about the role of fate. Well, I do. My pondering of the matter doesn't go too deep, and it never lasts too long. Because I'm not at all sure that I believe in fate anyway.
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The Great Diving Menace: Finally -- from England! -- some straight talk
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 24, 1:40 a.m.
At last, we have some honest down-to-earth talk about diving. From England -- which is important because it is the English who have created the Great Diving Menace, who have managed to stifle any attempt at a serious discussion by clothing the subject in an aura of religious rectitude. We are supposed to understand that we are dealing here with ...
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Danger Ahead: Charging Goalkeepers
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 16, 1:39 p.m.
It seems likely to me that Portland Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is the bulkiest, heaviest -- simply the largest -- player in MLS.
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MLS Disciplinary Committee works in mysterious ways
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 4, 8:23 p.m.
The lack of transparency in the MLS disciplinary procedures continues to irritate me. I would have thought that it would also be a matter of some concern to MLS as well. But apparently not
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Red Bulls falter badly with dysfunctional midfield
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 31, 3:30 p.m.
Whether Jerome de Bontin, the former Red Bull general manager, resigned or was fired early in March hardly matters when trying to assess the health of the franchise.
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FA's re-refereeing absolves a cheat
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 30, 11:04 a.m.
I have to return to the case of Andre Marriner, the English referee who recently misidentified a player, causing him to red-card the wrong guy.
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Wenger, Warts and All, Is Still the Man
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 28, 12:52 a.m.
Defending Arsene Wenger is becoming a rather thankless task. His repeated calamities -- both in the signing of players and then in getting them to perform on the field -- seem almost designed to mock anyone trying to take his side.
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Marriner's Mistake -- but FIFA's Fault
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 24, 11:53 a.m.
The tangled situation and the snap decision that led EPL referee Andre Marriner to red-card the wrong player during Saturday's Chelsea-Arsenal game have been, and will continue to be, argued at tedious length.
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Klinsmann hardly the one to condemn rough play
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 20, 4:40 p.m.
Jurgen Klinsmann has a reputation for being well-organized and disciplined. I suppose, rightly or wrongly, you expect that from a German.
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