Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Does Soccer Superleague Hold The Key To One Europe?

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If there is one common thread interwoven throughout all European cultures, it must be soccer, right? Perhaps in popular theory. But the conventional wisdom now hangs in the balance as the quest for the almighty buck ? that is, the supreme euro ? has eroded the very fabric of soccer (no offense to Pete Rozelle, but let?s call it what it really is: football). As ?European integration? becomes a buzz word for the 21st century, football will likely play an integral role in either facilitating or decelerating this cultural, political and economic merger of countries.

Football club owners have offered to help the cause by composing a framework for the future European SuperLeague, which would consist of the region?s most elite franchises. Europe has already made a transformation in showcasing athleticism, whether its unbridled fans are willing, as investors assemble to protect their shares in perhaps the most anticipated ?cash cow? in sports entertainment.

However, even top football officials have their doubts. FIFA president Sepp Blatter, arguably the most powerful man in football worldwide, has stated his strong opposition to a breakaway superleague.

Regardless, sports business experts insist that any successful venture in football integration would require the solidarity of ownership policies and fan participation. True, the former condition is already growing at an explosive pace. Corporate investors have estimated the economic feasibility of supporting ESL franchises in various cities across Europe. Plans have already been proposed to compete with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in forming the most marketable superleague. Media Partners International, a Milan-based consulting firm, has garnered over $1.2 billion investments from JP Morgan to sustain the ESL for the first three years. Judging from the success of professional sports in the United States, there is no telling of this league?s untapped potential.

If any doubts of European football?s growth still remain, then consider the burgeoning of players? salaries. Inter Milan recently acquired Italian striker Christian Vieri for an estimated $43 million, dwarfing the annual payroll of most professional franchises. And the issue of whether Vieri deserved more or less than, say, Michael Jordan (excluding endorsements) is irrelevant. For now, football club owners can afford these superstars because consumers are compliant to rising ticket prices.

However, ESL owners must not discount the relationship between European fans and their revered teams. Football, for countless decades in each country, has supplied a measurement of national identity. As Europeans, during the integration process, ponder the potential void of national traditions, football remains their sole source of patriotic autonomy.

If the ESL passes, then UEFA would be subject to drop one of its Cup competitions, likely the Cup Winners Cup. More importantly, UEFA stands to sacrifice two underlying principles which have sustained the organization?s existence ? a commitment to divide Cup proceeds in an equitable manner for all clubs, and to televise all games free of charge to European subscribers.

The ESL would consist of Europe?s top 32 (mostly large market) teams competing in a comprehensive tournament to determine the European football champion. If the league is supervised by UEFA, it will comprise of little commercial influence ? in which case, some officials suggest that a league without proper promotion or relegation will lose people?s interest in less than three years. But the traditionalists insist that UEFA?s policies, although diplomatic in nature, serve to protect the institution of football from an onslaught of manipulation by massive corporations.

Even if the ESL and its large market teams are successful in growing the sport of football to unprecedented financial and social levels, there will undoubtedly be significant ramifications to the remaining franchises. Once again, the argument of revenue disparity between small and large market teams will assume center stage. Instead of George Steinbrenner clashing with Bud Selig, it will be two others bickering ? without regard to the fans, any sport?s key ingredient.

The decision of what ownership structure to emulate remains undetermined. The real challenge, at this point, is securing the support of the regional community. It is clear that the combined prowess of European cultures, not the individual national interests, will ultimately ensure the success of supranational football. Owners cannot and will not force an unnatural medium of sports entertainment to their consumers. Most business leaders in the European Union have recognized that integration comes at a cost ? a lesson that football club owners are about to discover.

Despite the European Commission?s diplomatic efforts to balance competition with equal protection, the fussbudgets will continue to question the motives of not only owners but also everyone else involved.

The fruition of ESL may or may not advance European integration, but the fight to protect one of Europe?s most treasured assets ? football ? will surely accomplish the task.

[Originally Printed: Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal, 7/24/99]

? 2007 LineDrives.com, Michael Wissot,

Michael Wissot is a managing partner at SymAction Communications, a corporate communications and market research firm. He serves as an adjunct professor of communication at Pepperdine University and a political analyst for KABC talk radio in Los Angeles. Wissot ? an expert in crisis management, messaging, public relations and Internet communications ? previously worked as Vice President of Luntz Research, a premier public affairs firm. He has moderated focus groups and conducted surveys for Fortune 100 companies and leading industry associations. Wissot, a former aide to U.S. Senator John McCain, has contributed to high-level messaging projects for President George W. Bush, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and several other world leaders and CEOs. He served three years as CEO of Dentistry.com, a leading dentist-matching company. Wissot received a BA from James Madison University, a MBA from The University of Arizona, and a MIM from Thunderbird.

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Oman's Chances At The Soccer Gulf Cup - Abu Dhabi

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The much awaited soccer Gulf Cup in Abu Dhabi, UAE will commence on the 17th of January, 2007. The opening match will feature the biggest rivals in the region, the Sultanate of Oman and the host country, the United Arab Emirates.

The setting for this gulf cup has been pretty much identical to the 2004 one in Qatar in which 8 countries have been divided into 2 groups. Oman has been fixed in group A that also includes the UAE, Yemen and Kuwait.

At first glance, it looks like the Sultanate of Oman has finally managed to evade the group of death and has, this time around, fallen into the easier group out of the two. That being said, it is now faced with a very difficult task of battling it out with the host country in the opening match of the tournament.

In a recent survey on SoccerBlaze!, 66% of the participants voted that the Sultanate would acquire either third or fourth berth. 27% responded that Oman will exit from the group stages and 5% said that it will reach the final match, which will be a repeat of 2004. Let us have a closer look at group A and analyse our chances of success.

Sultanate of Oman's Preparations

Our preparation for the Gulf Cup started (or should have started) after the match against UAE in the Asian Cup qualifiers. We lost 0-3 to Jordan in Amman in the qualifiers and 2-0 to a youth Iraqi team and 1-0 in the Asian Games in Doha. I am sorry, I couldn't resist being sarcastic. Our beloved coach Milan Macala has set up a training camp in Qatar which, according to officials, includes a match against the Qatari national team.

United Arab Emirates soccer team

Just like Oman, UAE has never won the Gulf Cup. They however have the home advantage this time and an excellent coach, who also happens to be the one that performed wonders with Senegal leading them to the quarter finals of the 2002 World Cup, Bruno Metsu. With these factors in mind, the UAE seems to have a more than decent chance of qualification to the knockout stages of the competition.

Sultanate of Oman's last two encounters with the UAE were in the Asian Cup qualification rounds. Oman lost 1-0 away from home in UAE but then redeemed the loss with a 2-1 win in Muscat. It is worth mentioning that the UAE's performance has declined considerably since 2004. The Sultanate has a decent chance of beating the UAE but my vote unfortunately goes to the Emirates as I believe the opening match, home advantage and the crowd will all work in the favour of the UAE and prove to be too overwhelming for Oman.

Kuwait soccer team

On the 20th of January, Oman will meet Kuwait, in a repeat of the opening match of the Gulf Cup in Kuwait in 2003. Kuwait are the competition's record title winners with 9 titles in their pockets, winning 7 out of the first 10 Gulf Cups. Kuwait has however slipped out of contention in the last few years and most recently by failing to qualify to the Asian Cup in 2007, losing out to Australia and Bahrain. Football in Kuwait seems to be in its worse ever state and calling it a crisis would not be an exaggeration.

I believe Oman has the capacity to beat Kuwait and I hope that they do. I also believe that Kuwait will come into this match with 3 points already in hand following its match against Yemen. Therefore, anything but a win against Kuwait means the end of our venture in Abu Dhabi.

Yemen soccer team

Yemen is the weakest team in the region and have played only 2 Gulf Cup tournaments to date. Their best two results in the competition were a draw against Bahrain and a draw against, yes you guessed it right, the Sultanate of Oman. Throwing Yemen into the mix up does however cause one or two problems to the other teams in the group if it managed to pull out shocking results like the ones against Oman and Bahrain, respectively.


I am sorry but I just can't think of Oman as the winners of the Gulf Cup and I think you can excuse me for not comprehending this fact being an Omani that is used to the first place backwards. However, I believe Oman can make it to the knockout stages and ultimately to the third versus fourth match. Once again this is all dependent upon which Oman side shows up in Abu Dhabi, is it the side that were runner ups in Qatar in 2004? Or is it the side that was and easy prey for Jordan, Iraq and China in 2006?

Saied Mohammed is the owner and co-founder of SoccerBlaze.com, a privately owned Football/Soccer Blog with emphasis on football news, articles and discussions from the Sultanate of Oman.

We are constantly looking for more members and posters so please jump in, join us and share your views at the first Omani football / soccer blog

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Soccer Psychological Coaching - Techniques and Strategies

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With the individual and team goals set, the actual training begins. Physical training is not to be undermined but the important cognitive skills to be emphasized include relaxation techniques and task concentration. Handing down specific relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation is more effective than just telling them to relax. Equipping them with applicable means to follow your instructions instead of just expecting them to comply on every command is more effective.

Relaxation technique is crucial to performance because stress and anxiety is inevitable in every competition so the individual members should learn to handle this. Many distractions also arise in actual games so the members should learn how to block out unnecessary factors including negative feelings from inside and just stay focused on the actual task. They have to learn not to try controlling the uncontrollable factors during the game and not to put too much emphasis on winning or losing as this is the root cause of most of the players? stress. These require paramount mental effort and so, an adaptation of appropriate mind set is necessary. Staying positive about one?s abilities and having faith in his teammates is one. Teaching the ?here and now? rule is another which basically means anything that is not part of the task should be set aside. Learning the connection between stress and level of performance would probably be helpful too. The higher your stress is, the lower your performance goes.

A good coach should also be able to help the players understand that there is nothing to lose by trying instead of opting to be paralyzed with anxiety. And last but not the least, conditioning the athlete?s minds to view adversity in a positive way, however difficult, will ease the transition from being a novice player to a more professional and successful athlete.

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Soccer Coaching and Psychology

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SWOT Analysis of a Soccer Team
Before any strategy or intervention is applied, it is important for a coach to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the individual members and the team as a whole. This will serve as a guide as to how to approach them and the kind of professional relationship that should be developed, which area to focus on, and how to teach the required game skills to enhance their performance. The SWOT Analysis also includes the evaluation of opportunities and threats that comes along with the unique dynamics of the team.

Goal-Setting for a Soccer Team
The SWOT evaluation result will then be presented to the team followed by goal-setting. Team goals should be very specific, clear, and understandable because this is the end result of future endeavors, be it on training or actual situations. The individual and team goals provide a common guide for everybody and it also serves as a unifying force to begin with. Goals should be re-evaluated all throughout the season as a form of reinforcement as to why things are being done the way it is.

Game simulation
Physical training and learning new strategies will be in vain if not experienced in an actual game. There is no need to wait for the real match, though, because the players can be subjected to simulated games, making sure that everything is as close to the real thing as possible. The crowd, the palpable tension, real opponents and game plays. A coach can subject his team to informal matches, deliberately setting the stage to ensure that the situation will call for the athletes? gained knowledge and techniques during and as part of the training.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Psychology and Soccer

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It has long been recognized that physical components are not enough to make athletes excel in their fields. One of the latest concepts being applied to enhance the performances in sports is called cognitive psychology ? the study of brain mechanisms or human mental processes in relation to the way we perceive things, feel about things, solve problems, and the probable root cause of our behavior.

This paper will contain a detailed ten hour soccer team training plan and discuss the relationship of cognitive psychology to athletes? over-all performance focusing mainly on the information processing model of Whiting, Welford, and Schmidt. The contribution of cognitive psychology to enhancing the players? understanding and performance levels, the application of different theoretical approaches to a variety of sporting situations and the use of theory to enhance individual and team performance, specifically in soccer, will be explored.

There exists an array of sub-concepts under cognitive psychology which includes information processing. This elucidates the process in which our brain takes in information from the outside world through our senses, select and utilize the information which results to a decision, bringing about an output exhibited through behavior or actions, which is subjected to feedback from the environment.

The decision to pass the ball or to run for the goal is determined by the availability of a player in a more advantageous spot and the number of players guarding him (input). The success or failure of his moves (output) based on his decision is affirmed with a touchdown or a pass respectively (feedback). Now, the decision-making process involved during this split-second scenario is a product of simulated plays in which the player was trained and not born with. Through constant exposure to similar situation in the course of training, the learned skill has become intrinsic to a player?s mind which he was able to apply naturally in the actual game despite the pressured atmosphere...

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Free Live Football and Soccer - Even At 3PM on a Saturday Happy Days

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I am a football/soccer fan, always have been always will be. I love my football/soccer and I know there are thousands and thousands of people out there just like me.

Two weeks ago I received an e-mail from a friend of mine. He text me and said, you have got to log into your e-mail now and check out what I have sent you. I did as I was told and about 3 minutes later, I was the happiest football fan on the planet, at the point in time. I had discovered live football/soccer on the net for absolutely NO COST what so ever.

Now, we all know that live football/soccer on the box has been the cause of many, many family arguments. It clashes with Eastenders, Coronation Street, Emerdale, you know what I mean. Well, now there was a way to end those rows. Football/Soccer on the PC/ Laptop and the soaps on the box. Happy Days !!

I was so excited about this. I had to share it with my Dad. The only problem with this, was that my Dad is very new to computers and the internet. He has been on-line for about a year now and only recently upgraded to Broadband. I couldn?t visit it him, because of other commitments, but I wanted to get him up and running with my new discovery, for two reasons.

1. My mum could watch her soaps and give her control of the remote. That maybe a step to far though !

2. My Dad could cut costs without missing his Live football. Yes I got the football/soccer bug from my Dad, bless him. He is a pensioner now, so every saved penny is a bonus.

The only way I would be able to give him access, to this great online offer, would be to write an installation, easy to follow ?idiot guide,? with screenshots taking him through every step and every click. It took me longer than I thought, but the end justified the means.

I was so excited. I had to get a second opinion before I e-mailed it off to my Dad. So, I popped next door with a printed copy of my lovely, colourful guide. I sat in the kitchen with my neighbour?s wife having a cup of tea, while her hubby logged on to his PC and followed my instructions. It took him about 5 minutes, but ?SUCCESS? was achieved and he was as happy as I was.

I wasted no time in patting myself on the back, but the big test was still to come. I e-mailed a copy off to my Dad. I called him and explained, what I had just sent him. He printed of his copy. I sat on the other end of the phone, with a copy of the guide on the screen in front of me.

I was really pleased. In about 15 minutes he was done. The date was Feb 17th and we were both now watching Chelsea v Norwich FA cup 5th round match, Live on our PC?s, FOR FREE and even better than that; It was 3:20 PM on a Saturday. Sorry, but to coin a phrase, he was ?over the moon?. I was a very, happy chappy too !!

To make this work you need the following, but there is no EXTRA cost involved.

1. Broadband Connection (You are already paying for this)

2. Windows Media Player at least version 9(free download link is given for version 11) or real player

3. 10 minutes of your time and then you will be up and running

4. A Good Supply of ?cold ones.? Okay, you will have to pay for these

The choice is yours. Premier League, Coca Cola Championship & League. The FA Cup, Carling Cup, Champions League & UEFA Cup. The Italian Seria A, The Spanish La Liga, The French Le Championship, The German Bundesliga and much more.

You can even watch from a selection of movies. In February I watched the latest James Bond Movie ?Casino Royale?.

Get your Free Installation guide By Clicking on the following link. You know it makes sense: Free Live Football/Soccer. Even At 3PM on a Saturday. Happy Days Open it, download it and feel free to share it, with whoever you want. Enjoy and Have fun!

For More information go to my blog at http://greatoffersonline.wordpress.com/

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Soccer Socks

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When selecting soccer socks, it is important that users are familiar with their fit and purpose. This is because for users who are not used to wearing soccer socks may find their first attempt to be uncomfortable. Soccer socks are very unlike their regular counterparts and are much thicker than regular socks. They are available in pure cotton blends, cotton wool varieties and some may have a towel like appearance. Soccer socks are not available in ankle length varieties and hence, most company offered designs of soccer socks, stretch all the way to the calves when worn.

Soccer socks for amateurs and professionals differ greatly. For beginners the choices are much simpler. It is important to find a variety that can be worn comfortably with shoes because most of them are thick after wearing studs and soccer shoes and the fit may seem imperfect. For this reason, it is advisable to try new soccer socks with shoes while buying them. This may not always be possible as soccer socks are packaged and most companies consider the socks sold, once they are taken out of the packets. To combat confusion when buying, clients must always remember their regular sizes. This tendency prompts users to purchase soccer socks from the same manufacturer once they find a pair that suits them. A common practice to measure soccer socks is to wrap it around a tightly closed fit. This can be compared to a person's ankle size and its length can also be determined. Apart from this, most manufacturers print the sizes, material used, and care tips on the packaging.

Soccer socks are available in a variety of colors. This is because they provide support to shin and calf guards that are enclosed by the socks during play. Although they have to display great elasticity, it is important that the open end of the soccer socks do not boast a tight elastic band. Otherwise, it would disrupt normal blood flow and prove to be continuous source of irritation, apart from leaving prominent and agitating marks on the skin.

Socks provides detailed information on Socks, Heated Socks, Knee Socks, White Socks and more. Socks is affiliated with Fishnet Stocking.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Watch Live Soccer Online

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Are you tired of not being able to watch live soccer and miss your favourite football team because your cable or satellite subscription does not carry it? Are you a die-hard fan of one of Europe's best football players or, if you are that way inclined, just into the beautiful game because of those even more beautiful players? Whatever drove you to watch live soccer, surely you will be pleased to read this article.

With the advancement in online technology and quite often a minimum amount to pay, you will be able to watch live soccer on your computer providing you have a valid internet connection. You will not have to pay a high-priced cable subscription or shell out for expensive satellite equipment and installation charges.

The internet has progressed beyond recognition over the past few years and many aspects in everyday life rely on internet technology. From medical well being to academic issues, crime management and now sports telecasts, the internet has revolutionised the way we live our day-to-day lives.

With just minimal searching on the internet, it is possible to find websites which enable you watch live soccer online. For a low fee, sometimes one-off, sometimes annual, depending on the service you sign up to, you can watch a plethora of live football on your PC. Football is not the only subject matter you can watch, these websites can also grant you access to sports, comedy, films and music.

It is unlikely these websites actually stream any information themselves. They are more likely to act as a gateway and give you access to links to other services which provide the actual streaming service.

If you are concerned you may not get value for money, have a look on the internet and check the schedules offered by these websites for live streaming football. You will find you can watch most European matches usually restricted to satellite or cable restrictions and membership to one of these sites can grant you access to in excess of 10, 20 or even more matches every single week.

When you have signed up and are presented with a number of links to choose from, watching your preferred match is easy. Most matches are available through Windows Media Player or Real Player but some require specific peer-to-peer applications, but these are all freely available to download.

Once you have all this in place you will be able to access hundreds of local, regional and international broadcasts which can be accessed from wherever you are in the world as long as you are connected to the world wide web. Hours upon hours of entertainment is just a mouse click away!

It is possible to watch live football on the internet. Make the match more interesting by taking advantage of some of the free bets offers available.

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Collecting enamel football badges or soccer pins.

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The collecting of enamel badges or medals is not a recent phenomenon; however it is only in the last few years that they have received the attention they deserve. Should a collector choose to focus on enamel football badges there are many categories of badges to choose from. Areas of interest include: Premiership football clubs, Championship teams, Division One, Division Two, FA Stewards badges, referees badges, Football Association badges (County FA's etc). Alternatively, you may choose to collect Welsh or Scottish enamel badges. Another option is that of Non-league clubs, these enamel badges can be socially and historically interesting they often highlight connections between sport and local industry. Many older badges can now fetch a premium price while later additions remain affordable. Football is a team sport that is recognised around the world. While football may appear to have a universal meaning the term has been applied to a number of different, but related team competitions. Throughout the English speaking world a friendly rivalry exists due to different kinds of football played. Association football or soccer as it is also known is the most common and widely played form of the game. However, North America is renowned for American football which resembles another form of the game that is called rugby. Rugby football is played in many countries but its associations are strongest in the United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Rugby football is divided into two categories or codes Rugby Union and Rugby League.To complicate things further the term football is also applied to Australian Rules and Gaelic football.

www.sportskerlectables.com Enamel badges offer a modestly priced collecting field for anyone interested in social history and sport. They can be displayed relatively easily and decoratively without taking too much room. Enamel badges were not only manufactured for sporting events, indeed their association with sport was probably influenced by their introduction in the work place and political arena. www.sportskerlectables.com

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Success Lessons From Soccer - How To Win or Lose In The Game Of Life

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Soccer matches are all about scoring goals and being winners. As a result, soccer can hold up a mirror to life since many humans also want to achieve goals and to be winners in the game of life. There is much to be learned about life in general from soccer players, managers and commentators.

When you listen to commentators on soccer matches, the key words they use again and again when teams are winning are words about character and attitude like belief, excitement, confidence, effort and so on. Soccer skills and strategies are important but mean little without the right attitude. Team managers urge their players to show focus, determination and maximum effort. They tell them they should expect to win and not to show too much respect for their opponents no matter how famous they are. I love listening to the comments of the great soccer managers. They have all been to hell and back. They are praised and popular when their teams win. They are criticised and even sacked when their teams fail to win. They know the heights of elation and the depths of despair. They have to find ways to deal with both and to keep motivating their teams to win. Gordon Strachan took over as manager of Celtic, one of the top two clubs in Scotland, in 2005. It was not long before he experienced "the worst night of my life" Bratislava beat Celtic 5-0 in the Champions league, the top European competition. His watch stopped after the match and he still wears it to remind himself that it was the worst night of his life. Celtic, the pride of Scotland, had been humiliated by a less famous team. Other failures seemed small to him by comparison. We can all learn to deal with difficult situations by reminding ourselves of worst situations in our past or by imagining how much worse our lives could be than they actually are. None of us knows for sure what will happen to us tomorrow. We could be seriously ill or even dead. Gordon has faced this possibility already. He told the media that on his gravestone he would like these words carved: "This is better than that night in Bratislava." He uses the humour of exaggeration to deal with the criticisms of the media when things go wrong. A reporter commented when his team lost a match in Scotland: "Bang, there goes your unbeaten run. Can you take it? " "No," said Strachan. "I'm just going to crumble like a wreck. I'll go home, become an alcoholic and maybe jump off a bridge. Hmmm?.

I think I can take it, yeah." He knows the importance of positive thinking if you wish to achieve success. One reporter foolishly asked: "There's no negative vibes or negative feelings here?" Strachan replied: "Apart from yourself, we're all quite positive round here. I'm going to whack you over the head with a big stick; down negative man, down." Strachan often speaks with disarming honesty and schoolboy cheek. He is ready to admit that he and his players are not always at their best. He is ready to face reality. Facing up to reality is a key characteristic of the successful. When he managed a team in England, a reporter asked him: "So, Gordon, in what areas do you think Middlesbrough were better than you today?" Strachan replied: "What areas? Mainly that big green one out there...." Strachan has had his defeats but recently he has led his latest team, Celtic, to undisputed victory in the Scottish Premier League. He is widely accepted as a great manager. Another great manager now works in the English Premier League. He is Jose Mourihno, the manager of Chelsea. He came to England in June 2004 and soon showed his confidence in himself and his players. He wants only to be judged by the results. A good manager wins. A bad one loses: "I'm not a defender of old or new football managers. I believe in good ones and bad ones; those that achieve success and those that don't. Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one" He soon proved himself to be a 'special one' in England as well as in Portugal, his native country. As the name 'the special one' suggests he believes in himself in a big way. A key factor in his success in England is his self-belief and a rich Russian backer who allows him to buy the best players in Europe. You can safely bet money that Chelsea will win almost all their matches. The odds are not great but you could put ?100 on Chelsea to win and make an easy ?26 from your bet. Of course, this does not always work out. No team is perfect! Mourinho is passionate about soccer but retains his sense of perspective and humour. Recently he was asked in London if he was concerned about losing the championship to his main rivals, Manchester United. His reply was typical of him: "No, I'm more concerned about bird 'flu."

The assembled press started laughing. "Seriously; it's that swan in Scotland that concerns me. It's not that far from here!" (The swan was the first creature with bird 'flu in the UK in 2006) Over the last few weeks, his team, Chelsea, have been criticised for having players sent off for breaking the rules. When Jose was asked about his success away from home against West Brom, he commented ironically: "Maybe we won because we played with ten men. That is our best tactic at the moment." However, he realises that the main reason Chelsea win so often is as follows:

"We have top players and, sorry if I'm arrogant, we have a top manager." Public confidence is so rare in the UK that it is often mistaken for arrogance. Jose does not believe in having favourites; he believes in the power of the team rather than the individual: "I don't want special relations with one of them (his players). I hate to speak about individuals. Players don't win you trophies, teams win trophies, squads win trophies." Another great manager is Harry Redknapp of Portsmouth. He commented about his players in a match with Burnley which ended in a 2-2 draw: "When the crowd was on their backs no one wanted to try anything in case they got booed. They were defensive and wanted to avoid mistakes." Harry understands human psychology. If we are too worried about appearing foolish or making mistakes we will fail to make things happen and we will not make full use of our abilities. We go into our shells and play safe. I remember feeling like this when I played cricket at school. I tried to avoid being anywhere near the ball in case I dropped a catch. It was many years before I realised that I was quite good at catching! A commentator remarked: "Harry knows how to get his teams going and how to restore their confidence. Now they expect to win at Fratton Park (the Portsmouth ground). They firmly believe they will win." Recently they have won three games in a row and are on their way to escaping relegation to a lower division. Another manager, Stuart Pierce, of Manchester City also knows the importance of confidence: "We need to go out and really believe we can play a bit." What key success lessons can we learn from the above? Skill is important but attitude is even more important. We should expect to win and not show too much respect for the obstacles in our path whether they are human or otherwise and whether they are real or imaginary. We need to believe in our own ability and expect to win even if this makes us seem arrogant. We should handle failures by reminding ourselves that things could be much worse. Retaining our sense of humour also helps. Teamwork is a key factor in many types of achievement. We should not be worried about making mistakes whether we are playing soccer or cricket or the game of life. We need to face up to reality and be willing to be judged by the results we achieve as well as the effort we put in. On the whole, I think, that the effort we expend is more important. We cannot always control the results but we can control the effort we put in. The same manager can lose with one team and win with another. He is still the same person and he still made the same efforts. I'll leave you with a final quote from Gordon Strachan who has been both a winning and a losing manager: A reporter asked: "Gordon, can we have a quick word?" "Velocity", replied Gordon as he walked off. About the author John Watson is an award winning teacher and fifth degree black belt martial arts instructor. He has recently written several books about achieving your goals and dreams. One of these can be found here http://www.motivationtoday.com/36_laws.php

John Watson is an award winning teacher and 5th degree martial arts instructor. One of his motivational ebooks can be found at http://www.motivationtoday.com/36_laws.php

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Soccer Betting

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Soccer (also called Futbol or European Football) betting is very popular in many parts of the world. In fact, the only place that it's not is the United States. The game of soccer can be claimed as the world's true sport, but the United States does not enjoy soccer anywhere near as much as other parts of the globe. As with any other game, it's important to know the game before you put down your cash. Thanks to the Internet keeping up with teams and getting information on foreign teams is a snap. You can find some wild money lines in soccer.

If you are brand spanking new to soccer betting, you are in for a treat--and possibly a headache. One thing that's both good and bad is the number of leagues around the world. It's good because there is plenty of soccer action to wager on, but it can be overwhelming at the same time. It's recommended that you start by focusing on the soccer league(s) in your region or a region that interests you. This will allow you to become an expert in that area and you will do much better. Once you get the hang of it, you can expand your horizons if you want.

To win more money and more consistently you will need to know how a soccer game works--at least to some degree. The more you know about soccer and the more you understand the flow, the better off you will be. This task can be accomplished quickly be browsing some Internet websites and reading the data they offer. While you are searching around, look for pages on some of the teams you might be betting on. Specifically, look for any information on how they play the game and anything about their scoring and defense.

The main question is about money. Can you make real money betting on soccer? The quick answer is yes. Soccer presents some great opportunities for the informed sports bettor. When you place a bet on a soccer match, you bet on the winner outright. There is no point spread--although some sports books do proposition bets with goals. You can also bet on the match ending in a draw, which happens semi-frequently. Betting on the draw usually results in a nice payoff if it comes in. Many draws will be +200 or higher.

The lines in soccer matches are usually pretty interesting. Matches that feature teams who are close in talent have plus-money lines, which is different from other sports. For example, you might have the favorite being a +125 and the underdog being a +175. No matter whom you choose, you are getting value for your money. Even if you are not experienced with soccer betting or soccer in general, it can sometimes be easy to spot the big favorite. Teams that are overwhelmingly dominant in a match might be -500 favorites. Obviously, there's no value here and smart sports bettors should stay away from such matches.

Here's an example betting line.

West Ham United +120 Bolton Wanderers +175 Draw +225

As you can see, there's value in all three wagers and the line is easy to interpret. It's important to note that typically, after 90 minutes of play, the game is final. The sports book might not take Overtime, the Golden Goal rule and penalty kicks (outside of regulation) into consideration.

Overall, soccer betting is definitely something sports bettors should look into. The game gives sports bettors great value for their money and there is plenty of action to go around. If you have not tried betting on soccer yet, give it a look. You just might find your new moneymaker.

Sebastien Veilleux is the founder of AdvantageSportsBetting.com. He's a sports betting expert. Advantage Sports Betting features horse wagering and sports betting.

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World Cup Soccer: Football that unites the world.

Click Here To Know How To Play The Best Soccer of Your Life


In every sporting event one can invariably find a player, a team, a nation, poised to become the next memorable story - a story that will survive the test of time and go down in history. The FIFA World Cup is unique, in that, every country can qualify. It is the only tournament that can unite the world with its common passion for the sport. It is a tournament where everyone celebrates, dances, and rejoices in the streets of their capitals, exulting in the spectacular feats of their players, their teams and their nation. But what makes the World Cup particularly extraordinary is the national pride that it inspires, especially for the first time qualifiers. Since the first tentative World Cup in Uruguay in 1930, World Cup history was not only about the winner or winning the title, but about the stories. World Cup history resonates with the back-stories that echo through time - of players, teams and nations that surprised the world by achieving the unexpected. From the poignant moments of the underdogs and the worlds Cinderella teams, to the birth of legends and the brilliance of the football giants - the World Cup brings joy to every nation. It is about the stories of players, teams and nations taking it to the highest levels; the stories about emotions and pride that unites the world.

At 2006 FIFA World Cup, we welcome the heavy favorites - from the European continent and all the way to the South American continent. For these giants, winning is everything. In their spirit is held the promise of thrilling showdowns, individual feats of brilliance and the majestic harmony in motion of a team united in its quest for the world's most coveted prize in football. Will the European contenders - Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, France, and England have the firepower to overcome the South American power forces from Brazil and Argentina, or will the world be dancing to the samba beat again this year?

What about the other European contenders, the lesser known South American teams, or the North American and Central American zone teams? Or better yet, the Australians? Let's not overlook the African continent! Will the trophy finally make its first trip south of the Mediterranean Sea? For that matter, even the Asian continent and their desire to bring Asian football to new international acclaim should be considered.

At the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, we hope to see these underdogs, long shots, and Cinderella teams. There is always something special about the underdogs for winning is not everything to them. Simply by qualifying to walk onto the world stage, they have realized their goals and sparked the hopes of their nation. Armed with this impossible hope, win or lose, they are there to defend their national pride, and valiantly defend it they will, sometimes to the very chagrin and amazement of disbelieving onlookers.

As football fans across all continents count down to the opening day of 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, BetUS Sportsbook has launched its 2006 World Cup betting portal for soccer betting enthusiasts around the world. What a day it shall be, June 9th 2006! What a month it shall be, until the truth will set us all free on July 9th 2006! The whole world will be looking to Germany from June to July, watching history in the making. There will be sorrow, there will be joy. There will be dreams crushed, there will be dreams made. There will be silence in the streets, there will be rejoicing and dancing in the streets. After all, this is the World Cup, the tournament of tournaments. So may the best national team win!

Natalie Aranda writes about sports and entertainment.

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