Pitchside


  • But Kasper Schmeichel by Gentside

    Denmark and Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel was better known for saving shots, but he was not too terrible in chipping in with the odd goal or two during a sparkling career.

    United's great Dane famously scored for United against Rotor Volgograd back in a UEFA Cup match in 1995 and repeated the feat for Aston Villa against Everton in 2001 when he became the first man to score in a Premier League match, but his son Kasper is not too shabby either.

    With Leicester warming up for their return to the Premier League, Schmeichel Jnr used a training session

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  • John Terry: It feels different without Lamps sat next to me

    John Terry’s relentless determination shows no sign of abating.

    The most successful Chelsea skipper of all-time returned for pre-season training a week early to give himself a solid platform for his 20th year at the club.

    Chelsea have evolved immeasurably since Terry joined the youth setup as a midfielder in 1995. After relocating to defence, he helped the Blues to three Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League in 2011/12 – all but one of those triumphs coming during his spell as captain.

    “I didn’t imagine becoming a centre-half, for sure,” said Terry, 33. “I was moved

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  • Why Barcelona fans will welcome flawed genius Suarez

    An unemployed man called Luis walks along the Mediterranean seafront near his home south of Barcelona. He points out the palatial homes of Barcelona players who live nearby.

    Goalkeeper Victor Valdes' is the most impressive, looking like a super yacht marooned on the beach. It is the opulent purchase of a top-level sportsman in his prime. He was fortunate to buy one of the best houses in the area where he did most of his growing up.

    Luis smiles and says hello to people as he goes. He has time on his hands to talk and reminisce about a magnificent career as a professional footballer.

    A year on,

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  • Five things van Gaal should have done on his first day

    From Brazil to Britain - Louis van Gaal has wrapped up his strong final project as Netherlands national coach after guiding them to third place, and is now officially in charge of Manchester United.

    The combination of United's rough last campaign and LVG's reputation for being an unpredictable and quirky yet tough and uncompromising manager mean it's going to be very interesting how he handles the job over the coming months.

    However, on today, his first day at his new job, there are a few things we would like to think he has wasted no time in getting done.

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  • What the brilliant Lazar Markovic will bring to Liverpool

    Squawka attempt to answer the question of how Liverpool will use new signing Lazar Markovic - and how he will improve the team.

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    After completing his move to Liverpool on Tuesday afternoon, the debate has begun over just how Brendan Rodgers will use Lazar Markovic.

    The Serbia international is a superb attacking midfielder and will play in a range of positions for Liverpool. One of the criteria the Reds look for in their signings is versatility, especially in attack.

    The attackers at the club - Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Ibe, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana

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  • Three alternatives to Sami Khedira for Arsenal

    Arsenal have already achieved some fantastic business this summer having secured the signing of Alexis Sanchez - further evidence of their new heavy spending policy - but it would appear that they could be set to miss out on one of their other top targets ahead of the new season.

    A defensive midfielder has been at the top of their list as they see it as the missing piece of their puzzle to launch a serious title bid, and Real Madrid's Sami Khedira was thought to be the target identified to do that role for Arsene Wenger's men.

    However, wage demands of a reported £150k per week have scuppered

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  • The surprisingly big transfers you missed during the World Cup

    It’s time to forget about international football for four years and rekindle our love affair with Europe’s top domestic action.

    Hopefully you’re aware of Cesc Fabregas’ switch to Chelsea and Alexis Sanchez’s move to Arsenal, but there have been a surprising amount of other big transfers that swept under the radar.

    Well, now attention has returned to the club scene, here’s our rundown of the transfers you probably missed during the World Cup…

    Fernando – Porto to Manchester City: £12 million

    Brazilian midfielder Fernando (right)

    The Premier League champions have bolstered their squad by

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  • Why there is still space for Blind at Manchester United

    Just when it looked as though Manchester United had secured their left-back options for the new season, news broke that Patrice Evra was leaving Man United for Juventus. Now the search begins for another player to shadow Luke Shaw. Could Daley Blind be the stand-out candidate in more ways than one?

    Though he may have announced himself to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil this summer from left-back—floating over the cross from deep to allow Robin van Persie to score his landmark header against Spain—the Dutchman played mostly as a defensive midfielder for Ajax last season, a role he also reprised

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  • BT and Sky announce first batch of televised games

    BT Sports and Sky Sports have announced the first batch of televised Premier League matches for the 2013/14 season.

    Louis van Gaal's first Premier League match as Manchester United manager will be shown live on BT Sport.

    Swansea provide the opposition for the former Holland manager's debut at 12.45pm on August 16, the opening day of the new season.

    Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to have secured some superb matches for the start of the 2014-15 season.

    "On the opening day of the season, all eyes will be on Louis van Gaal, fresh from the Netherlands' World Cup

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  • Three big winners from Alexis Sanchez’s move to Arsenal

    Arsenal have completed their first deal of the summer, with Arsene Wenger having having signed Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez.

    Sanchez scored 19 goals in 34 La Liga appearances last season, but has been allowed to leave the Nou Camp in order to make way for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.

    The Chile international, who impressed for his country at the World Cup, is likely to feature from either the left of midfield or as a central striker for Arsene Wenger’s team and is the club’s second most expensive signing in history after club-record signing Mesut Ozil.

    Sanchez will compete with Santi

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