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Archives for January 2012

Do two-footed tackles need kicking out?

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Alistair Magowan - BBC Sport | 13:53 UK time, Monday, 16 January 2012

One of the downsides of being an advocate for hard but fair tackling is that some people automatically assume that your feet are firmly planted in the destroyer's camp and you have no appreciation of the creative aspects of football.

There are more important aspects than winning the ball which players need to learn, such as keeping it in the first place. In fact, speaking to several people, it is not something that is widely coached as a prerogative. But, like Match of the Day pundit Lee Dixon, many supporters value the skill judging by the warm applause that is often heard in grounds up and down the country for a well-timed challenge.

The tackling debate has reached new heights recently because, while most would agree that dangerous tackles have no place in the game, the lines have been blurred as to what constitutes a fair one. While that grey area exists, there are legitimate concerns about whether tackling might be eradicated altogether.

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The merits of buying and moving in January

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Alistair Magowan - BBC Sport | 23:06 UK time, Monday, 9 January 2012

If ever a Premier League manager needed a warning on the pitfalls of splashing the cash in the January transfer window, they need look no further back than a year ago.

Last season, a record £225m was spent overall with Fernando Torres's £50m move from Liverpool to Chelsea helping fund the Reds' purchases of £35m Andy Carroll and £22.7m Luis Suarez.

The Uruguayan striker has easily been the most successful buy from that trio, his eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra apart, and the three goals scored by Torres and Carroll combined summed up the rest of their seasons at their new employers.

In fact, if you add in Chelsea's £21.3m capture of David Luiz, the two clubs forked out a combined £129m last January yet moved up three Premier League places between them.

This not only goes to show that the mid-season transfer window is a seller's market, but also that the real benefit in this period might actually be for clubs at the other end of the table.

Suarez, Donovan and Richardson have helped their respective clubs after signing in January

Suarez, Donovan and Richardson have helped their respective clubs after signing in January

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