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Mid-Day Ticker: Friedel puts skid in context, Kompany nears return and more

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 Photo by Marc Atkins/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

Tottenham may be slumping, but goalkeeper Brad Friedel doesn't feel the pressure.

The American has put his club's recent tailspin into perspective, saying, "Football is not pressure. It might be for some. If you want to heap the pressure on, then that's you as an individual person. But you play football. It's a game."

Friedel went on to cite the heart attack Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered during a match against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday, implying that such an incident is a reminder of how inconsequential the sport can be in the big picture.

"We want to win, but we all saw here last Saturday what pressure was," Friedel said. "I've got three kids, and raising them is far more pressure than a football match."

Here are some more stories to keep your Thursday rolling:

KOMPANY CLOSE TO RETURN

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany may return from a hamstring injury for this weekend's clash with Stoke City.

Kompany, who had been enjoying one of the finest seasons among all defenders in the Premier League, suffered the hamstring strain March 8 during a Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon. While his return is a boost for the City defense, the club will still be a bit shorthanded in the back, as defender Joleon Lescott remains out with a groin ailment.

After their victory over Chelsea on Wednesday, City currently sit one point behind Manchester United in the race for the Premier League crown.

BLATTER: MATCH-FIXING GETTING WORSE

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says that despite his organization's efforts to control match-fixing, the problem is only getting worse, alluding to the Turkish scandal that resulted in Fenerbahce being banned from the Champions League this season.

"Are we responsible for all the evils in our world? No. But we must see to it that we stay alert," Blatter said. "There is something that is new and concerns the region where we are and that is illegal betting and this leads to match-rigging. … We are working together against the scourge of match-rigging, which is undermining our sport."

STOKE MANAGER ESCAPES DRIVING BAN

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has escaped a driving ban after his lawyer argued the punishment could result in the club's relegation and therefore have an adverse effect on the local community. The Welshman was caught driving 96 mph in a 60-mph zone after Stoke's 5-0 loss to Bolton in November.

"As a result of being in the Premier League, it has put Stoke-on-Trent on the map," said Mike Stephenson, Pulis' lawyer. "It has led to numerous businesses being set up. A number of them are totally reliant on Stoke City, and those businesses would suffer if they were relegated. The people of Stoke-on-Trent could suffer if Mr. Pulis lost his licence and lost his job."

Stoke currently sits midtable, 14 points out of the relegation zone.

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What do you think of Friedel's comments? How big a boost could Kompany's return be for City? Is FIFA doing enough to control match-fixing? Is Pulis' laywer's reasoning one of the best you've seen?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Wait — match-fixing is getting worse??? I don’t suppose that has anything to do with all the teams that wear betting sites names as jersey sponsors, and all the advertising around the stadia on placards and electronic signs??

    The NFL is a scary organization, with it’s own massive security operation, but they do one thing right — and that’s to stay as far away they can from any involvement with gambling and gamblers…and to penalize any players who fail at that.

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  2. Somehow I don’t think the statement that Blatter wants to control match-fixing constitutes news. I’m sure he’s taking his cut already.

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  3. “Football is not pressure. It might be for some. If you want to heap the pressure on, then that’s you as an individual person. But you play football. It’s a game.”- Friedel

    In other words, “I’m making millllions of dollars no matter what so I don’t give an eff. I’m rich, beeyotch!”

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  4. Since Tony Pulis is doing so many fine things for Stoke-on-Trent, one more thing won’t hurt. Why doesn’t he hire some out of work local to be his driver? That way he could avoid moving violations while lowering unemployment. It’s a win-win solution!

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  5. I realize that he is putting A GAME into context, but on the other hand:

    I like how Friedel rips on Landon, who is trying to win his champions league, trying to win his league, trying to win the US Open Cup and trying to win the World Cup says:

    “Football is not pressure. It might be for some. If you want to heap the pressure on, then that’s you as an individual person. But you play football. It’s a game.”

    ….while he plays on a team that will do NONE of those things and hasn’t a prayer of doing any of those things….then he says this.

    Reply

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