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Soccer year in review

Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels (15) scores a goal by penalty kick against against Olympique Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandana during their Champions League Group F soccer match in Dortmund December 6, 2011. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay (GERMANY – Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

It was a good year fro Soccer games, but a bad year for FIFA according to this year in review.

England defeats Spain

England’s Ashely Cole (R) and Spain’s Sergio Busquets challenge for the ball during their international friendly soccer match at Wembley Stadium in London, November 12, 2011. REUTERS/Darren Staples (BRITAIN – Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

Everyone has been hailing Spain, but England defeated Spain yesterday 1-0.

Just the day before, Theodore Furchtgott wrote that there was no end in sight for Spain’s dominance, but that was also the prevailing view.

Italy’s Mario Balotelli

Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli controls the ball during a training session at the club’s Carrington training complex in Manchester, northern England, November 1, 2011. City will play Villareal on Wednesday in their Champions League Group A soccer match in Spain. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis (BRITAIN – Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

Will Italy’s National Team ever be the same?

Here’s a great profile of Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli who also plays on Italy’s National Team.

Are American owners good for Premiere League football?

Here’s an interesting article from The Guardian that highlights some different perspectives.

It was not what Arsenal supporters, or indeed any supporters of Premier League clubs, might have expected to hear in Stan Kroenke’s first interview in England. Kroenke, however, made little attempt to sugar the pill. What had the Glazer family, he wondered, done wrong at Manchester United? In his deep Missouri drawl, the largest shareholder at Arsenal made it sound like they had his admiration.

“What was so tough about the Glazers’ situation?” Kroenke said. “They won. And they have increased revenues by a huge amount. If I was a fan of that club, I would sit there and go, ‘Wow.’ Because how could you do it any better? That’s what I would say.”

It was put to Kroenke that United fans were deeply unhappy at how the American owners had taken money out of the club, following their heavily leveraged takeover. “But they still won,” Kroenke said. “We don’t need to get into an exchange here but I don’t know as a fan … how could you do it much better? They have increased massively. Some of their players have taken money out and maybe they haven’t performed.

“We have a whole different philosophy in the States but I think it’s time, maybe, for everybody to think a little bit and, maybe I’m saying too much but I think they ought to think a little bit about who invests in these clubs. What do you want for the long term?

The entire article is worth reading.

Alright Chelsea, Quit the Whining

No one in the world feels the least bit sorry for you, Chelski, so enough already. Yes, it was a bit unfortunate that both of your top keepers got injured. It happens, though. There was no conspiracy.

The whole world does hate you. No mistake there. But the entire world knows Roman will just plunk down yet more Russian wonga and supply you with the best keeper that money can buy. There’s no such thing as bad luck for you lot. You just drop more money and the problem is solved.

That’s why you’re hated.

Among several other reasons.

The only dispicable occurance in this situation was when the ref incomprehensibly made the dying Petr Cech crawl off the pitch to be treated. That was a poor sight even for the biggest Chelsea bashers. It must be said, it was bound to happen eventually. The players, with all the overly dramatic diving, make it impossible to discern between a serious injury and an attempt to win a card. Everything comes with a price in the end.

But don’t worry Chelsea frontrunners, Abramovich will pick-up the tab.