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Author Archives: Michael James

Benitez Is Right To Rotate Lineup

Posted on by Michael James

Despite former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock’s furious claims to the contrary last season and more whining this week, Rafa Benitez has every right to rotate his squad for a game against a relegation-threatened team. This issue has come up … Continue reading

Check Out the Center Circle at the Camp Nou

Posted on by Michael James

 Obviously this picture doesn’t show the point I’m trying to make. I just had to use for it aesthetic purposes, so I hope you don’t mind. In all seriousness though, if you’re watching the Champions League semifinal first leg between … Continue reading

Rob Styles Demoted to League Two for a Weekend

Posted on by Michael James

From the Daily Telegraph’s website: “A week after officiating at Blackburn’s Premier League game against leaders Manchester United, referee Rob Styles will be in charge of Saturday’s League Two match between Shrewsbury Town and Chester City. Styles turned down two … Continue reading

Full-Time Thoughts–Liverpool vs. Chelsea

Posted on by Michael James

• The second half was a much better 45 minutes of soccer to watch. Both teams went after it, particularly early in the half, and the game was played at a faster tempo. • Didier Drogba is so ridiculously disinterested … Continue reading

Halftime Thoughts–Liverpool vs. Chelsea

Posted on by Michael James

 • I miss Tommy Smyth and Derek Rae on the call. I’m assuming they’ll be working the Manchester United-Barcelona game tomorrow, but I’m not sure why they couldn’t do this game as well… • The first shot on goal came … Continue reading

Congratulations to West Bromwich Albion

Posted on by Michael James

  Math has never been my strong point, at least not since 6th grade. Once I started taking pre-algebra the next year, I just knew I was in trouble for the rest of my school days. I believe, however, that … Continue reading

Stay Tuned…

Posted on by Michael James

Make sure you check back here at halftime, and again at full-time, of today’s Champions League semifinal first leg at Anfield. As I did in both games of the Liverpool-Arsenal tie, I’ll have my halftime and post-match thoughts for you … Continue reading

And The Winner Is…

Posted on by Michael James

Two weeks ago, I announced the five nominees for my Premiership Manager of the Year award. Amongst the five were a Scotsman (David Moyes), an Irishman (Roy Keane), a gentleman from Northern Ireland (Martin O’Neill), a Spaniard (Juande Ramos), and … Continue reading

Young Makes Case for England Call-Up

Posted on by Michael James

Watching yesterday’s edition of the Second City Derby, won in style 5-1 by Aston Villa, one had to have been impressed with the victors. They scored from open play and set pieces. They ran Birmingham ragged from start to finish. … Continue reading

Tevez's Tally Saves Title

Posted on by Michael James

You just knew it was coming, didn’t you? Anyone watching the last 25-30 minutes of the Blackburn-Manchester United game today just knew that the Red Devils were going to pull some magic out of the hat. Brad Friedel made several … Continue reading

Avram Grant At His Finest

Posted on by Michael James

It’s no secret that the Prince of Darkness, Avram Grant, is not a pleasant man to talk to. He’s a guy who wears all black all the time, and when Chelsea plays during the day, I’m surprised that he even … Continue reading

Manchester City Wins FA Youth Cup

Posted on by Michael James

We talk a lot about the senior version of the world’s oldest domestic tournament, but the FA Youth Cup goes largely unnoticed in the media and I don’t think that’s a good thing. More and more, the big teams in … Continue reading

Tiers of Leagues in Europe

Posted on by Michael James

In recent weeks and months, there’s been some discussion on two of the sources for soccer news I check routinely — Clever Football and the World Soccer Daily podcast — about the tiers of leagues in Europe and where MLS … Continue reading

PFA Award Nominees Released

Posted on by Michael James

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has named their candidates for their Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards. No problem here with the nominees for Player of the Year, but I definitely take exception with a … Continue reading

Manager of the Year–Semifinalists

Posted on by Michael James

First off, I want to let everyone know that I’m going to make a bit of a change in this Premiership “Manager of the Year” award procedure. Instead of naming my personal winner on Friday as previously planned, I’m going … Continue reading

Big Win for Portsmouth

Posted on by Michael James

Amidst all the Champions League hype yesterday, Portsmouth’s 1-0 away victory at West Ham, keeping their hopes of finishing in 5th place alive, more than sailed under the radar and I would be remiss to not talk about it and … Continue reading

Full-Time Thoughts–Liverpool vs. Arsenal (Second Leg)

Posted on by Michael James

It’s all over at Anfield, and as predicted here before the quarterfinal round started, Liverpool has advanced after winning 4-2 tonight. Captain Steven Gerrard stepped up and converted the game-winning penalty just minutes after Arsenal had equalized at 2-2 through … Continue reading

Halftime Thoughts–Liverpool vs. Arsenal (Second Leg)

Posted on by Michael James

I’m typing this as sort of a live blog as the game goes on, so yes, there are a few contradictions but soccer is a game that can change very quickly. • Clever stuff from Derek Rae right before kickoff…“most … Continue reading