Pochettino eclipses best European performance for Spurs

Since Mauricio Pochettino became manager of Tottenham in 2014, the club’s results in European competition have been mixed.  Successive runs to the knock – out stages of UEFA’s Europa League involved hard – fought away draws with Fiorentina, Monaco and Partizan Belgrade.  In contrast to those positive results, Tottenham did experience disappointment, losing to Anderlecht, Besiktas and Borussia Dortmund. Just as there were successes and failures in the two UEFA Europa League campaigns overseen by Pochettino, his fortunes have varied in the Champions League.  The first encounter which he had…

Read More

Klopp stays through several different Everton managers

The first Merseyside derby of the 2015 – 2016 English Premier League season. It was to be the final game of Brendan Rodgers’ reign as manager of Liverpool. Ahead because of a Danny Ings goal, Romelu Lukaku equalised for Everton to earn a 1 – 1 draw. The result left Liverpool in 10th place, which prompted a decision to replace Rodgers with Jurgen Klopp. The German’s first counterpart at Everton was Roberto Martinez. They met for the one and only time in a Merseyside derby on 20 April 2016. It…

Read More

Silva continues to transform Goodison Park into a fortress

For a fourth consecutive home game, Everton won as Marco Silva’s transformation of Goodison Park into a fortress continued.  A solitary goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson sufficed for his team to beat Cardiff 1 – 0. Although Everton dominated possession, they had to be patient for their goal.  It arrived shortly before the hour mark as Sigurdsson finished calmly. He did so to score his first home goal since a 3 – 0 win over Fulham.  That victory was the beginning of a fine run of form for Everton. They have won their…

Read More

Maddison’s misjudgement tarnishes growing reputation

A moment of mindlessness. The anticipation from James Maddison was that Brighton & Hove Albion’s defender Shane Duffy would foul him. To try to win his team a penalty, he fell to the ground without being touched. Referee Chris Kavanagh was not fooled.  He immediately saw that Maddison was being deceitful and issued the player a second yellow card of the game.  It was necessary for Leicester City to play for over an hour with 10 men because of Maddison’s dismissal. It has created unwanted attention for him which contrasts sharply with…

Read More

Manchester City’s Silva investment continues to sparkle

On 1 July, Portuguese attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva is set to officially complete a move from AS Monaco to Manchester City. At present, he is starring at the Confederations Cup, to give Pep Guardiola huge reason for optimism that the investment made in Silva will be of great benefit for his team. As Portugal beat New Zealand 4-0 to reach the semi-finals of the competition, Silva scored his team’s second goal. The euphoria of that moment, was however dampened by him being withdrawn at half-time after suffering an ankle injury.  It…

Read More

Snodgrass continues to shine as Rhodes remains on the side lines

From Middlesbrough’s team in each of their five English Premier League games this season, there has been one notable absentee, Jordan Rhodes. The 25-year-old striker played an important role for Middlesbrough as they were promoted from the Championship last season, whereby after joining the club from Blackburn Rovers in January he scored six goals in 18 appearances. Despite that, so far this campaign Rhodes has yet to make a competitive appearance in any competition, since as well as being unused in the Premier League, he remained an unused substitute in…

Read More

Coutinho’s creative craft crucial to Liverpool

During the first weekend of the 2016-2017 English Premier League season, there were several outstanding individual performances, but none more so than the one Phillipe Coutinho produced for Liverpool in their enthralling 4-3 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Classy Coutinho’s superb start to the season As well as scoring twice, Coutinho was the fulcrum of Liverpool’s attack, just as he has consistently been since joining the club in January 2013. Whilst Coutinho scored with a wonderfully executed free kick, which he earned himself, in first half stoppage time…

Read More

Conte aims to revamp Chelsea’s squad

Antonio Conte has identified that Chelsea’s squad is too big and as a result the Italian manger intends to allow several high profile players to leave the club before the start of the new season, according to the Independent. Potential for a swathe of departures Among those who Conte perceives as being potentially surplus to his requirements are goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, along with the South American duo of Juan Cuadrado and Oscar, as well as the French striker Loic Remy. Another player that may not feature in Conte’s plans for…

Read More

Mata and Mourinho’s fractured relationship continues

Juan Mata endured the ignominy of being substituted in Manchester United’s 2-1 Community Shield win over Leicester since he was the smallest player, according to his manager Jose Mourinho, as reported by the BBC. Mata controversially substituted Despite only sending Mata on in the place of goal scorer Jesse Lingard in the 63rd minute, Mourinho then replaced the Spanish playmaker with Henrikh Mkhitaryan ten minutes after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 83rd minute winner. Subsequently Mourinho’s justification behind the decision to substitute Mata related to the former Valencia player’s lack of height. “I…

Read More

A summer of club record breaking transfer fees paid by Premier League teams

pogba juventus

So far this summer, six English Premier League teams have paid club record transfer fee’s, with the most recent of those being the £89m Manchester United spent to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus. Pogba rejoins United In doing so, Manchester United also set a new world record transfer fee. That previously stood at £85.3m, which was the fee Real Madrid paid Tottenham for Gareth Bale in 2013. Prior to acquring Pogba, United’s record transfer fee which the club paid was £59.7m to Real Madrid for Angel de Maria in August…

Read More

Who are Manchester City’s Champions League opponents?

Pep Guardiola

Manchester City have been drawn to play Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League play-off round, as they aim to qualify for the group stages of Europe’s elite club competition for a sixth successive season. The first game of the two legged tie is due to take place in Bucharest at the Stadionul Steaua, which is Romania’s national stadium. Pep seeks Champions League success with City Whilst City reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season under Manuel Pellegrini, before they were beaten 1-0 on aggregate by Real Madrid, their…

Read More

Arsenal and Spurs strikers on target at the Olympics

The first round of group stage matches of the Men’s Olympics Football tournament have now been completed, with the eight games played producing 31 goals. Three of those goals were scored by attackers who play for the North London rivals, Arsenal and Tottenham, whilst another three other English Premier League based players featured in the competition’s opening set of fixtures. Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry scored for Germany in their 2-2 draw against Mexico after coming on as a first half substitute, whilst the 21-year-old’s club mate Takumo Asano found the…

Read More

Exciting times lie ahead for Leicester City

The desire to keep improving is one which permeates any great team, as rather than be content with past accomplishments, they strive to build upon those and secure further success. Ranieri readying Leicester for the new season At present that is the aim of Leicester City, who are currently preparing to defend their Premier League title, which they won last season to create the biggest surprise in the history of England’s top flight. That achievement was masterminded by manager Claudio Ranieri, who is working meticulously to try to ensure a…

Read More

Southampton have the potential to replicate top six finish

Whilst Leicester City winning the Premier League undoubtedly represented the major success story in English football last season, another wonderful achievement was that of Southampton securing the club best ever Premier League finish. Saints strengthen an already strong squad By ending the season in sixth place, after amassing a club record 63 points, the Saints qualified for the group stages of this season’s Europa League. As such handling the demands of competing in both domestic and European competition represents a tough challenge for Southampton but one they are nevertheless capable…

Read More

From Crawley to Santa Fe: Chelsea players out on loan all over the world

One of the most famous player loan policy’s operated by any club in world football, is that of Chelsea. Over the years, the club have been notorious for having a substantial number of players out on loan at any one time. For instance during the course of last summer – 2015 – Chelsea sentt an unprecedented club high of 33 players out on loan, including big money signings such as Juan Cuadrado, Victor Moses and Mohamed Salah. Subsequently a policy of prolifically loaning out players is one which Chelsea are set…

Read More

Current most expensive XI in the Premier League

English Premier League clubs are accustomed at paying astronomical sums of money to sign players. That has increasingly become the case since the league’s inception in 1992, whereby the transfer fees paid by clubs have grown markedly. Specifically in the inaugural season of the Premier League, Blackburn bought Alan Shearer from Southampton for approximately £3.5m to set a new British record transfer fee. Almost exactly 24 years on, that figure now stands at £55m, which Manchester City paid Wolfsburg for Kevin De Bruyne in 2015. Subsequently De Bruyne would automatically earn…

Read More

Moyes realistic on Sunderland prospects in the transfer market

New Sunderland manager David Moyes is fully appreciative of the need to exercise realism in his search for new players, according to the BBC. Moyes aims to strengthen Sunderland squad Since his appointment on 23 July, Moyes has identified it as being necessary to strengthen his squad, which at the moment consists of just 16 senior members, with Sunderland still to make their first signing of the summer. That is despite the club being linked with moves for a number of quality players, including Manchester United’s Belgian duo of Adnan…

Read More

Akpom emerging as an excellent attacking option for Arsenal

Chuba Akpom’s long affiliation with Arsenal began when he was aged just six. Approximately 15 years on, Akpom is now beginning to establish himself in the Gunners first-team set-up, after patiently waiting for the opportunity to do so. After joining Arsenal towards the end of 2001, Akpom developed into one of the best finishers in the club’s youth academy, before signing his first professional contract with the Gunners during October 2012. Subsequently although involved in Arsenal’s senior squad, Akpom has made just seven competitive appearances for the club in all competitions,…

Read More

Granit Xhaka ideally suited to Arsenal

The one major piece of business that Arsenal have completed in the transfer market this summer has been the £34m signing of Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach. Wenger impressed by Xhaka The 23-year-old holding midfielder made his debut for the Gunners as he came off the bench to play the second half of their recent 2-1 pre-season friendly win over the MLS All-Stars. There was much to admire in terms of the manner in which Xhaka immediately stamped his authority on the game, as he seamlessly settled into Arsenal’s midfield…

Read More

Contrasting friendly fortunes for Premier League quartet

At present English Premier League teams are engaging in intensive pre-season programmes, with four of the biggest clubs in the division having just played high profile friendly matches, three of which took place in the U.S.A and the other Gothenburg. Chelsea, Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester United were all in friendly action against quality opposition, as they edged closer to the start of the 2016-2017 Premier League season. Leicester suffer heavy loss That is due to open on 13 August, when Leicester will begin the defence of their Premier League…

Read More

Hull urgently seeking successor to Bruce

Hull’s City hierarchy are set to begin interviewing potential new managers, as they intensify their efforts to find a suitable successor to Steve Bruce, according to the Guardian. Since Bruce’s resignation, Hull are understood to have drawn up a shortlist of five managerial candidates, with one of those believed to be the former Everton manager Roberto Martinez. Martinez among a quintet of candidates Martinez, who also previously managed Swansea City and Wigan, was sacked by Everton at the end of last season. Nevertheless he left the club after enjoying an…

Read More

Manchester City youngsters impress against Dortmund

Given Manchester City’s vast financial resources, the club are in the privileged position of being able to buy some of the best players in the world for large amounts of money. Ultimately as a result of that it has been notoriously difficult for young players to break into Manchester City’s first team set-up during recent years. Nevertheless that situation may now change, as Pep Guardiola appears intent on endeavouring to integrate some of the club’s most promising youngsters into his senior squad, just as he did for City’s penalty shoot-out…

Read More

Swansea in the market for two new strikers

Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins has revealed that the club are currently in the market for two new strikers, according to the BBC. Whilst the Welsh club are interested in buying the Sevilla striker Fernando Llorente, they have also made an enquiry about signing Leicester City striker Leonardo Ulloa. At present the only senior centre forward confirmed as being available to Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin for the start of the new season is Andre Ayew, after the club sold Eder and Alberto Paloschi to Lille and Atalanta respectively, whilst Bafetimbi…

Read More

Tottenham trio no longer part of Pochettino’s plans

Tottenham Hotspur’s manager Mauricio Pochettino has reached the decision that Nabil Bentaleb, Federico Fazio and Alex Pritchard have no future at the club, according to ESPN FC. After omitting the trio from the squad of players which he currently has with him in Australia to play games against Atletico Madrid and Juventus, Pochettino unequivocally declared that they do not feature in his plans for the forthcoming season. “The situation of Bentaleb, Fazio and Pritchard is clear. They are not in my plans,” said Pochettino, who watched his side lose 2-1…

Read More

English Premier League clubs interested in Portuguese Euro 2016 stars

Two of Portugal’s Euro 2016 stars have become primary transfer targets for a number of English Premier League clubs. The Sporting Lisbon duo of William Carvalho and Joao Mario were both key members of the Portuguese team which won the European Championships in France, with the pair now understood to be attracting interest from some of the top clubs in England. Magnificent Joao Mario As an ever present during Portugal’s successful Euro 2016 campaign, Joao Mario produced a series of excellent performances by consistently displaying his superb technical ability, range…

Read More