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Archives for February 2012

Remembering when England mastered the Dutch

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Chris Bevan | 09:59 UK time, Tuesday, 28 February 2012

It is a goal you could probably watch all day. Paul Gascoigne bursts into the box and plays in Teddy Sheringham, who shapes to shoot but wrong-foots the defender, before rolling the ball across to an unmarked Alan Shearer to arrow his shot into the top corner.

"You have to say it's magnificent," was the verdict of veteran BBC commentator Barry Davies at the time, words which still ring true today.

Many of you have probably guessed I am talking about England's third goal in their 4-1 demolition of the Netherlands in their final group game at Euro 96, and most of you will have already seen it countless times already too. If not, please make sure you watch the clip below, it's definitely worth your while.

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Liverpool cup win also personal triumph for Dalglish

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Chris Bevan | 08:09 UK time, Monday, 27 February 2012

Wembley

Speaking in the bowels of Wembley Stadium in the aftermath of Liverpool's thrilling Carling Cup victory over Cardiff City, Reds boss Kenny Dalglish spelt out how the club's first trophy in six years was important to "an awful lot of people".

And he put it down to "the work of everyone, not just me".

What Dalglish did not elaborate on was exactly what it meant to him personally. For that, we will have to remember his reaction to Anthony Gerrard's missed penalty that settled a topsy-turvy shoot-out at the end of an extraordinary game.

Dalglish was clearly visibly moved as he celebrated his first trophy in English football since he won the 1995 Premier League title with Blackburn.

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Seedorf predicts the shape of football's future

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Chris Bevan | 10:44 UK time, Wednesday, 22 February 2012

During his glittering 20-year playing career in the highest echelons of European football, Clarence Seedorf has seen some dramatic changes to the game he loves. The legendary AC Milan star predicts there are more on the horizon too.

While Uefa's Financial Fair Play ruling is the current hot topic among the Champions League elite, Seedorf is a believer in the more revolutionary ideas which he says are afoot to reshape the game on this continent.

We are talking about a European Super League, or "an NBA of football" as Seedorf puts it. As he explains, the principle would be for fewer matches each season for the top players, but of higher quality. Crucially - and undoubtedly controversially - it would involve the biggest clubs leaving their domestic leagues to take part.

"It is not an easy thing to do because of who you would have to exclude but I have heard about a project they have already in some kind of box," Seedorf, who has won four Champions League titles with three different clubs, told me.

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Seedorf looking to turn Champions League tables

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Chris Bevan | 11:28 UK time, Monday, 13 February 2012

English clubs have ended AC Milan star Clarence Seedorf's dream of a fifth Champions League triumph on his last three attempts but this year the boot might just be on the other foot.

When European football resumes this week, it will do so with the prospect of there being no clubs from these shores in the quarter-finals of the continent's most prestigious club competition for the first time since Blackburn's failure in the 1995-96 season, a statistic which is more telling when you remember that we have had entered at least four teams every year since 2002.

After the failure of both Manchester clubs to get beyond the group stage, England's two survivors must put their stuttering domestic form behind them as they face tricky Anglo-Italian tests for a place in the last eight. Arsenal against Seedorf's AC Milan, and Chelsea against Napoli.

For the Rossoneri, the former is also a chance for revenge for their defeat - as holders - by the Gunners at this stage of the Champions League in 2008. They have not been beyond the last 16 since, with their two subsequent campaigns being ended there by Manchester United in 2010 and Tottenham in 2011.

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