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Back Of The Net Blog


A sideways look at football/soccer across the globe

Friends Rally To Support Gazza’s Ongoing Battle With Alcoholism

Friends Rally To Support Gazza’s Ongoing Battle With Alcoholism

Paul Gascoigne, England Legend (Image from PA)

The pictures released last week of Paul Gascoigne were startling to many including close friends of the former Rangers, Lazio, Newcastle and Tottenham player. Being helped into an ambulance by police, a frail and weathered Gascoigne looked nothing like the joker he once was and way beyond his 47 years. The cause of this is alcohol which has ravaged the player for over a decade now since…

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Moody And Mackay Careers In Football in Doubt After Text Scandal

Moody And Mackay Careers In Football in Doubt After Text Scandal

Schoolboy antics - Moody and Mackay (Image from EMPICS)

Schoolboy antics - Moody and Mackay (Image from EMPICS)

The ongoing soap opera that is Crystal Palace Football Club this season took yet another unusual twist yesterday with the clubs Sporting Director Ian Moody forced to resign after revelations about inappropriate communications he made during his time at Cardiff. It’s alleged that Moody sent several hundred text messages and emails to then manager Malky Mackay of a racist, sexist and homophobic…

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Eto’o Looking To Avoid Football Wilderness With One Final Payday

Eto’o Looking To Avoid Football Wilderness With One Final Payday

The Money Man - Samuel Eto'o 
(Image from Getty)

Samuel Eto'o is still looking for a new team (Image from PA)

After failing to spark with Chelsea and coming under attack from his own manager for being too old, it was hardly surprising that Samuel Eto’o exited Stamford Bridge in the summer. Since then a variety if clubs have chased the Cameroon striker in an attempt to sign him. A move back to Italy looked the more likely option until Ajax came calling and negotiations began around a move to Holland.…

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Summer Signings Offer Hope Of Brighter Days Ahead For Newcastle

Summer Signings Offer Hope Of Brighter Days Ahead For Newcastle

Newcastle have strengthened in the summer with 8 new arrivals including Siem De Jong from Ajax (Image from Getty)

Towards the tail end of last season, the glum looks that were present on the face of the Newcastle fans were a good indication of how bad things were going. After a promising start, Newcastle had imploded and were spiraling down the table. Without a manager on the sidelines due to the eight match ban he was serving for head butting a player to a homesick captain and a shot shy front line, the…

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Pulis Leaves Palace As Parish Pulls On The Purse Strings

Pulis Leaves Palace As Parish Pulls On The Purse Strings

The Departed - Tony Pulis (Image from Getty)

Tony Pulis resignation from Crystal Palace a day before the new season comes as a shock but in truth it has been simmering, ready to boil over for months now. The former Stoke boss was brought in last season to save Palace from near certain relegation after a disastrous start under Ian Holloway. Infighting between the players, shot shy strikers and a leaky defence lacking in confidence awaited…

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Can Anyone Stop Real Madrid?

Can Anyone Stop Real Madrid?

Real Madrid clinched the first trophy of the season (Image from Getty)

Sevilla’s run to the Europa League title last year was anything but pretty but a combination of perseverance and teamwork got them over the line in the end. They claimed the trophy with a penalty shoot out win over Portuguese side Benfica to earn their third Europa league title in 8 years making them one of the most successful teams in the tournaments history. Going into yesterday’s European…

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Arsenal Draw First Blood In New Season With Win In Community Shield

Arsenal Draw First Blood In New Season With Win In Community Shield

Arsenal lift the FA Community Shield (Image from Getty)

Arsenal grabbed the first silverware of the new season with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Manchester City in the FA Community Shield but what does it really say about both of their chances over the forthcoming season. To be honest very little but try telling that to the Gunners faithful. After years of starvation, last season’s FA Cup success gave a much needed confidence boost to Arsene Wenger…

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Celtic Defeat Heaps Early Pressure On Deila

Celtic Defeat Heaps Early Pressure On Deila

Celtic failure to beat Warsaw sends them out of the CL (Image from Getty)To be fair it was always going to be an uphill struggle to claw back a 4-1 first leg deficit but Celtic fans believed that their side could. Unfortunately what they saw in the return leg last night was a team who didn’t believe they could. Celtic crashed to a 2-0 defeat sending them spiraling out of Europe’s top club tournament and heaping early pressure on new boss Ronny Deila. The nature of…

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Pepe Reina’s Master Plan Takes Surprise Detour To Germany

Pepe Reina’s Master Plan Takes Surprise Detour To Germany

Reina moves to Bayern but why? (Image from AP)It’s clear that Pepe Reina wanted out of Liverpool. Whether it was for personal reasons or due to a falling out with manager Brendan Rodgers, Reina appeared to be looking to exit Anfield sooner rather than later. Having spent last year on loan at Napoli playing for ex Kop boss Rafa Benetiz many assumed that he was Italy bound this summer. However Napoli squashed that dream by refusing to pay his…

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August Poll - Who Will Win This Years EPL Title?

August Poll – Who Will Win This Years EPL Title?

Who will win this years title? (Image from PA)

The wait is almost over, with less than two weeks to go before the kick off of the new Premiership season, fans are reaching fever pitch. The transfer activity between clubs in the English Premier League has been nothing short of breathtaking with 87 new arrivals and many more departures with still just under a month left to go. Every club has strengthened with some more than others like…

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How Euro 2004 Could Have Solved England’s Defensive Problems

How Euro 2004 Could Have Solved England’s Defensive Problems

Eric Dier completes move back to England (Image from Getty)

The European Championships held in Portugal in 2004 will be remembered as the year that Greece shocked the world by beating the home nation in the final to lift the trophy. The Greek team, led by German manager Otto Rehhagel and influential captain Theodoros Zagorakis demonstrated how teamwork and dedication can overcome raw talent and upset the odds. Angelos Charisteas 57th minute goal was…

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Premier League Gets With The Program By Accepting Vanishing Spray

Premier League Gets With The Program By Accepting Vanishing Spray

Vanishing spray finally embraced by the PL (Image by Getty)

After a successful trial at this year’s World Cup, the Premier League has announced that it will use vanishing spray in the forthcoming season. The spray is used by referees for free kicks to mark the position of the ball and the subsequent wall 10 yards away. Invented by Pablo Silva, the foam is a combination of water, butane gas, surfactant and some other ingredients, which when sprayed…

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Commercialized Preseasons Taking Their Toll On Players

Commercialized Preseasons Taking Their Toll On Players

The Arsenal squad get back into pre season training (image from Getty)Preseason training is supposed to be gruelling as clubs get their players back to peak fitness ahead of the new season starting. But recently concerns have been raised about the effects pre season is having on the player’s bodies in particular the often gruelling travel schedule attached to it. Europe’s top clubs are jetting off to far away destinations like the US, China and Australia for pre…

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Barkley Must Choose His Career Over Cash

Barkley Must Choose His Career Over Cash

Barkley must resist a cash driven move (Image from Getty)Collecting the ball just outside the area, he fooled the oncoming defender with a dip of his shoulder, a clever switch of the ball at his feet before steadying himself and unleashing a stunning powerful drive past John Ruddy. This was how Ross Barkley chose to introduced himself in style to the fans at the start of last season during Everton’s opening day win over Norwich and the 20 year old…

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Fantasy Football As Real Madrid And Barcelona Ramp Up For The New Season

Fantasy Football As Real Madrid And Barcelona Ramp Up For The New Season

Real's new signing, James Rodriguez (Image from Getty)After a sensational World Cup that saw him score six goals in five games which earned him the golden boot, it’s hardly surprising that the name of James Rodriguez was on everyone’s summer shopping list. But with Monaco unwilling to let one of their prize assets leave unless their €80 million price tag was met, few clubs could realistically afford to bid for the Colombian star. That is with the…

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