The Author

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Roy Hodgson – The right man for LFC?

by Matthew Wood

As Roy Hodgson prepares to sign a two-year contract at Anfield, is the former Fulham boss the right man to steer the ‘sinking ship’ in the right direction? Firstly, it’s important to analyse the 62-year-old’s managerial career, why did Christian Purslow and Kenny Dalglish make Hodgson their number one choice? Career Upon signing with Liverpool, […]

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Lack of plan B costs Portugal

by Matthew Wood

Along with England v Germany, Portugal v Spain represented another titanic battle of rival nations. The so-called Iberian derby was billed by many as a potential classic. Free-flowing, end-to-end attacking football was hoped for, but as they did against the Brazilians, Portugal set out to frustrate and stifle the opposition, resting hopes of a goal […]

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North Korea’s resilience has to be applauded

by Matthew Wood

So far the 2010 World Cup has been somewhat of a letdown. Cautious and negative tactics have dominated the opening round of fixtures. For the moment, only Germany can lay claim to having sufficiently impressed with their display of flair and attacking football. Last night however, North Korea will have earned themselves plenty of plaudits […]

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Profligacy in front of goal costs Mexico

by Matthew Wood

While the eyes of the globe were on South Africa in the opening game of the FIFA World Cup, equally as interesting was the prospect of how Mexico would fair. Neat and tidy in possession from the start, the Mexicans replicated the composure they had shown against England at Wembley last month. Their fluid and […]

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World Cup Scouting: USA

by Matthew Wood

The United States of America, ranked 14th in FIFA’s World Rankings, were the last team to beat current European champions Spain and will be no pushovers in Group C. Uniquely, Michael Bradley who plays in central midfield, is the son of the American coach Bob Bradley. Unsurprisingly, there have been calls from the US press […]

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World Cup Scouting: Switzerland / Uruguay

by Matthew Wood

Playing in their second successive World Cup, Switzerland will have realistic ambitions of making the knockout round for only the third time in their history. Holding the Swiss midfield together will be anchorman Gokhan Inler. The man who plays his football in Italy was one of the rare standout performers from Switzerland’s poor showing at […]

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World Cup Scouting: South Africa / Spain

by Matthew Wood

South Africa, the hosts of the 2010 World Cup, face the unenviable prospect of becoming the first home nation not to qualify from the group stages. Facing France, Mexico and Uruguay in Group A could prove too much for a team ranked 83rd in FIFA’s rankings, the lowest of any nation in the competition. If […]

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World Cup Scouting: Slovakia / Slovenia

by Matthew Wood

For the first time as an independent nation, Slovakia make an appearance at the World Cup finals. Perhaps made sweeter by the absence of their neighbours, the Czech Republic, who were ranked second in the FIFA World Rankings just four years ago. If the Slovaks are to make an impression on this summer’s tournament, Marek […]

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World Cup Scouting: Portugal / Serbia

by Matthew Wood

Europeans Portugal will be looking to go one step further in South Africa as they attempt to improve upon their semi-final appearance of four years ago. While Chelsea’s Deco has long provided the creative spark for his nation many feel in light of his advancing years the Portuguese are in need of fresh impetus. It […]

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World Cup scouting: Nigeria / Paraguay

by Matthew Wood

Nigeria return to the World Cup scene after missing out four years ago, they do so following an unbeaten qualifying campaign. While Inter Milan starlet Victor Obinna faces tough competition to start in South Africa it could be hard to ignore the talented 23-year-old for coach Lars Lagerback. After joining Cheivo in 2005 Obinna has […]