Soccer Boot Use Tips To Prolong Life And Maximize Effectiveness

Choosing the right boot for playing is very important because it can maximize performance while in the field of play. Size and comfort are some of the most important elements to consider when getting a pair. But in order to keep your boots in good shape for longer so you can continue enjoying maximum effectiveness, you would need to use them in the proper manner. Below are some soccer cleat use tips that can help you achieve just that.

Tip 1 – Wear the right cleats for the right surface type. Soft ground cleats for instance, should not be used on hard surfaces otherwise they will easily wear and tear. Go for ground specific boots or choose a pair that is suitable for all types of grounds for more convenience.

Tip 2 – Loosen up the boot laces. You may want the boot to remain in place but tight laces can be pretty uncomfortable for your feet. Try loosening them to last eyelet only tightening them again up the highest eyelet. A good lace fit reduces stress to forefoot and this makes the fit more comfortable for you.

Tip 3 – Use cleats that are suitable for your foot shape. Your cleats should not be subjected to pressure on areas not designed to take up such pressure otherwise they will break easily. If you have wide feet, then keep off narrow shoes and instead select cleats that are designed for wide feet otherwise you will end up damaging the area where the outsole meets the upper. If possible, try walking around in the new pair just to have a fee before buying.

Tip 4 – Use more than one pair of football boots. It may be an expensive option but giving your cleats, some break ensures that you do not overuse them hence you prolong their life. If you are always practicing and taking part in matches, then using multiple pairs should be a very good idea to extend the life of your boot.

Tip 5 – Replace the studs when there is a need to. Cleats that come with detachable studs can be very reliable. Let the replacement of the studs be dictated by how often you use the boots and the conditions under which you use them on. It would be a very good idea to replace the studs as soon as they start becoming uneven because it is an issue that can throw you off balance and possibly even cause injuries.

Tip 6 – Break in your cleats. It is never a good idea to use your new cleats in a match before you break them in as it can lead to blistering and make your play very uncomfortable. Use them for light exercises and stuff them with newspaper so you break them in without causing any damage to them. It is a process that eliminates the initial tightness that comes with the boots giving you a more comfortable fit when it is time to play a major game.

It is also important that you wash the cleats properly depending on the materials and let them air dry before storing them in the best way.

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All Cleats Are Not The Same

While you are new to the games, you don’t digest the idea of cleats of different kinds of different sports. Cleats are external attachments to the lower end of the shoe sole. They are present to improve traction to the kind of ground the sport is being played on. They come in varieties like detachable or fixed to choose from. The three typical types of studs are bladed, rounded/conical and hard grounded. The materials used to make them are rubber, plastic or metal-tipped.

Depending on the sport you opt for, the shoes with cleats change. The combination of materials and types differ from the surface of play for traction.

For Baseball:

Most of the shoes the professionals prefer for baseball have front cleats to dig into the soil and help for a quick acceleration. Improving the force needed to catch a ball or make a run, the baseball shoe’s design help maneuver the feet and pump with the right traction. These are also designed as such, as the sport doesn’t involve ant stepping between the players.

For Football:

For this very particular sport, the cleats are longer than usual. This helps the feet to make easy cuts and turns by swift digging into the grass and soil. Moreover, the leather on them is thicker than the rest to protect the feet when stepped upon. They come in three heights; low cuts, for swift positionings like that of receivers and cornerbacks; mid cuts for the running backs and quarterbacks and finally high cuts, for less mobile positions like defensive line of players.

Generally heavier in overall construction, these shoes are typically made up of leather or synthetic materials. The quality is designed to withstand heavy usage even in dirt, rain, mud or snow.

For Lacrosse:

Might think it to be similar to that of the football, but no they are similar to that of baseball providing toe cleat for quick side movements and stability. Its weight is similar to that of soccer cleats. Moreover, these have mid-level cuts to offer appropriate ankle support. For the dig into the dirt or turf, the top-quality makers usually install eight to ten nubs on the bottom. As ankle rotation or high impact blow is common in lacrosse injuries, these are designed to provide maximum protection.

For Soccer:

Made mainly for running, these are very versatile in its design. The soccer cleats can be worn in other sports, but no vice versa so you should choose wisely. It is not at all safe to wear lacrosse and baseball shoes on the soccer field, because of their front toe cleats. For soccer, it’s always a low cut, evidently because of the rapid movements needed to drive the ball with complete stability. It’s interesting to know that, these are the lightest among all the categorical sports as they are usually made of rubber polyurethane outsole. To keep the center of gravity of a player’s feet, these shoes do not have midsoles. The upper is either leather or synthetic.

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Race Your Match With The Soccer Cleats

Do you have a football match near time? Are you looking for best and cheap Soccer Cleats? Need any support in this regard? Here we are giving few tips and tricks on choosing Soccer Cleats for your upcoming match. Football boots are called soccer cleats in northern America. Unlike normal football boots, these have studs on the outsole of the boot which improve the grip of the shoes. The modern cleats are made with such a material which gives comfort while keeping the safety of the player on top priority. Unlike traditional ones, they offer a range of comfort without covering the entire ankle which means free air flow and less sweat during the match.

However, just because you are playing football you don't have to wear soccer cleats. Depending on the time, place and position of the wearer the kind of boots you use may vary. These are useful to you only when you are a lead player and need constant movement across the ground and they suit to such grounds where the surface is slippery and needs a grip. Now let's look at the composition of soccer cleats and tips to choose one that fits you. Any cleat is made up of three major components ie, Upper, midsole and outsole. The upper sole and the midsole are made up of the same material and are intended to provide comfort, support and great feel to the player. The only variation in various soccer cleats lies in the design, technology and material used in their manufacturing process.

Perhaps, a wide range of difference lies in their outsole based on which you need to select the cleats of your comfort. The outsole is nothing but the lower part or bottom of it. This part makes a huge difference among different models of these cleats. There are different soccer cleats for different places of play. If you are playing an indoor match you ought to choose indoor cleats which are generally flat surfaced, low-cut cleats with a slightly harder surface. If you are playing on a harder outdoor or on artificial turf, then you must choose turf cleats. These have slightly raised patterns on the bottom that makes your play smooth and safe.

If you are playing outdoor match soccer cleats designed for outer space must be used. These are made up of hard plastic, rubber or metal studs which enable the player to move, run, turn and accelerate quickly and safely. The cleats outdoor are specially made for hard surfaces which need traction preventing a player from slipping on any sort of ground and under any circumstances.

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Technology Industry Risk in the BRIC – Where Should Your Firm Invest in 2013?

Without a doubt the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) – four of the world’s largest emerging economies, have massive economic and investment potential, especially within the technology industry. According to Euromonitor International if the BRIC countries are able to maintain their current growth rate, the combined economies of these four global powerhouses could be worth more in US dollar terms than the G6 (Germany, France, Italy, Japan, UK and the US) by 2041. Both the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Personal Disposable Income (PDI) have developed exponentially among the BRIC nations over the last decade. This growth has fueled numerous Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) across each country making Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) a formidable business venture for any major corporations. PPP deals can often be complex, financially demanding and extremely time consuming with projects lasting several years. However, under the right economic conditions and proper business strategy, they can offer significant benefits to the private business sector, the consumer and national governments. Each country may pose a different risk and the success of these projects would largely depend on the country’s ability to handle such risks and minimize interruptions to the projects. Our paper examinees the comparative risk, opportunity, overall economic climate, comparative industry market potential and structure within each BRIC countries and ultimately making a recommendation on which country to invest within the technology sector.

Brazil

According to data compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Brazil is currently at a score of a «BBB» in its overall country risk assessment. This is otherwise known as an «investment grade status. Based on this assessment, Brazil is considered to be a low-moderate risk country to invest in depending on agency rating. Brazil is abundant in natural resources like quartz, diamonds, chromium, iron ore, phosphates, petroleum, mica, graphite, titanium, copper, gold, oil, bauxite, zinc, tin, and mercury. According to Bloomberg Media «Its natural riches have since propelled this nation of 200 million people to the top tiers of global markets. Brazil’s economy has ascended the ranks of the world’s largest, from 16th in 1980 to 6th today.» Brazil’s large government debt and economic deficits in the 1990’s facilitated private investment in various industries. The Brazilian Privatization Program from 1990-2002 led to privatization of 33 companies, an estimate 105 Billion in national revenue and increment in the investment opportunities, particularly within the technology driven telecommunications industries which represented 31% of this movement.

Reports regarding Brazil’s economic future have varied widely. Despite unstable performance results across Brazil’s five regions reported this year, the economic outlook for Brazil is fairly positive. The Wall Street Journal recently reported Standard & Poor’s downward revision in Brazil’s outlook to «negative» from «stable. » According to the Economist Intelligence Unit «long-term growth forecast anticipates more rapid average annual GDP growth over the next 19 years (3.8%) than over the past 25 (2.8%). Improvements in infrastructure and education, trade expansion, a broader presence of multinational business, a reduction in the debt-service burden and the development of Brazil’s huge oil reserves will mitigate slower labor force growth and help to sustain labor productivity growth at 2.7%.»

The current political focus In Brazil is rapidly shifting to next year’s general election. President, Dilma Rousseff (of the leftist Partido dos Trabalhadores) who became the first female president in the nation’s history in 2010, announced her bid for another four-year term this past February. President Rousseff remains extremely popular despite corruption scandals, weak economic growth and a resurgence of inflation, particularly due to the fact that unemployment remained low at 5.8% when compared to historical trends. With respect to political risk Brazil is moderately stable in comparison to other BRIC nations. «Campaigning for the October 2014 elections in Brazil has already begun, President Dilma Rousseff’s popularity has helped reduce the scope for sensitive reforms and contaminating the policy environment», according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.6 Furthermore, President Rousseff was ranked by Forbes Magazine as the #2 most powerful woman in the world. Many International investors are attracted to Brazil because of its stable political and economic environment; however they do face very high levels of bureaucracy, taxes, crime and corruption that typically are far greater than in their home markets.

Brazil’s economy is slowly recuperating from the 2011-12 downturns, but Brazil’s potential growth rate is much lower than in 2004-10, when it grew by 4.5% annually. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit «The financial services sector will grow above the overall rate, but it will lose some dynamism as credit growth slows. Credit has more than doubled since 2003 in GDP terms, to 53% as of February 2013.»

«With respect to financial risk, the Brazilian financial system is exposed to the effects of volatile international markets, especially for commodities and capital. Over the past decade, Brazil’s financial sectors assets have doubled particularly due to expansion of the securities and derivatives markets, and heavy investments from home and abroad.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit «With an estimated population of 195m and GDP of US$2.3trn in 2012, Brazil has the largest financial services market in Latin America. However, income and wealth remain highly concentrated. A continued trend towards formalization of businesses and the labor force will support financial deepening. Rising incomes will lift demand for financial services, but Brazil’s labor-market dynamics are becoming less favorable than in the previous decade.»

Some economists have suggested that Brazil may become a victim of its own success. The gross public debt ratio remains high forcing the government’s borrowing requirement to also stay high. According to Dimitri Demekas assistant director in the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets department «Rapid credit expansion in recent years has supported domestic economic growth and broader financial inclusion, but could also create vulnerabilities.» Nevertheless a series of additional infrastructure improvements, it’s growing population, abundant natural resources and anticipated investments from the forthcoming 2014 world Cup and 2016 Olympics promise to keep Brazil at the top of global financial strategies for the years to come.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, using the average industry risk rating for the technology sector in 2013, Brazil scores a 43.5. In order to examine the risk vs. return, we pair this with the Economic Intelligence Units business environment score. Given on a scale of 1-10, we multiply this by 10 for purposes of comparison throughout this paper; we get 66.9 for Brazil, representing an excellent opportunity within the technology sector.

Russia

According to data compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Russia currently is scores a «C» value, (54 points) in its overall risk assessment. Based on this assessment, Russia is considered to be a moderately risky country to invest in. Some of those risks include the «opaque and corrupt administration, over-reliance on commodities production and the ill-functioning judiciary.»

With respect to political risk, Russia scored a «C» value (55 points) according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. President Vladimir Putin has seen various protests during his many terms, however; the country is not booming as it was in the decades immediately following the Cold War. It is evident that the government is intervening more in the economy now, causing more of a further disconnect for the working middle class. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, «there are signs that disillusionment is spreading among ordinary Russians». With the country potentially lacking political stability, investors and other countries will not want to continue to do business with Russia.

With respect to financial risk, Russia scored a value of «C» (58 points), according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Russia lacks heavy involvement from the government in the banking sector; therefore, it has been difficult to achieve any sort of reform for the baking industry. Furthermore, there is uncertainty in the position of the banking sector and its regulation and supervision by the government. When investors and business partners cannot trust the country’s central bank, it creates many issues for the country. Access to external financial and a weakened ruble, certainly do not attract companies to conduct business in Russia.

Just like the rest of the world, Russia suffered from the economic crisis that had a ripple effect on the entire global marketplace. GDP decreased by 7.8% during 2009, which affected the country in many ways. Russia saw a decline in the external demand for various commodities. While the economy and GDP fluctuated during the years following, Russia was still not seen as a favorable country to invest in partly because of the large uncertainty towards the political sector as well as the lack of confidence in the government nor financial stability.

Russia scored a 52.475 average risk on the Technology sector while the country scored a 58.6 on business environment. This combination of higher risk and lower opportunity makes Russia the least favorable country of the BRIC for technology investment based on the current economic and risk factors.

India

The Economist Business Intelligence unit «estimates that real GDP growth (on an expenditure basis) slowed to 3.4% in fiscal year 2012/13.» The Business Intelligence unit believes that India’s economy has bottomed out. The country is currently at a low point in their economic cycle with the slowest growth in ten years having taken place in the 12 months preceding March 2013. This however is good news for future investments in the country as recent economic reforms, lower interest rates and wholesale price inflation are expected to cause a real GDP growth of 6.2% in fiscal year ending 2014.

From this point on through 2030, India is predicted to be a hot bed for economic growth, making this an excellent target for global investment. India is forecasted to grow at an average of 6.4% from 2012-2030, making the country the fastest growing large economy in the world during this time. However with this growth, India will face some new challenges that could be a cause for concern.India is depending more on external investments as it continues to open its economy. This could be a risk factor for the country as it has previously been a closed economy and has enjoyed the protections from the economic downturn of 2008-2009 because of this. With the new global investments, this protection from outside influences will no longer be as strong. There is also some concern that foreign investments have recently slowed after a strong 2012 due to investors waiting to see how political uncertainty plays out.

India benefits from a relatively healthy debt to GDP ratio with the sovereign risk of the country falling between 45 and 48 for the 12 months preceding June 2013. The country has low non-performing loan (NPL) ratio’s and enjoys a Banking Sector risk of 49-51 during this same time. Though if the country adhered to international criteria for defining NPL’s, this number would be higher. The currency is trending upward from 44-47 in the last 12 months due to economic reforms following India’s fiscal and trade deficits as well as high inflation.

In addition to India’s new need for capital infusion, the country has suffered political scandals revolving around corruption in the last three years. The country has also lost several key western allies as speculation rises that Congress will call elections early before their term ends in 2014.1 This political risk makes investment in the short term unadvisable until the political fallout surrounding the election can be determined.

Though India as a country has a lower risk ranking and an excellent forecast for economic growth, the technology sector will have to navigate some new terrain in order to continue growth. India’s Technology sector risk averages 52.6, likely due to the saturation of India’s IT services within the US. As India’s service providers look for ways to add value and take advantage of cloud computing technology offerings, they must also look for customers outside of the US, which is not an easy task, especially considering that 9% of the 55 Asian companies in the list of the top 500 Global firms utilize outsourcing as a strategy. When weighted against the countries adjusted business environment rating of 60.4, India becomes the third rank in BRIC investment targets.

China

China’s economy is the second largest and an important source of revenue for most multinational firms. China’s growth has held up better than Brazil and India and the economy’s expansion is expected to be 7.8% in 2014. Tightening labor markets and supportive government policy are expected to sustain rapid income growth in the next two years.

Although major political reforms are not expected, significant fiscal changes may be unveiled in late 2013 and in the meantime, authorities have tightened monetary policy. While economic growth rates are trending downward, real GDP growth in 2013 is still expected to be 8.5%.

The degree of government interference in the economy remains a worrying factor although the private sector is increasingly important. China’s domestic demand of goods is expected to grow faster than its export markets. Although government has lowered man trade barriers in order to encourage more imports, still access to some sectors remains difficult.

China’s leaders want continuing sustainable economic growth as well as enduring political control. The past emphasis on economic development is now being altered in favor of social priorities. Another challenge facing the government is to rebalance the economy, which is dependent on high levels of investment spending. Income growth will gradually boost the contribution of domestic consumption to economic expansion, but difficult reforms (particularly in the financial sector) will be required if household spending is to be fully unleashed.

China’s business environment will become more favorable in the future, with its scores for most categories in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s business environment rankings model improving. The biggest improvements are in categories that will benefit from the government’s efforts to reform the financial sector and open the capital account but a number of other categories continue to score poorly by global and regional standards. Risks to China’s political stability, continue to drag down the political environment score. The only category for which the country’s score worsens is macroeconomic conditions. Its economy’s massive size and rapid growth means that China boasts one of world’s highest scores for market opportunities.

Although they are going through economic and social changes that threaten political stability, their security risk is fairly low and the overall risk of doing business in China is moderate to high. Popular discontent has been on a rise due to the rising costs of living, income disparity, urban unemployment, land seizures and corruption. Major reforms to address these issues look unlikely as the Chinese Communist Party will remain in power for the foreseeable future. They lack national standards and regulatory consistency is weak, enforcement is poor and political interference makes the legal and regulatory risks high. For this reason, foreign-invested enterprises avoid taking disputes to domestic courts if they can go to international arbitration instead.

Progress on the financial sector reform has begun to accelerate, China’s banking and capital markets are immature but foreign-invested enterprises have generally good access to loans.

Infrastructure is improving fast and reaching advanced standards in some parts of the country. Mobile telecommunications are widespread. Internet penetration is high for a developing nation. Air transport networks are well developed and the logistics industry is growing rapidly.

China has an excellent outlook when comparing risk and opportunities. By weighing average technology industry risk of 44.9 against the adjusted business environment rating of 64.4, China becomes an excellent option as shown on the bubble chart found by following the link at the end of this article. With large disposable incomes, China also has massive growth potential.

Conclusion

Based on the research relating to the economic opportunity in the BRIC countries as well as the political and economic risk of entering each country, Brazil shows the strongest potential currently for firms looking to invest in the technology industry. Though there is excellent growth projected in India, 6.2% average through 2030, the technology sector is saturated. U.S. companies are bringing Information outsourcing services back with on shoring, while Asian companies predominantly keep their information services in house. This combined with the near term political uncertainty makes India a higher risk investment. There are still opportunities in India no doubt; however this was not the most opportune BRIC country to target.Russia was the least favorable country based on business opportunity and risk factors; therefore we can also eliminate investment in Russia. China meanwhile has excellent opportunity and risk ratings as well as a large and growing economy. China does not, however, have excellent systems in place to protect patents. In fact, China has the worst policies and enforcement of any of the BRIC counties as it pertains to technology, making any investment in technology a difficult decision.

Though China has a large economy and favorable economic and risk indicators, based on China’s higher comparable risk to that of Brazil’s and the lower business environment rating as compared Brazil, there is a higher likelihood of success investing in Brazil in 2013. Brazil maintains the highest measure of business opportunity as weighed against risk of any of the BRIC countries as illustrated in the bubble chart found by following the Bubble Chart link at the end of this article. The growth projected in Brazil, low risk in comparison to other BRIC countries and the stabilizing political environment, we feel confident in recommending an investment in Brazil’s growing technology industry. There will be bureaucratic processes to navigate, however the potential for excellent growth in technology and with minimal risk related in comparison to other BRIC countries make this an excellent investment target.

Footballer Profile – Robinho

Robson de Souza – known throughout the footballing world as Robinho – was perhaps the biggest surprise addition to Manchester City’s squad in their much publicised quest to enter British football’s elite. When the Brazilian signed from Real Madrid on the last day of the transfer window in the summer of 2008, it made everyone aware of the seriousness of the new club owners’ intentions. This was a genuine superstar coming to the City of Manchester Stadium.

Robinho has always been earmarked for great things – even the incomparable Pelé eulogised about him as a fifteen year old. Playing for the famous Santos club which the legendary Pelé had represented for so long, ‘Robi’, who had been born in Sao Paulo in 1984, quickly became their goalscoring talisman. The kidnapping from her home of his mother in the 2004/05 season, though, had a real impact on his life – even though she was released unharmed it then seemed inevitable that he would leave the country and join other prominent Brazilian players in Europe. At the end of the 2004/05 season, the player was named as the World Soccer Young Player of the Year.

The move came in July, 2005, when Robinho signed for Real, going on to score 10 goals in his first season. Although his undoubted skill was always evident at this time, it was also clear the player was having difficulties adapting to life, and the different style of football, at his new club. With Fabio Capello and, later, Bernd Schuster, Robinho was never really a regular starter for the Spanish team, even though he continued to be in the Brazil team.

The player’s time in Spain came to a distasteful conclusion. Madrid tried to include Robinho as a ‘makeweight’ in the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, against the player’s wishes. When the deal fell through and the Madrid hierarchy decided to offer him a new contract, Robinho refused it.

Despite looking as if he was about to sign for Chelsea, Robinho ended up at Eastlands and Manchester City, seemingly encouraged to join the club because they already had two other Brazilians on the books, Elano and Jo.

Since signing for Manchester City, Robinho has become very popular with the supporters – a popularity helped when he was seen with his wife going into the city on a bus! Many critics felt, during his first season, that his performances were very much better in games at Eastlands than in matches played away from home. Despite this, he scored 15 goals in 41games. This season, however, with the squad having been greatly boosted with the acquisition of more high class players, Robinho has been the victim of a bad ankle injury picked up playing for Brazil and so has missed most of the fixtures.

With Brazil, Robinho remains an important member of the team, scoring 19 goals so far in his 71 internationals, and he is almost certain to be integral in Brazil’s attempts to win the World Cup in South Africa in the summer.

For whom Robinho will be playing then is really anybody’s guess! Ever since his arrival, it seems he has been linked with moves away. Manchester City continually deny that he is on his way to Barcelona, Chelsea or any other number of clubs. City fans, certainly, will be hoping to see the skilful little striker linking up with Adebayor and Tevez to help the club realise their ambitions and qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Who Knows? If they do succeed, then perhaps Robinho might be there again next season.

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Chelsea Set to Dominate European Football

There is a new heavyweight force in European football, they are being bankrolled apparently by the Russian economy, they mean business, and their name is Chelsea FC Chelsea Football Club has always been a decent club in the second strata of English clubs. In London alone Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have invariably been ahead of the Chelsea Blues, even West Ham have often put Chelsea in the shade. But no longer, for in the season 2004-2005, Chelsea won the English Premier League title for the first time in fifty years, their only previous winning season.

But they have not stopped there, in the new season 2005-2006 they are already well clear in the title race leaving all their rivals gasping, and now they have set their sights on the pinnacle of all the club trophys, the European Champions League . Chelsea have never won the Champions League, indeed no London club ever has. And it is clear that their charismatic manager Jose Mourinho is intent on winning the Champions League again, he did so with his previous club Porto, of Portugal.

So what of the traditional English giants? Manchester United, often described as the world's richest football club, have fallen into the hands of the Glazer family of Tampa Bay fame, but they reportedly needed to borrow half a billion pounds to buy United, a debt the club now shoulders. Spending on new players has so far been thin on the ground and United's brusque Glaswegian manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has admitted that United, for so long England's most successful club, can not compete with Chelsea when it comes to buying players. The hordes of United fans are not amused, the natives are growing restless.

Arsenal, London's biggest and most successful club, lost their skipper and driving force Patrick Vieira last summer, he moved to Juventus in Italy for £ 12 million pounds and with their star striker Thierry Henry suffering fitness problems, they picked up some uncharacteristic defeats at unfashionable clubs like West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough. This is their last season at their famous old Highbury Stadium before they move to their new purpose built Emirates stadium almost next door. The increased capacity of 60,000 will unduly give their French manager Arsene Wenger more money to spend next year, but of course they have to pay for that new ground too. Far from challenging Chelsea again, it would seem that Arsenal are more likely to fall further behind.

That leaves Liverpool and Newcastle. News comes through just today that the American Kraft Company and family are interested in investing in Liverpool FC, possibly even buying the club outright just like Manchester United fifty miles up the road, but that is some way down the line. And they too are seeking to build a brand new stadium on Stanley Park and of course that all costs big money. Despite last year's freakish win in the Champions League, Liverpool's league form this season has again been patchy, and that included a 4-1 walloping by Chelsea on their own Anfield pitch. The idea that Liverpool might challenge Chelsea for the title remains a far-fetched one. Newcastle, England's second best supported club are gradually improving, and they have signed England's center forward Michael Owen, but they still remain unconvincing at the top level. They have not won the title since Noah was seen building his ark, or so it sees, and they are not going to do so this season either.

So although it is very popular for foreign investors to snap up the leading English (and Scottish) football clubs, it appears that only Roman Abramovich at Chelsea has the muscle to buy the best players around. He is the only one to put unlimited funds on the table. Top class players now command a transfer fee of £ 40 million each and whereas Manchester United may afford one of them a season, Chelsea's purse looks bottomless. They have already spent £ 220 + million and are still in the market to buy again when the transfer window re-opens in January.

They have already achieved success by winning at home, now the European Champion's League is the Holy Grail for them, a trophy they are now the outright favorites to win with the odds layers. And astonishingly they have achieved their success to date with an array of strikers who have not really cut the mustard. Mutu the Romanian, was promptly sacked for drug taking, Crespo the Argentinian, was sent out to Milan on loan last season, and though he is back now he is hardly setting the world afire, or even playing that often, Gudjohnson an Icelander, plays more often than not, the muscular Drogba from the Ivory Coast, seems to have finally claimed the number nine shirt as his own, yet many blues followers still remain unconvinced about him, so it would seem that Chelsea may still be looking for another proven goal scorer come January, especially after a recent rare defeat at Manchester United.

It would take a brave man to back against Chelsea in any competition at the moment. But if you'd like to, you can still have a free $ 30 dollar bet at Betfair.com by entering the code 6CHE3VPWJ when prompted. But one thing is for sure; no one would be surprised if this time next year the Premier League trophy AND the Champions League trophy were both on display in the Chelsea boardroom. It seems that only the Italian giants Milan and Juventus, and the Spanish top two, Real Madrid, and most especially Barcelona with their Brazilian superstar, are obviously soon to be the world player of the year, Ronaldinho, might stop the London blues. It really does seem as if we have entered a new era in European and world football, or if you prefer the ridiculous name that no one ever uses, Soccer. Chelsea fans have never had it so good while everyone else is left gasping in their wake, for it is a fact that Chelsea Football Club has raised the bar for everyone else to follow. Time will tell if anyone can.

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