10:47 PM EDT, Sun August 02, 2015

The Week in Comments: "Jordan Hender-stand"

We revisit a tiny handful of the comments made on the site in the past week. Liverpool Discussing Main Stand Naming Rights With Potential Sponsors Jordan Hender-stand. — MamadouTheHump Brazil Starlet Training with Liverpool First Team Ahead of Expected Move Phil, Allan, Bob, and Lucas, Liverpool’s Brazilians. Ironic that Lucas would have the name with the most flair. — Indy Red Mourinho Convinced Diego Costa to Turn Down Liverpool a Year Before His Chelsea Move Noel: Jose could take offence at somebody saying good morning to him. PeterRed: Sometime you say to me, ‘good...
Cartilage Free Captain 1 hour ago

Spurs' former record signing could finalize transfer this week

The Great Tottenham Exodus of 2015 looks likely to continue this week. Roberto Soldado's return to Spain finally looks likely to happen, and it could be finalized as early as this week. Spanish newspaper AS is reporting that Spurs and Villarreal are in the final stages of negotiating a deal that could take Soldado back to La Liga, where he experienced his greatest footballing successes. The Spanish paper says the two clubs have agreed to a €17m transfer fee (just under £12m), but are still hashing out details surrounding payment plans. AS suggests that Tottenham want a good chunk of the...
Royal Blue Mersey 5 hours ago

"I didn't know what to expect" - Wayne Rooney on his one-off Everton return from Man Utd

Wayne Rooney has expressed his delight after he received a warm reception from the Everton supporters during Duncan Ferguson's testimonial. Wayne Rooney admits he wasn't sure whether he would receive a good reception from the Everton fans but expressed his delight after he was cheered when coming on as a substitute in Duncan Ferguson's testimonial. Rooney pulled on a blue shirt for the first time in 11 years when he came on with 15 minutes left against Villarreal on Sunday. His departure from Goodison for Man Utd in 2004 was an acrimonious one, and he has regularly received a hot reception...
The Liverpool Offside 6 hours ago

Rodgers Thrilled With Pre-Season Finale

Liverpool finished an impressive pre-season period with a 2-1 win over Swindon, and new signing Christian Benteke notched his first goal for the club in stunning fashion. Manager Brendan Rodgers talked up some of his team's individual displays, focusing on players who were absent from the club's earlier pre-season matches. "Christian's goal was incredible, whether it was a pre-season friendly or in a league or cup game. It was wonderful technique from the big guy," Rodgers said. "The other guys started to get some minutes under their belt; Firmino, Emre Can, boys that have come back a bit...
Royal Blue Mersey 6 hours ago

Everton step up recruitment drive with bid for French defender - report

Roberto Martinez has stated he wants to sign a defender and reports suggest he has already made his move... Everton have made an official bid for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly according to reports in Italy. Roberto Martinez spoke of his desire to sign 2-3 more players - including a defender - before the transfer window shuts on September 1. Everton currently have just two senior centre backs in Phil Jagielka and John Stones, with the latter the subject of intense interest from Chelsea, so Martinez desperately needs to add to his defensive ranks. Koulibaly only joined Napoli last summer...

Why Bolton Wanderers Should Sell Andy Kellett

Wanderers fans grumbling - but are we right to moan? So, if rumour is to believed, Bolton Wanderers' Andy Kellett - formerly of Manchester United's under 21 side - is on the brink of leaving the Reebok to join fellow Championship side Sheffield Wednesday. Our friend Matt wrote a superb piece earlier today explaining his reasoning behind calling for manager Neil Lennon to keep the youngster at the club. I have a slightly different approach to the argument. Though I appreciate where Matt is coming from - indeed I've written and podcasted on the point recently, we, as Bolton fans, are far too...
The Short Fuse 7 hours ago

Karim Benzema rumors update: €65 million bid to come, betting odds slashed

Arsène Wenger is less than bullish, though. I'm sure you have all been eagerly awaiting your Karim Benzema updates, as the afterglow of yet another Community Shield triumph fades. Well, you're in luck, because there have been a few developments since our last talk. Let's dive in, shall we? Arsenal to lodge major bid According to AS, Arsenal are about to offer Real Madrid a weighty €65 million (around £45 million) fee for Benzema in attempt to convince them to sell a player who still has several years left on his contract. They don't want to sell, and the player isn't itching to leave,...
Royal Blue Mersey 7 hours ago

Roberto Martinez targets three new Everton signings

The Blues boss has admitted they will be active right up until the final moments of the transfer window. Everton manager Roberto Martinez says he is targeting three new players before the close of the summer transfer window. The Blues have been quiet so far this summer and are currently the Premier League's lowest spenders, with just Gerard Deulofeu and Tom Cleverley their only recruits so far. And Martinez has admitted he is looking to add two or three new recruits, with the centre-half, centre forward and number 10 positions key among his thinking. "We know we need two to three new...
The Tilehurst End 7 hours ago

Reading FC Position Previews: Wingers

Hoops looks at the winger choices Steve Clarke has available to him for the upcoming season. They're a tad short. Ins: N/A Outs: Ryan Edwards (released, free agent) Already in squad: Garath McCleary, Hal Robson-Kanu, Nick Blackman, Jack Stacey, Tarique Fosu Quick analysis: What has previously been a strength for Reading Football Club has become a bit of a conundrum. From the days of the lightning quick and tricky Jimmy Kebe and Jobi McAnuff just a few years ago to the days of the inconsistent yet still capable Garath McCleary and the infuriating Hal Robson-Kanu, Steve Clarke may need to dip...
The Liverpool Offside 8 hours ago

Swindon Town 1, Liverpool 2: Sun & Gun

Some fun in the sun as Liverpool cap their 2015 preseason with an exciting performance from Roberto Firmino and a facemelter from Christian Benteke. Swindon Town 1 Obika 63' Liverpool 2 Benteke 52', Ojo 86' Over 27,000 miles logged in Liverpool's preseason this year, and the sun shone brightly for the Reds' second game in as many days. This would serve as the final tune up before marching on Mordor for the regular season opener next week. The all black away kits looked sharp on debutantes Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino. Both appeared comfortable slotting in as key components of...
The Liverpool Offside Aug 1, 2015

Official: Liverpool Confirm Signing of Allan from Internacional

Liverpool's summer spending continues, with the club announcing that they have agreed a deal to bring 18-year-old Brazilian midfielder Allan de Souza to Anfield. With plenty of questions about the squad Brendan Rodgers selected for Saturday's friendly against Helsinki--and the match itself--most other Liverpool-related news managed to fly under the radar. There wasn't much else going on, to be fair, but the announcement of a transfer did work its way into proceedings less than an hour or so before things got going on the last of Liverpool's international trips in preseason. It wasn't one...
7500 To Holte Aug 1, 2015

Villa set for £145 million takeover according to shoddy report

The Daily Star are reporting that Aston Villa are about to get bought for £145 million. According to a report in the Daily Star Sunday, Randy Lerner is on the verge of selling Aston Villa to an American sports-related firm for £145 million. Please feel free to ignore this report because in that one sentence I have literally given you all of the evidence that the Star have presented in their story. The rest of their article is a rehash of other rumours and, bizarrely, a quote from Andy Gray about Emmanuel Adebayor. So yeah, this probably isn't a thing that we should be worried about...
The Liverpool Offside Aug 1, 2015

Rodgers Undecided on Preferred Central Defensive Pairing

After selecting Dejan Lovren to partner Martin Skrtel in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Helsinki on Saturday, Brendan Rodgers admitted that he's yet to make a final decision on whether it will be Lovren or Mamadou Sakho in the first eleven. After confirming that Liverpool supporters would get a chance to see Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino for the first time on Sunday afternoon at Swindon, Brendan Rodgers addressed the other biggest talking point of the preseason--his central defensive pairing. After reports earlier in the preseason that Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho were first choice,...
7500 To Holte Aug 1, 2015

Villa ready to avoid repeating Delph mistake by signing Clark to a new deal

Aston Villa and Ciaran Clark are set to agree to a contract extension for the defender sometime next week. If there was one thing that was unambiguously and entirely wrong in the Fabian Delph debacle, it was the fact that getting the midfielder to sign a new contract was delayed long enough that he had the leverage to ask for (and receive) the now-infamous £8 million buy-out clause. Had Delph's contract been renewed earlier, that number could have been higher or altogether absent. So it's encouraging to hear today that Ciaran Clark, whose contract is set to expire next summer, is poised...
The Liverpool Offside Aug 1, 2015

HJK Helsinki 0, Liverpool 2: Tactical Tweak Lifts Reds

Liverpool ride second half surge to pre-season triumph. HJK Helsinki 0 Liverpool 2 Origi 73', Coutinho 78' You could have slept through the first 35 minutes of this match and missed nothing. The first half entirely, really. Liverpool lined up in the 4-3-2-1 formation that Brendan Rodgers has become so fond of this pre-season, and dominated HJK Helsinki in possession. The problem for the Reds was that for all of their ball control, there were barely any scoring opportunities. A lack of chances against a defense sitting deep? Midseason form! It wasn't all bad for Liverpool in the first 45...
Lion Of Vienna Suite Aug 1, 2015

Our Predictions for the Season: Liam

Lion of Vienna Suite's unreliable yet gifted column writer Liam O'Meara gives his predictions for the coming football season. This has taken some thought and more research than I would care to admit but here we go: Championship Winners: QPR Second Place: Middlesbrough Play-off winners: Wolves Three relegated teams: Rotherham, Cardiff City, Bristol City Championship Top Goal Scorer: Benik Afobe Best Player: Sam Vokes Surprise Team: Charlton Athletic Three teams who'll gain promotion to the Championship: Wigan Athletic, Fleetwood Town, Bradford City Premier League Winners: Chelsea 2nd,...

Confusion surrounds the status of Tottenham's young Nigerian playmaker

Spurs mystery youth player Musa Yahaya has gone AWOL from his Nigerian training camp. Or maybe he hasn't. We don't know. It's all very weird. Remember Musa Yahaya? It's quite possible you don't. He's the mystery man at Tottenham Hotspur, a highly rated Nigerian youngster whom Spurs supposedly signed, but under weird circumstances. We think he has trained with Spurs and played in a few development squad friendlies, but no one at Spurs has confirmed that he's actually there. We know he played for Nigeria in the U20 World Cup this summer as a wide midfielder where he did quite well. Based on...
Bitter and Blue Aug 1, 2015

Should Kelechi Iheanacho be loaned our or stay with MCFC this season?

Kelechi Iheanacho is an amazing young talent. Normally the course would be to loan out the 18 year-old. But does Raheem Sterling's rapid development with Liverpool give a better test case? Kelechi Iheanacho is without question the most exciting young player to come through Manchester City's youth ranks in recent years. The 18 year-old phenom caught the eye last preseason and this year has kicked on. Historically, players like Iheanacho are sent out on loan for long periods of time. However, last season youngster José Ángel Pozo was kept around the first team all season and he was able to...

Our Predictions for the Season: Chris

Next up, is the all knowing Chris, but will he be correct? The football season is now only a few days away, and as such the LoVS writers have been tasked to put their credibility on the line and give their predictions for the year of football to come. Once the season is over and all the results are in, we'll gather them all up and see who did best! Now, it's Chris' turn: Championship Winners: MIDDLESBROUGHSecond Place: FULHAMPlay-off winners: BOLTON WANDERERSThree relegated teams: BRISTOL CITY, BLACKBURN ROVERS AND LEEDS UNITEDChampionship Top Goal Scorer: JORDAN RHODESBest Player: ZACH...
The Tilehurst End Aug 1, 2015

Reading FC 0-0 RCD Espanyol: Player Ratings

On an overcast August afternoon The Royals entertained La Liga opposition in their last friendly before the new season. @WilliamOwain gives his verdict on the players' performances. Jonathan Bond: 6 Didn't have much to but what he did have to do he did well. One excellent punch in the first half. With Al-Habsi replacing him on the hour we are still non the wiser who will start at Birmingham. Chris Gunter: 6 Uneventful game for the Wales international which is not a bad thing for a right back. Moved to left back when Obita was sent off and late on wasted a half decent chance when a good...

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