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Subscribe to SoccerTalk with Paul Gardner

Rugby, not soccer, pursues promising concussion test

I am being reluctantly forced to the opinion that official soccer's attitude to concussions entails the utmost cynicism.
» 12 Comments

Exposed! The shabbiness of the English anti-diving campaign

It was totally right and proper that the farce of the English campaign against diving should be brutally exposed at Wembley, often called "the cathedral" of English soccer.
» 17 Comments

VAR: Howard Webb's skewed videos

In no time at all we shall be getting, in MLS, the benefits of video replays to help referees make the right calls.
» 35 Comments

Chuck Blazer 1945-2017: The Fatally Flawed Friend

The tragedy that was Chuck Blazer is now over. And tragedy it assuredly was, a good man destroyed by his own excesses, a man capable of wondrous warmth and humanity who ended up vilified as The Soccer Rat.
» 17 Comments

New medical study shows FIFA protocol is being ignored

To laugh ... or to cry? There is no middle course here, no way of dodging the utter failure of soccer's response to the concussion crisis. No way to ignore the inadequacy of the protocol, no way to pretend you haven't noticed the pathetic hesitancy of referees when confronted with head injuries.
» 24 Comments

The Gnat's Eyebrow and other VAR stupidities

The trial of video-assistance for referees currently under way at the Confederations Cup in Russia cannot be said to have cleared anything up. There remains a good deal of confusion.
» 39 Comments

That Goal

It was Pele who started the "soccer is beauty" theme. He titled his autobiography -- one of them, anyway -- "My Life and the Beautiful Game."
» 66 Comments

Tab Ramos paints a rosy American future in the changing U-20 World Cup -- but a U-18 World Cup would make more sense

Tab Ramos has been talking in glowing terms of his team and its adventures at the Under-20 World Cup in the Republic of Korea. Certainly, there is plenty that looks good. Winning its group, getting to the quarterfinal. Listen up: "We built a team with confident players who were there to win the tournament ..." Followed by "We could have ...
» 20 Comments

What's this? A goalkeeper penalized for rough play?

Meet Sorin Stoica. Maybe you've seen him in action during MLS games. Not a highly paid or widely acclaimed player, though. A referee. A rather unusual referee, it seems.
» 19 Comments

Scots wha hae! Thoughts on the sad and ominous decline of Scottish soccer

I note, with considerable exasperation tempered by sadness, that Scottish soccer is experimenting with a marvelous new scheme for eliminating diving from their game.
» 16 Comments

Celebrity coaches -- who needs them?

I am still finding it difficult to come to terms with the extraordinary way in which coaches have come to dominate our game. Have hijacked it, in fact.
» 16 Comments

Wenger must stay -- even the stats agree

Arsene Wenger should stay. That's what I think. And I think that way because I respect his unflinching devotion to skillful and entertaining soccer.
» 22 Comments

Violent Goalkeeping (Part 2): FIFA must radically rethink the goalkeeper's role

Last time, I asked: "What action has soccer taken to at least reduce the incidence of head injuries in the sport?" Well, FIFA -- which should be the body making the moves -- has done nothing. Incredibly, nothing.
» 17 Comments

Violent Goalkeeping (Part 1): Players at risk as soccer ignores its own rules

Goalkeepers, we are told, need protection. No doubt we all agree. Up to a point.
» 25 Comments

The triumphant return of Bruce Arena

Well, take that Jurgen Klinsmann. Never at any time during his five years in charge of the USA did any of Klinsmann's teams put on a show like the 6-0 destruction of Honduras that marked the return of Bruce Arena.
» 54 Comments




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