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Victor Valdes has officially signed an 18 month contract agreement for Manchester United, it's probably to keep De Gea in good form. I honestly think with this Man United team that with signing one great defender and maybe one other good one, they'll be a legitimate top 3 contender. They're likely not catching up with City and Chelsea this season though.

Also, Stoke City have taken Bayer 04 defenseman and German international Phillip Wolscheid on loan for the rest of the season. The potters really seem like a tough team to break down this season, I wouldn't bet on Arsenal besting them this weekend, especially with the gunners track record against the team.

Stoke have also declared interest in Bayern winger Xherdan Shaqiri, but we'll just move along...

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I honestly think with this Man United team that with signing one great defender and maybe one other good one, they'll be a legitimate top 3 contender. They're likely not catching up with City and Chelsea this season though.

They pretty much already are a legitimate top 3 contender. Who else is going to finish there? Out of all of the teams in the hunt they have to be one of the favourites, surely?

Defensive signings are obvious for United but I think Van Gaal is intelligent enough to wait for the right player(s) to become available. Simply buying more players isn't necessarily strengthening, especially when what you buy isn't better than what you already have (see Liverpool Summer 2014, Tottenham Summer 2013).

You're right though. Chelsea and City are basically in a league of their own.

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Stoke have also declared interest in Bayern winger Xherdan Shaqiri, but we'll just move along...

Well that Stoke City dream died real fast today with both Inter and Bayern agreeing to a deal for Shaqiri going to Milan.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30732337

And the Ched Evans saga continues as another Football League club has broken up talks with the convicted rapist as "significant financial pressure" was the reason the club pulled out of any agreement. That makes three clubs that initiated talks with Evans but ended them due to "financial pressure" (Sheffield United, Hartlepool, and now Oldham Atheltic) At the present moment, 60,000 Oldham supporters have signed a petition for Evans not to sign with the club. As well, major sponsors were cutting their ties with the club if the signing went through. This included ZenOffice and Verlin, both which are stand sponsors at the SportsDirect.com Park. Ched Evans has blamed "mob rule" for the collapse of his proposed deal to sign for Oldham Athletic. Evans continues to say "the more radical elements of our society" had the "desired influence on some sponsors".

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30734906

Oldham Athletic has made a club statement, from their website, over the matter and the death threats against club staff and sponsors.

http://www.oldhamathletic.co.uk/news/article/club-statement-ched-evans-2190605.aspx

But what Ched Evans doesn't really go into is that his "supporters" constantly vilify, persecute and destroy his victim even to this day through a website which tracks the women's whereabouts and tries to prove that she lied about the whole rape allegation, demonising her as a whore and money-grabber (even though it was proved unequivocally in a court of law that he raper her and he was sentenced to three years: 1.5 years in jail and 1.5 years in remedial custody - I think that is what's called in Great Britain). The victim has reportedly changed her identity five times since that night in 2012 but Evans disgusting "supporters" continue this crude tactics. I am sorry but Evans has not been remorseful for what he has done nor apologized to the victim. But the worse is that he has played the victim role during his rehabilitation since being released. Oliver Holt of the Daily Mirror wrote an excellent article on the whole affair and is worth a read

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/convicted-rapist-ched-evans-repugnant-4929957

The other side of the coin

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/ched-evans-unapologetic-unrepentant-evans-4921741

And PFA chairman Gordon Taylor has risked further controversy by appearing to compare the Ched Evans case with the Hillsborough tragedy."He wouldn't have been the first person to be found guilty, maintained their innocence and been proved right. We know what happened with Hillsborough," Taylor told BBC Sport. "It's now unravelling and very different to how it was portrayed at the time - indeed by the police at the time." Why do these idiots even open their mouths.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30737640

Sorry for the rant...

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Stoke have also declared interest in Bayern winger Xherdan Shaqiri, but we'll just move along...

Well that Stoke City dream died real fast today with both Inter and Bayern agreeing to a deal for Shaqiri going to Milan.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30732337

As a Liverpool fan, I'm disappointed. It seemed that the Reds were pushing hard for "the Swiss Messi", and he would have instantly become my new favorite Red with Gerrard on his way out the door. Just envisioning Xherdan dazzling in at Anfield gives me goosebumps. It's a shame he opted for Inter Milan.

To take it for what it is, Serie A just got mighty interesting. Roma are hot on Juve's tail, Napoli and AC Milan have the potential to catch fire and make a run at the front runners, and now Inter have added Podolski and Shaqiri to their attack. Now if only Vidić and that defense could have a run of good form, Inter would be a threat to at the very least qualify for Europe.

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Stoke have also declared interest in Bayern winger Xherdan Shaqiri, but we'll just move along...

Well that Stoke City dream died real fast today with both Inter and Bayern agreeing to a deal for Shaqiri going to Milan.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30732337

As a Liverpool fan, I'm disappointed. It seemed that the Reds were pushing hard for "the Swiss Messi", and he would have instantly become my new favorite Red with Gerrard on his way out the door. Just envisioning Xherdan dazzling in at Anfield gives me goosebumps. It's a shame he opted for Inter Milan.

To take it for what it is, Serie A just got mighty interesting. Roma are hot on Juve's tail, Napoli and AC Milan have the potential to catch fire and make a run at the front runners, and now Inter have added Podolski and Shaqiri to their attack. Now if only Vidić and that defense could have a run of good form, Inter would be a threat to at the very least qualify for Europe.

I think with Podolski and Shaqiri at Inter, I believe Inter will definitely start putting pressure on the top four in Serie A. The Serie A is heating up. As for Shaqiri not going to Liverpool, I believe in the end Rodgers was expecting him to go for less this time around. I still don't understand why Rodgers didn't go for him in summer when he picked up Balotelli. Shaqiri was available then too but Rodgers went with the flop instead of the "Swiss Messi"

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RE: Ched Evans: it was proved unequivocally in a court of law that he raper her

I think the main issue with this case is that it clearly isn't unequivocal, hence all of the debate it has caused. - and ultimately abuse and threats etc. from both sides.

(I am not defending Evans in case this is interpreted that way. Just making a specific comment to a specific point).

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Stoke have also declared interest in Bayern winger Xherdan Shaqiri, but we'll just move along...

Well that Stoke City dream died real fast today with both Inter and Bayern agreeing to a deal for Shaqiri going to Milan.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30732337

As a Liverpool fan, I'm disappointed. It seemed that the Reds were pushing hard for "the Swiss Messi", and he would have instantly become my new favorite Red with Gerrard on his way out the door. Just envisioning Xherdan dazzling in at Anfield gives me goosebumps. It's a shame he opted for Inter Milan.

To take it for what it is, Serie A just got mighty interesting. Roma are hot on Juve's tail, Napoli and AC Milan have the potential to catch fire and make a run at the front runners, and now Inter have added Podolski and Shaqiri to their attack. Now if only Vidić and that defense could have a run of good form, Inter would be a threat to at the very least qualify for Europe.

And it is official, Shaqiri is now at Nerazzurri

https://twitter.com/Inter_en/status/553878986602729473

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Belgian midfield soccer talent Junior Malanda died age 20 today in a traffic accident in Germany...

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For anyone who didn't catch it the Ballon d'Or was held today and Cristiano Ronaldo was named World Footballer of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Ronaldo 37.66%

Messi 15.76%

Neuer 15.72%

And it was reported that Roy Hodgson's official vote for the Ballon d'Or ballot was for Javier Mascherano. His other two choices were Phillip Lahm and Manuel Neuer. Note: In fact, 82 of the captains who voted found no place for four-time winner Messi in their top three.

World Women's Footballer of the Year - Nadine Kesler (GER), Wolfsburg

Top Men's Coach of the Year - Joachim Low, Germany

Top Women's Coach of the Year - Ralf Kellermann, Wolfsburg

Puskas Award (Top Goal) - James Rodriguez (COL) v Uruguay in World Cup

FIFA/FIFPro World XI

Neuer

Lahm Thiago Silva David Luiz Sergio Ramos

Iniesta Kroos Di Maria

Cristiano Ronaldo Messi Robben

Let the second half Bundesliga, La LIga and Serie A kick into high gear.

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I'm generally okay with that Team of the Year, but the presence of David Luiz is absolutely freaking ludicrous.

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David Ginola plans to run for Fifa presidency against Sepp Blatter

Former France international David Ginola is being paid £250,000 by a betting firm to stand against Sepp Blatter for the Fifa presidency.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30843034


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Huge win for Arsenal today at City! Hopefully we can keep up the solid play seen today for the rest of the season.

That was one of the strongest performances by the Gunners today. They limited City's attack all the first half and even though City came out flying in the second half, Arsenal weathered the storm and was strong defensively. Cazorla and Sanchez were key again today. Both have pace to use on overdrive the entire match and both of them were instrumental in Arsenal's counter attack. By far, Cazorla is becoming one of the stronger MF in the BPL. And there isn't enough praise and compliments for Sanchez to go around. The man doesn't stop and continues to fight for the ball even of he lost it. Wish we could clone him LOL. I have to say Coquelin had another top performance in the DMF role again today. But I am hoping Wenger goes out and gets a DMF sometime before the end of the transfer window, It's still a long season and we are in Europe and The FA Cup. But in the end, today was a great confidence boost for the side and hopefully they can build on it. Next up for the Gunners: Brighton & Hove Albion in the fourth round proper of The FA Cup. #OneNilToTheArsenal

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...so, that was a nutty day in England.

A nutty day to say the least :P Bradford down 2 nil and come back to win 4-2 v Chelsea, City being stunned by Boro, Leicester outplaying Spurs, and currently Bolton dominating the first half v Liverpool. That's why the FA Cup is such a great competition, anyone can beat anyone no matter how many places they are apart in the FA ladder.

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...so, that was a nutty day in England.

Leicester outplaying Spurs.

Hardly outplayed. Spurs dominated posession and had more shots on goal and more on target. How do I know? I was at the match. If you go by just watching highlights of a couple of Leicester attacks then that shows how editing can make a game look different. Gutting to lose it in the fashion we did but we have done the same to other clubs this year. Leicester did deserve a penalty though. The ref got that one wrong by a mile.

The cup has lost alot of prestige because prem clubs have large squads that Spurs,Swansea, Chelsea, and City made huge changes yesterday. The BBC bang on about giant killing but it really happens when these clubs play a second string team now with maybe two first team regulars.

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...so, that was a nutty day in England.

Leicester outplaying Spurs.

Hardly outplayed. Spurs dominated posession and had more shots on goal and more on target. How do I know? I was at the match. If you go by just watching highlights of a couple of Leicester attacks then that shows how editing can make a game look different. Gutting to lose it in the fashion we did but we have done the same to other clubs this year. Leicester did deserve a penalty though. The ref got that one wrong by a mile.

The cup has lost alot of prestige because prem clubs have large squads that Spurs,Swansea, Chelsea, and City made huge changes yesterday. The BBC bang on about giant killing but it really happens when these clubs play a second string team now with maybe two first team regulars.

No matter if it a PL side plays their regular starting XI or just two for a FA CUp match, it is still a giant killing for these lower league sides. They have the feeling of knocking a top division side that is normally greater than 20 plus places above them in the FA ladder. So in my eyes it is still a giant killing. As for the Cup still having prestige, I think it still does. Alot of the lower division clubs still live for the FA Cup, knowing that a win against a higher division side give s them both a huge confidence boost for the remainder of the season plus that feeling that they could make a run to Wembley in May. Look at Hull City, Wigan Athletic, and Sheffield United last year all making the semifinals. That was a massive accomplishment for this clubs and their supporters to play in Wembley.

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