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Smith: Strikers must step up

Burnley 2 hours ago
 By Rory Smith
26 minutes ago

Does a rising sense of fan entitlement devalue football loyalties?

Supporters can get quite upset when they spend plenty of money on a ticket only to watch their team sustain a lopsided loss.
Supporters can get quite upset when they spend plenty of money on a ticket only to watch their team sustain a lopsided loss.

It could happen this weekend, though the fixtures do not really suggest it. It could be at Tottenham, theoretically, or at Southampton again. If not, then it will only be a matter of days: Arsenal next week, perhaps, or Stamford Bridge or Selhurst Park. It will happen, though, and soon, and then one group of fans will have a choice to make.

The choice is this. Your team is losing. Badly. They are four goals down, maybe five, and there is still half an hour to play. It is an age-old question,...

about an hour ago

Road warriors ES Setif ready for AS Vita challenge in CAF Champions League

Florent Ibenge's AS Vita are yet to be beaten at home this season in the CAF Champions League.
Florent Ibenge's AS Vita are yet to be beaten at home this season in the CAF Champions League.

Tremendous travelers ES Setif will be at fortress Kinshasa to play AS Vita in the first leg of the CAF Champions League final on Sunday. The clash pits the team with the best record on the road in this year's competition against the club who have not been beaten at home. If both play as their form suggests, the contest promises to be hard fought.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a difficult place to play for visiting teams, who are usually intimidated by partisan crowds and a hostile...

about an hour ago

Rehabbing, recovery and renewed hope of a return to playing

United States international, Stuart Holden strongly asserted his aim to return to the soccer pitch following his continued recovery from a series of serious injuries.

First of all, this is NOT a retirement announcement.

I see this blog as an opportunity to connect with my incredible supporters and provide an update on where I stand currently. It's also a chance to let down my normal, very publicly positive wall.

The daily grind of rehab is brutal. I am constantly being tested, some days physically, some days mentally and some days both! By this point, I could wear the unenviable name tag of "professional gym rat" around my neck.

If you talk to the physical therapists...

2 hours ago

Mario Balotelli shirt storm, Neymar case dropped before Clasico

ESPN's Fernando Palomo highlights the advantages and disadvantages of each side ahead of El Clasico.


1. Neymar case dropped (Monday, Oct. 21)

In between all the post-weekend analysis, previews of a Champions League week and pre-Clasico build-up, the news that the Barcelona member who brought legal proceedings against the club for allegedly concealing the true cost of signing Neymar had dropped his case was buried somewhat. Jordi Cases' accusation -- that Barca hid payments over and above the official 57.1 million-euro fee -- led to an unprecedented opening up of the books on the...

2 hours ago

MLS Western Conference analysis: Under-the-radar players to watch

MLS commissioner Don Garber explains that the competition in the professional divisions of the United States is heading in the right direction, but he still sees areas for improvement.

In my previous Eastern Conference feature, I looked at some of the players who might not be as well known as some of their teammates, but who could be set to make a mark in the playoffs. Today I look at the West, with the help of fan reps and bloggers for each of the teams still in contention for a playoff spot, going into the final weekend.

Seattle Sounders

Opponents who focus on stopping Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey will find themselves burned by Lamar Neagle.

Last weekend's game showcased a Sounders player following a blueprint the opposition could appreciate. As Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey...

2 hours ago

Burnley strikers must start stepping up with goals

Burnley manager Sean Dyche explains his side need to find the winning element if they are to remain in the Premier League, following their 1-3 defeat to West Ham.

Burnley's winless start to the season is mostly down to a misfiring strike force that remains without a goal after eight league and cup matches.

Last season's star, Danny Ings, has had a disappointingly slow start to the new campaign and summer arrivals Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marvin Sordell have also failed to make an impact in front of goal. The final member of Burnley's less-than-fabulous four up front, Ashley Barnes, has looked out of his depth in the Premier League.

Patience is quickly wearing...