Rory Smith

Rory Smith is a football writer for The Independent.

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The Catalan farmhouse at La Masia surrounded by Barcelona's suburbs

Kids To Kings: The Barca Way

La Masia is widely imitated so Rory Smith talked to those responsible to learn the method of the magic

Spain’s Iker Casillas (left) and Xavi are both hungry for more success

Spain's 126-cap keeper Casillas still looks to the future

Asked to cast his mind back over 10 years and 125 caps for his country, the man they call Saint Iker was quick to thank those who helped him adjust when he was first selected to play for Spain. "Fernando Hierro, Raul, Luis Enrique, Pep Guardiola, Fernando Morientes," said Iker Casillas, the Spanish captain. "It is important not to turn a blind eye to what happened before the last four years."

Arshavin: 'No one goes to Wenger to try to change things. They know what the answer will be'

Arshavin hits out at 'severe' Wenger tactics

Andrei Arshavin, the Arsenal midfielder, has issued a forthright critique of his manager, Arsène Wenger, suggesting the Frenchman makes substitutions based on philosophy rather than performance, revealing players feel he is so stubborn as to be unapproachable and describing him as the "most severe" coach he has ever worked with.

Marco Reus is attracting interest from Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tracks talented Marco Reus

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has made contact with Borussia Mönchengladbach over signing the Bundesliga club's Germany international midfielder Marco Reus.

Jose Bosingwa says he will not play for Portugal again while Paulo Bento is in charge

Bosingwa snubs Bento and Portugal

Jose Bosingwa, the Chelsea defender, has said he will not play international football again while Paulo Bento remains Portugal manager. The 29-year-old had been pre-selected to join his national side for the Euro 2012 play-off games with Bosnia but was left out of Bento's final 25-man squad.

<b> LIVERPOOL v NORWICH , Saturday 17:30pm</b> <br/>
Liverpool were unlucky not to beat Man Utd last weekend and without the added burden of playing in Europe this season, will have high hopes of breaking back into the top four this season. Manager Kenny Dalglish has captain Steven Gerrard back playing which is a huge boost to his side and provides even more competition for places among the talented array of midfielders he has at his disposal. Norwich have been lively this season and have picked up good wins against Bolton and Swansea but Liverpool should be a far greater challenge.
<br/><br/><b>Recent results:</b> Norwich 1-2 Liverpool (03/01/2005, PL) Liverpool 3-0 Norwich (25/09/2004, PL) <br/><br/><b>One to watch:</b> <b>Luis Suarez</b> has been accused of being a racist and a diver this week as the battle between Man Utd and Liverpool spilled over past the full time whistle. Both he and his accuser Patrice Evra have the full backing of their respective managers and the Uruguayan striker denies the claims. He will be hoping to get himself some rather more positive headlines with a good performance against Norwich and it would be foolish to bet against him doing just that. <br/><br/><b>Did you know?:</b> Liverpool have allowed their opponents only 27 shots on target this season, the joint lowest total in the top flight.
<br/><br/><b>Fantasy pick:</b> Luis Suarez, 35 (Liverpool), Antony Pilkington, 36 (Norwich)*
<br/><br/><b>Tweet of the week:</b> 'I'm upset by the acusations of racism. I can only say that I have always respected and respect everybody.' @ luis16suarez - <b>Luis Suarez</b> gives his side of the story.
<br/><br/><i>* Based on Fantasy Premier League, the official Premier League fantasy game</i>

Suarez breaks silence in Evra race row

Luis Suarez, the Liverpool forward, has risked the wrath of the Football Association by speaking for the first time about the allegation he racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra at Anfield last month.

Tottenham's Gareth Bale celebrates his goal

Frantic finale tests Redknapp recovery

Fulham 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3

Spurs manager to defy medics and return to work in less than a month

Harry Redknapp hopes to resume his full responsibilities as Tottenham Hotspur manager more quickly than his doctors have recommended, with the 64-year-old insisting he will be back in less than a month.

Arsene Wenger: The Arsenal manager: 'Have we got through the storm? You never know.'

Wenger believes Arsenal can still have shot at title

Watching Arsenal crumble to humiliation at Old Trafford and plunge into the lower reaches of the Premier League might have been one of the most difficult periods of Arsène Wenger's career, but the Frenchman insists he enjoyed an experience which brought out his team's true character.

Ferguson admits he needs striker to return

Rooney's ability in midfield just highlights lack of flair at United

Manager admits he needs striker to return to attack despite his fine efforts in the middle

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Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links