Free Kick Issue 1

Category: Sports

Presentation Description

The 1st issue of the innovative, descriptive, and exciting free magazine Free Kick. This magazine talks all about the world's top leagues in this magazine of the world game. This debut issue is mostly written by Bloodbore.


Presentation Transcript

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Will Patrick Viera be the next "Silvestre"? In August 2008, there was something fishy going on. Right when you’re wondering whether Arsenal would sign that much-needed defensive midfielder, seemingly out of nowhere the news popped up that Arsenal had signed Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre. The player had seen rumours thrown all around him. Some sources claimed he was set to join one of Sunderland and Manchester City, some claimed he had already signed for Sunderland, and some claimed he would stick around at Manchester United another year and then retire.

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Yet they were all wrong and one of Manchester United’s expected competitors for the Premier League title had come in and stolen one of their most experienced for the rather low (in footballing terms) fee of just 750,00 pounds. Why would Utd have let one of their players leave to a rival? Logic seemed against the move, but the fans slowly realized that Ferguson had come to the conclusion that Silvestre was past it, especially after long-term injuries the season prior. Now, almost a year later, Arsene Wenger is faced with a rather tough decision. While it seems quite an easy decision on paper, Wenger will be forced to pick whether or not to re-sign thirty-three year old Inter Milan player Patrick Viera. The former Gunners captain has been trying to engineer a move back to Arsenal after his competitors Thiago Motta and Estiban Cambiasso kicked him out of the Inter starting lineup. A handful of nasty injuries have not helped either. Viera, as a result, wants to leave and considering his age, the Gunners could pick him up relatively cheap. So, it sounds like the perfect scenario: Inter want to sell to Arsenal, Viera wants Arsenal, and Arsenal want Viera…or do they? This situation is a lot more complicated than it initially looks.

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Patrick Viera, on paper, could do wonders for Arsenal. The former captain has proven he is a born leader and could help set out leadership issues facing the club. One problem though is that only one player can wear the fabled armband: If Fabregas captained the team and Viera and Gallas also played alongside him, the Arsenal lineup would feature not just one but TWO ex-captains! Also, if Viera can’t get into an Inter squad, how can he deserve to be in the Arsenal team besides being a fans’ favourite? He’s getting older—he’s legs are tiring—and there are many doubters of whether he’ll be fit enough to captain France at the next World Cup. If Viera does come back to Arsenal, will he played based on his elite status and long term service, or will he be forced to try all out to compete against vastly improved players Alex Song and Denilson for a spot in Wenger’s new 4-3-3 formation? Denilson and Song are improving and could be better than an old, tired, injury-prone Viera. His return, however, could been seen in a more positive light as he will likely become a role model to some of the younger players in the team such as Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Frimpong, and Aneke. The result could create further extended success for Arsenal.

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So, will Viera’s return contribute nothing on the pitch but more from a psychological standpoint? That brings us back to Silvestre. He certainly has added an experienced head to the Arsenal squad. Kyle Bartley described Silvestre as “the best player he has ever played with.” But, quite frankly, Silvestre has been a bit of a disaster on the pitch, such as against Liverpool in the 4-4 draw. So if Viera returns will he contribute to Arsenal’s on-pitch performances and hopefully trophies, or will he be the next “Silvestre?”

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Edwin Van Der Sar out for 8 weeks The Manchester United #1 is set to miss the opening two months of the season through injury. Young English goalkeeper Ben Foster will get what he’s been waiting for: he has a great chance of now taking the jersey from Van Der Sar permanently for the rest of the season and even cementing a place next season after the Dutch keeper’s departure. So will Van Der Sar’s final campaign at Old Trafford be ruined by this emerging English goalkeeper? Will Ben Foster be able to get a place in Fabio Capello’s squad after cementing first-team football? We’ll have to wait and see.

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Martin Laursen is---was---the influential Aston Villa captain over the past season and has certainly been one of the best center backs in the game for years.  His final game for the Villians was against West Brom on January 11th this year.  Aston Villa played well under his defensive leadership and won 2-1.  However, an unanticipated event in Martin's life occurred, and he suffered a serious knee injury.  Earlier this year, Martin had to choose between having another operation and becoming a crocked shadow of his former self OR retiring at the early age of 31.  Sad to say, he picked the latter.  If not for his injuries, would Aston Villa still have been challenging Arsenal for 4th place in the league?  Possibly so.  His long term career-ending injury coincided with Aston Villa's worst winless run in years: they went 13 competitive games without a win.   Laursen started his senior career with Danish club Silkeborg FC, whom he helped steer to second place in the 1997-1998 Danish league season.  He soon joined Italian clubs Verona and Parma, before moving to the world renowned AC Milan for $8.7 million Euros.  He became an instant star, scoring two goals in his opening four matches, but like recently in his Villa career, he was troubled by persistent injuries and only 32 league matches there, scoring only those two goals from early in his career.  A move to Premiership side Aston Villa in 2004 helped kick start his career and the plaudits started pouring in.  His league scoring record for the Villians is eight goals in 84 games, plus several others in Europe and the domestic cup competitions.   The Danish international formed a strong partnership with Daniel Agger in recent years but ended his international career with only two goals in only 52 games. Martin Laursen

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How the Early Results Shaped Last Season With the 2009/2010 Premier League season set to kick off on August 15th, we take a look back at just how valuable the early fixtures were last season and how they shaped the clubs’ seasons. Samir Nasri scored the first goal of the season with a 4th minute poke into the goal.  Arsenal were wasteful in finishing for the rest of the match, while West Brom remained pretty bland.  Robin van Persie came off the Arsenal bench and looked Arsenal’s main scoring threat—which could also be associated with him for most of the season.  Arsenal fans wondered after a slack performance from Adebayor whether or not he would reach the heights from last season.  Despite ten goals and seven assists from about twenty-six games, he has looked lazy and slack for a lot of the season, much like in this fixture.  West Brom are now relegated and if only they had chipped in some goals against top 5 opposition such as Arsenal, then maybe they could still be in the Premier League. Arsenal 1-0 West Brom

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Steinsson, Davies, and Elmander pounded a sorry Stoke who couldn’t score until the 90+3rd minute.  It produced attacking hope for Bolton fans with the impressive debut of striker Elmander but he has never shown the form the fans would like.  Stoke went on to enjoy an excellent first season in the Premier League, confirming Tony Pulis’ status as a top-class manager.  Part of that must be handed though to Stoke’s infamous long throws tactic used throughout the season to gain wins at teams such as Arsenal, taken by Rory Delap. After Everton’s pathetic pre-season, where they even lost to MLS teams and a semi-professional club called Cambridge, and this disastrous game, few fans expected Everton to reproduce what had made them so successful in the season prior, let alone reach the FA Cup final.  After this win from Paul Ince’s team, injuries disrupted their progress and Ince was soon fired after Blackburn were thrown into the relegation zone. Bolton 3-1 Stoke Everton 2-3 Blackburn Hull came from behind to beat a lackluster Fulham.  Both teams shocked the league this season: Hull went on to beat Arsenal and Spurs, excitingly lose to Man Utd 4-3, and rise to the top of the table tied on 20 points for some time!  Then they faded away and currently only have one win in their last twenty league matches.  Fulham have been riding strong and qualified for the Europa League next season with a 7th place finish.  After this surprise loss, they went on to shock Arsenal fans (and bet-makers) with a 1-0 win against the Gunners, courtesy of a goal from star defender Brede Hangeland from a corner. After Spurs’ exciting pre-season, they succumbed to a 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough.  Spurs were 2-0 down before Robert Huth scored an own goal, which turned out to be just a consolation goal.  David Wheater opened the scoring for Middlesbrough after he also found the back of the net in the 1st half but it was incorrectly disallowed.  Spurs went on to have two points from their first seven games, prompting jokes from rivals such as, “What’s the similarity between a toothpick and Spurs?  They both have two points!”  However, Juande Ramos left and former Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp took over.  Tottenham ended the season on a high note, however, and are challenging for the next year’s Europa league spot.  Middlesbrough, meanwhile, have fallen apart and are doomed for the Championship. Hull 2-1 Fulham Middlesbrough 2-1 Spurs

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After a poor performance against Standard Liege in the Champions League qualification 1st leg (in which Reina had to save a penalty to keep Liverpool from losing), Liverpool once against looked rusty here.  It took 83 minutes before Torres scored a late screamer to give his team the win.  After these poor performances at the start of the season, Liverpool were not expected to be challenging for honours at the end of the season but they have and have achieved their highest ever points tally in the Premier League.  Roy Keane, meanwhile, soon left Sunderland. Nevertheless their poor results kept up but they finished 16th. Sunderland 0-1 Liverpool Dean Ashton scored two early goals, while Zaki scored a second half goal to keep the scoreline close and respectable.  Dean Ashton has since missed most of the season through injury.  Zaki ended 2008 as one of the league’s top scorers with 10 goals but is yet to score since. West Ham 2-1 Wigan Chelsea thumped Portsmouth in Scolari’s first game as Chelsea manager, partially because of a brilliant performance by debutant Deco.  He was hyped as the missing puzzle in the Chelsea jigsaw and was seen as the player to take Chelsea to the next level.  He scored against Wigan in Chelsea’s next game to be named Premier League Player of the Month.  Unfortunately for him though, he has done nothing since.  Absolutely nothing.  Okay, he’s played, and ran, and scored one goal, but this was one of the harshest tricks ever in the Premier League as Deco has been one of the worst players in the league this season.  Portsmouth, meanwhile, have recovered from the selling of most of their key players to lock down safety for yet another season. Chelsea 4-0 Portsmouth

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Gabriel Agbonlahor scored a hat trick in seven minutes to stop Man City, who, at that time, were not the richest club in the world.  Times have changed over just one season, haven’t they?  Agbonlahor’s strike partner Carew also scored, while Elano and Corluka stopped Brad Friedel from earning a debut clean sheet.  Villa went on to challenge Arsenal for 4th before falling apart at the end of the season and had only one win in their last 15 games in all competitions before relegating Newcastle on the final day.  Man City, despite now being rich, are only a mid-table club. This summer they have brought in new players such as Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez, and Kolo Toure. Aston Villa 4-2 Man City Man Utd 1-1 Newcastle Kevin Keegan’s team opened the scoring with a header from Obafemi Martins but midfielder Darren Fletcher equalized only a minute later.  Shay Given, who was eventually sold to the other Manchester club, showed his class with several world-class stops and was named man of the match.  Manchester United, however, recovered from their slow start to win the English league for the 18th time, while Newcastle were relegated after failing to sign a long-term manager.

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BIG 4 SEASON PREVIEWS Last season, the big four once again ruled the English Premier League. But this season a new threat emerges. Manchester City now have Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz, and Gareth Barry all in addition to their already good squad with Stephen Ireland and Robinho. And with Tottenham, Everton, and Aston Villa also looking stronger than ever, will they big 4 finally be broken? We examine the teams to find out.

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ARSENAL Main Strength: Individual Talent Main Weakness: Lack of Experience and Leadership Last Season: Last season was a disaster for Arsenal. They lost their own Emirates Cup in pre-season, and lost five out of their first fourteen games in the Premier League. Eduardo and Tomas Rosicky did not even feature in the Premier League due to injury. Injury problems were abundant after Fabregas, Walcott, Nasri, Van Persie, Adebayor, Gallas, and Clichy also suffered injuries during the season. William Gallas lost the armband midway through the season after talking bad about the club. Fabregas was his successor. Arsenal finished 4th in the league and came close, but not close enough in the cups. However, new young players such as Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, and Aaron Ramsey emerged to enjoy success in the Arsenal first team. Boss Competency: 6/10 Next Season: Thomas Vermaelen has emerged from Ajax where he was a makeshift club captain after the departures of several key players. He is 23 and an untested talent in the physical Premier League. The defender looks to replace the void left by Kolo Toure and Phillipe Senderos, both of who have departed for other clubs, Man City and Everton respectively. Emmanuel Adebayor also left for the money but the recuperation of Eduardo could give the Gunners a better player than Adebayor ever was. The return of Tomas Rosicky and young stars such as Jack Wilshere are giving Gunners fans a bit of hope for the next season. Mainstream Prediction: 4th

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CHELSEA Main Strength: Strong Leadership Main Weakness: Let-Downs in Recent Years and New Managers Last Season: Early signs were good for Chelsea boss Felipe Scolari after an impressive opening day victory over Portsmouth 4-0. Deco looked to be a good signing. However, Scolari’s wins soon faded away and Deco, one of Scolari’s “favourites,” also faded away. After a 3-0 loss to Manchester United, Scolari was sacked and temporarily replaced by Russia manager Guus Hiddink. Hiddink took Chelsea to the FA Cup final where they emerged victors over Everton, and was a whisker away from reaching the Champions League final, but Iniesta gave Chelsea the Blues in injury time. Anelka finished the season with the Golden Boot, while Lampard, Drogba, Bosingwa, and Cole also had good seasons. Boss Competency: Scolari 6/10, Hiddink 10/10 Next Season: New Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has invested in Danny Sturridge and Ross Turnbull to inject some youth into the team. 25-year-old Russian fullback/winger Yuri Zhirkov has also joined to add some width to the team. Ancelotti has also kept hold of captain John Terry despite interest from Man City. Chelsea has done well in pre-season and look a major force. Mainstream Prediction: 2nd

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LIVERPOOL Main Strength: Steven Gerrard and Torres Main Weakness: Injuries to Gerrard and Torres, loss of Alonso Last Season: Liverpool got their highest ever Premier League points tally but it could easily have been higher if not for injuries to their key combination Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Jamie Carragher, Dirk Kuyt, Albert Riera, Pepe Reina, and Fabio Auerillio also had stellar seasons. Boss Competency: 7/10 Next Season: Xabi Alonso, who was named as’s Premier League Player of last season, has departed for Real Madrid with Roma’s Alberto Aquallani the likely replacement. We will have to wait and see how this works out. Meanwhile, Liverpool’s pre-season has arguably been the worst of the big 4’s. They lost to Espanyol 3-0. But English starting rightback Glen Johnson has joined for an English fullback record fee, and is expected to help tighten up Pool’s defense next season and help Dirk Kuyt attack down the right. Insua looks a promising youngster who is set to replace Arbeloa who has also left for Real Madrid. Mainstream Prediction: 3rd

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MAN UTD Main Strength: Having won it the last three years with Ronaldo Main Weakness: Having to win it next year without Ronaldo Last Season: Manchester United had a poor start to the season without Ronaldo but with his return and the consistency of Vidic, Ferdinand, Van Der Sar, and Fletcher, Manchester United got 90 points and won the title. They also won the League Cup and Community Shield both of penalties, but lost the Champions League final 2-0 to Barcelona. Boss Competency: 8/10 Next Season: Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez have both left to go to teams that will certainly gives Utd a run for their money next season, with Ronaldo on a European stage. Luis Antonio Valencia has joined to replace the void left by Ronaldo, and Michael Owen has also come in to replace Tevez but there is not many other transfers of note. Will those two effectively replace two worldclass players? Will Owen receive lots of injuries? There are many questions we are still waiting for answers for but the media is stilling tipping them for the top. Mainstream Prediction: 1st

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BARCA: ABIDAL VS MAXWELL Barcelona recently completed the purchase of former Inter Milan left back/winger Maxwell. Eric Abidal has played down that there is a huge rivalry between the two, saying that this is a positive for him because it will force him to try even harder to make the starting XI at Camp Nou. That will make the Camp Nou team even better. But which of these two fullbacks is better? Maxwell seems a lot more attacking minded, playing on the wing for part of last season and even chipping in a few goals. Meanwhile, Abidal seems better defensively and he will leave the bursting up the wing to Dani Alves on the other flank. Both of the fullbacks offer something different and it will be interesting to see who is Guardiola’s preference.

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Should Trezeguet Leave Juventus? Just by looking at the statistics, you can tell that David Trezeguet is a natural goal-poacher. With a goal ratio that is more than one goal every two games for Juventus, ‘Trezegol’ is currently the top-scoring foreigner in the history of Juventus. But having missed the majority of last season injured, it will be difficult for David to find a spot in the team, and might even find himself at the bottom of the pecking order, which means that Del Piero, Giovinco, Amauri, and Iaquinta would all be chosen over him. Juve might be able to cash in on the retired French international for approximately 7-10 million euros, which they could use to balance the books a bit after the purchase of Diego and Felipe Melo. --7amood

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Videogame: FIFA 09 Nintendo DS FIFA 09 for the Nintendo DS is like the gaming equivalent of an addictive snack that lacks real flavor, but you keep coming back for more, a bit like a boring bag of chips. The game features all the teams from the console versions. Arsenal, Man Utd, Barcelona--the gang's all here. You have three basic modes to choose from. There is Manager Mode, Tournament Mode, and Be a Pro Mode. One flaw is that you can only have one account in each of those modes at a time, but that is not one of the game's most criminal flaws.Manager Mode gives you the chance to control your team over five seasons and improve the team through training and the transfer system. The transfer system has a good search engine and is easy to use. However, you cannot sell players unless you include them in a swapping deal with another club or you release them. Not having the option to sell them for money creates some confusion. The training mini-games are repetitious and a few have tasks too tough for the ordinary player. The rewards quite flashily transform your players' overall ratings and skill ratings to a higher mark out of 100, yet none of them make a significant different on the team and the way you play. In other words: You might as well not bother. One extra criticism: A few of the game transfers are not up-to-date as of the game's release date (ex: Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane still at Spurs) and the developers should have fixed that up before the game's release. Especially the Robbie Keane transfer I mentioned because that happened 2-3 months before this game's release. Tournament Mode lets you compete in the cups, including the Champions League and World Cup, with no option to transfer players during the tournament. If you want a quick mix of all the good things you can get in manager mode, do tournament mode.

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Be a Pro Mode lets you take over a single player from a team over the course of a season. You get in-game feedback on your play. I have never been a fan of this mode but I am not able to give my usual constructive criticism here. Why? I can't access this mode of the game anymore! Whenever I attempt to go into this game mode, the game freezes and makes me reboot my DS!!!! Good thing I was never a fan of this mode anyway.But you're probably wondering how the game actually plays. The controls are spot on for the DS, yet the AI is not. More often than not, the AI will stupidly pass to you and then run around like a bunch of robotic hooligans. Defending you say? I call it more like just putting blobs there to create textures--the AI does not do well in defense or create many attacks, but they still do chip in the occasional unlikely goal. But regardless of what difficulty you pick, the AI is so stupid you should win most games quite easily, unless you do stupid too…The multiplayer mode gives two people the chance to face each other in a match or in a penalty shootout. It is nothing special but it thankfully gives you the option of playing with only one gaming cartridge.So, in conclusion, FIFA 09 for the Nintendo DS has quite a few features translated from the console version, yet the poor AI lets it down. And the lack of a Be a Pro Mode in my copy was very annoying. Talk about bang for your buck. But nevertheless, this is a good pick-up-and-play game if you are playing in short bursts, want a small challenge, and/or you are on a trip with a partner willing to challenge you in the game's multiplayer mode. Unless you are one of those people or a diehard soccer fan, this game is not for you. I recommend X2 Soccer 09 (or XM Football 09) on the iPod Touch as the best and cheapest handheld football experience. One last criticism: Where was the record-a-chant feature from the 08 edition? That was awesome!!! Graphics: 6.5 Controls: 7.5 Replay Value: 7.0 Sound 4.0 6.5 out of 10

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