Adding value vs. eye-candy
Rob Gill, thanks for letting us learn from your experience here by sharing. One point that is crucial here (I think) is that goal.com avid users probably know a ton about soccer, so the question is: do the pictures do anything to help the users understand the headlines, or are they pure eye-candy for designer types and actually distract?
I would say most soccer fans immediately know if they see: Modric & Ronaldo in a headline that the article is about Real Madrid, etc. As long as the list isn’t crammed together, it is pretty easy for soccer fans to compare and see which ones they care about.
In any case, thanks for the great data!