18
May

Lukas Podolski posts photo of Arsenal players sleeping after celebrating

After a lengthy drought, Arsenal was finally able to claim a much-deserved trophy after Saturday’s FA Cup triumph over Hull City. Some Gunners seemed to have celebrated a touch too much:

With a caption of “Hangover 4 - The collapse,” Lukas Podolski posted a photo on Instagram of several teammates all tuckered out from celebrating.

It might be a little embarrassing, but who can blame ‘em?

(h/t 101GG)

19
Nov

Setting the table for England vs Germany

imageWayne Rooney will lead Roy Hodgson’s side in attack on Tuesday night (Images: Reuters).

The classic rivalry between England and Germany will write another chapter Tuesday night at Wembley Stadium (live, FOX Sports 1, 3 p.m. ET), so let’s run down a few things to know:

1. Twice as nice: Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge will be paired together up top, with Rooney playing in the No. 10 role. This is great news for England, who need Rooney to be in top form and utilized in his best position in order to make a run at the top teams. You can read more about what this means for England in Patrick Barclay’s match preview.

2. Taking it easy: You’ll notice that while the Three Lions are fielding their best XI, more or less, the Germans will miss a lot of key players. Captain Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer have been left behind in Germany to rest for Bayern Munich’s upcoming clash at Borussia Dortmund, while Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil will be rested as well. Also absent are injured playmakers Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ilkay Gundogan and Sami Khedira, as well as strikers Miro Klose and Mario Gomez. Joachim Low will have to give his side a new look, including Lars and Sven Bender in holding midfield.

imageWith his team hampered by injuries, Low will be forced to experiment vs. England (Images: Reuters).

3. Players to watch: Don’t feel bad for Germany, they still have plenty of weapons. Watch Marco Reus and Mario Gotze closely today; the two  wingers are competing with Ozil and Thomas Muller for starting spots next summer. The same thing goes for Max Kruse, who starts as the lone striker today.  On the other side, keep an eye on Adam Lallana and Andros Townsend. Still new to the national side, they, too, need to present themselves to the manager.

4. History lesson: The old rivalry has been a story of two eras. From their first meeting in 1908 through the legendary 1966 World Cup final, England completely dominated Germany (10W-2D-0L). It’s been a different story since then; Germany is 13-2-5 against England after ‘66. However, the Three Lions won the last meeting, 2-1, in November 2008 in Berlin.

5. Going tubing: Yesterday, the German national team took the Tube to Wembley Stadium for their final practice. This would be unfathomable if not for the well-known fact that getting to Wembley any other way actually takes ten times as long. This just speaks to Joachim Low’s thorough preparation. A video of the team’s unique transport is below:

8
Aug

Majority of English fans think about soccer at least once a minute

image

(Photo: Getty Images, Laura Nunez/FOX Sports)

A whopping 52% of English soccer fans think about the sport at least once every minute, according to a study released by the FA.

Yes, once every minute. At a minimum.

While it’s no secret that soccer fans are some of the most passionate people you’ll ever meet, the amount of time they spend devoted to the sport is, well, mind-boggling.

Not only are they thinking about it constantly, 94% admitted that they plan their year around the soccer season. Did you get an invite to your sister’s wedding? Nope, sorry sis, but Arsenal are playing Aston Villa in the home opener — I can’t miss that!

As part of The FA’s 150th anniversary celebration, the research notes were officially released ahead of The FA’s Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day. It was also revealed that more than half of fans experience withdrawal symptoms in the summer months after the season is over. But many of them have a solution: go out and play more soccer. So more exercise, sunshine and quality time with your pals is a product of the off-season? Oh, yes please.

Soccer fans may be a little crazy, but that’s just how we like them.

1
Jul

Historic Women’s Team Relegated After One Game

image

The Doncaster Rovers Belles, prior to the 2002 FA Cup Final

Women’s soccer has struggled to gain a foothold with English fans for years, but the Doncaster Rovers Belles have done more than their part to help it succeed. From dominating competition in their early years, to developing academies and clinics recently, the Belles ensured that a career in soccer seemed a realistic goal for women, even when the league-system struggled to stay afloat.

While the team was able to find success, there has been plenty of room for improvement at the league level. With the potential for growth at an all-time high, the English Football Association is seeking to guarantee long-term sustainability by reorganizing and refocusing the domestic structure of the women’s game. While that would seem a positive development, the Belles are struggling with the change.

Doncaster, who are two-time First Division champions and appeared in an astounding 11 out of 12 FA Cup Finals from 1983 to 1994, were recently relegated just one game into their new season. Why? To make room for a club backed by Manchester City.

Read More

1
Jun

Brazilian Chelsea fan names son “Leandro Lampard”

FA TV may have found the biggest Chelsea fan in South America.

With England in Rio for a friendly match with Brazil, fans are getting very excited, none more than this diehard Chelsea supporter. He has gone as far to say he supports no teams in Brazil, only his beloved Chelsea. He named his backyard Stamford Bridge and even named his son after a team legend.

The day Chelsea knocked Barcelona out of the 2012 Champions League his son was born, and to honor the club he named his baby son after all-time leading scorer Frank Lampard.

Lampard was not part of the visit so he did not have a chance to meet young Leandro Lampard, but he was humbled to hear the story.

"I wasn’t there unfortunately, but I did hear about it," Lampard said. "I would like to meet the father and the kid because it’s an honor. It would be an honour if someone from London did that, but for someone from Brazil to do it… what can you say to that?"

We’ll keep our eye on little “Lampardinho” as he rises the Brazilian youth soccer ranks.

13
Apr

FA investigates Millwall fans, violence

image

Photo: REUTERS/Darren Staples

Following the disturbing scenes from Wembley Stadium on Saturday, England’s Football Association launched an official investigation after Millwall fans fought among themselves during an FA Cup semifinal loss to Premier League side Wigan Athletic.

Reaction quickly spilled to Twitter, with many blasting the 30,000-plus Millwall section after images on television showed police being outnumbered against the unruly fans while trying to defend themselves with batons (read more here).

image@TelegraphSport