Premier League clubs reject Champions League proposals

Premier League clubs have unanimously opposed proposals for changes to the UEFA Champions League format which would increase the number of games during the first half of the season and also wipe out end-of-season races for qualification to Europe’s top continental competition. The changes were being proposed for implementation during the 2024-25 season, but clubs in England’s top flight have banded together to reject the plans. With England having four of the final eight in this season’s tournament, as well as the Premier League’s standing as one of the top…

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Solskjaer plans mass Utd changes in the summer

Manchester United’s new permanent manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could face one of the busiest summers in the club’s recent memory, according to Sky Sports, with up to six first team regulars preparing to depart Old Trafford for pastures new. The futures of some other players are also up in the air, while prospective transfer targets look as though they may be difficult – or at the very least highly expensive – to bring in as the club seeks to return towards the top of the Premier League next season. Ander…

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Rose laments lack of action on racism

Tottenham defender Danny Rose has once again hit out at the level of racism in football, this time going as far as to say that he “can’t wait” to retire from the sport and get out of the game. The 28-year-old was one of several England players who were subjected to vile chants from home supporters when the Three Lions travelled to Montenegro for a Euro 2020 qualifier last month, and while the players in question were clearly supported by their own team-mates and management the host nation essentially denied…

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Liverpool reap rewards of scouting excellence

There is no argument to be had when comparing the squad of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to the embarrassment of riches available to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. The club from the blue half of Manchester is able to deal with injuries to some of their most important players simply by entrusting another big-name in their place. Think of how much action Kevin De Bruyne has missed this season. The Belgian international has only started seven Premier League games in 2018/19. Yet, in De Bruyne’s absence, up stepped Bernardo Silva to…

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Could Spurs miss out on Champions League?

With the announcement this week of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s full-time appointment as Manchester United manager, Spurs fans all over the world will have breathed a collective sigh of relief. For a long time, it looked as though Ed Woodward’s preferred candidate for the Old Trafford role was Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham’s over-achieving Argentine boss. The football world was expecting United to begin negotiating with Pochettino as soon as this season ended with Solskjaer having steadied the ship. As it happened, United’s former baby-faced assassin, Solskjaer, surprised us all with a 73%…

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Will Zidane make Real Madrid a force again?

Zinedine Zidane

There was widespread surprise amongst residents of planet football in March as Frenchman Zinedine Zidane announced he would return as manager of Real Madrid just 10 months after leaving the La Liga kingpins. The former player walked in May of last year after guiding Blancos to a third straight Champions League trophy, but the club has struggled to find success following the Frenchman’s departure and were delighted to see him sign a deal that would keep him in charge until 2022. Zidane arrives at the Bernabeu with the 33-time Spanish…

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Is it time for Chelsea to sack Maurizio Sarri?

Chelsea were once again defeated in the Premier League on Sunday by Everton for 2-0. Maurizio Sarri said that his team has reached a ‘limit’ and in fact, this could be true in lots of different ways. The Italian boss was probably thinking about the different in his side’s first and second half performance. He also said that in the first 45 minutes he saw the best performance of the season while in the second half his side had a ‘recurrent’ mental block. But will the limit he was talking…

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Solskjaer edges nearer and nearer towards full time United job

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed as Man Utd caretaker manager following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho back in December, opinion was divided. The United faithful were ecstatic to have a club legend back at Old Trafford, but many neutrals argued that Solskjaer’s sole foray into management in England had been little short of disastrous. The Norwegian had been sacked from Cardiff following the Bluebirds’ relegation from the Premier League back in 2014, lasting just a few games into the Championship campaign before his dismissal. He returned to Molde –…

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Guardiola plans Gundogan renewal

Man City manager Pep Guardiola has indicated his desire to keep Ilkay Gundogan at the club beyond the end of his current contract, which expires next year. The Germany international refused to commit his future to the Citizens, admitting he could be tempted by challenges elsewhere when his current deal is finished. He did also imply that he is happy at the club, however – and so the former Barcelona boss is seemingly no closer to knowing whether to plan for life without Gundogan beyond next season’s climax or not.…

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Why fans should concentrate on supporting their teams the traditional way

It is not a common sight. You attend a football match generally to enjoy the entertainment on display, surrounded by hundreds or thousands – depending on the size of your club’s following – of like-minded individuals all gathering together to support and cheer on your team of choice. There are the usual matchday rituals, of course – and the walk to the stadium among a sea of shirts displaying your team’s colours always gets the hairs on the back of the neck to rise a little. When the game kicks…

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Ecstasy in Paris Has Luke Sure Solskjaer Will Get the Job

If it were up to Manchester United’s left-back Luke Shaw, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would immediately be awarded the job at Old Trafford on a full-time basis. Shaw was speaking after what can only be described as pandemonium in Paris as Manchester United pulled off one of the great escapes and gave their supporters a night in France’s capital that they will never forget. The 23-year-old is ‘certain’ that Solskjaer will get the job and in all honesty, Shaw probably speaks for everyone in the footballing world. Few things convince the…

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Claudio Ranieri Has Struggled To Turn Fulham Around

Right around this time of year, we start to zero in on the race fo the Premier League title. This year that’s looking like a particularly fun race, with Liverpool and Manchester City in position to battle down the stretch, and Tottenham not entirely out of the picture yet. Not everything is about the top of the table, however, and looking toward the bottom there’s an interesting story beginning to develop. Early season hire Claudio Ranieri has struggled mightily to turn Fulham around, and with the Cottagers facing the very…

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Pochettino rules out move for Rossi as Italian looks to prove fitness

Following reports on Thursday linking Giuseppe Rossi with a move to Tottenham, Coach Mauricio Pochettino has ruled out a move for the Italian-American in his weekly press conference. After being asked about the reports, Pochettino said: “There are many names that appear in every transfer window. I think he is another name to add on the list but it is only a rumour. We have not considered him.” The Spurs manager will be without star striker Harry Kane for up to 10 matches with an ankle injury, while Heung-Min Son will…

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Why Alvaro Morata is not the answer to Chelsea’s lack of goals

Back when at Real Madrid, he was the future of the Santiago Bernabeu, and indeed of Spanish football.  In 2012/13 he had made his breakthrough under Jose Mourinho, making regular appearances and even starting in el clasico, playing a key role in a 2-1 victory, and made 12 league appearances that year, netting twice. 2013/14 saw further progress, 23 league matches, scoring 8 goals as Carlo Ancelotti joined the club and Morata found his place in rotation with Karem Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Angel Di Maria and an emerging…

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The path Solskjaer followed to reach management of Manchester United

The playing career of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was highly successful, albeit after a slow start.  For five years he played in the lowly Norwegian leagues for Clausenengen, until close to his 22ndbirthday.  At that time, just prior to the start of 1995, he got the big move, which he waited patiently for, to Molde. In his first season with them, Solskjaer scored freely.  He developed a good strike partnership with Arild Stavrum.  Between them, they scored 36 Tippeligaen goals, 20 of which were Solskjaer’s.  The pair’s good form helped their…

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Abuse of Sterling harmful to football

Racism, or discrimination of any kind, can’t be allowed to have a place in football.  The game is being hurt by the behaviour of a minority. They believe it acceptable to enter football stadiums to shout despicable language at certain players. It is a form of abuse, disrespect and intimidation.  In order to eradicate racism, it is important to not only identify the culprits but also to address the root cause.  From as young an age as possible, within football coaching and schools, children need to be educated on the importance of…

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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…

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What Premier League Teams Are Going to Be Relegated This Season?

Each season, the teams promoted from the Championship are cited as the favourites for the drop from the Premier League table, but as the season progresses there are always twists and turns that surprise fans. For those who like to gamble on the outcome, both for the winners and the losers of the league, but today we’re focusing on the losers getting tips from Infogol as to what teams look most likely to be relegated this season. Huddersfield Town David Wagner did a great job last season keeping Huddersfield up…

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Emery’s Arsenal gradually click into gear

Unai Emery

Successive finishes in the English Premier League outside the top – four indicated that there was the need for change at Arsenal.  Their supporters, because of too many inept performances, especially defensively, had lost belief, faith and trust in Arsene Wenger.  To succeed him, there were many candidates listed in the betting at ladbrokes, including former players Mikel Arteta and Patrick Viera or Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers. Instead of any of them, the challenge of replacing Wenger was assigned to Unai Emery. The scale of the job ahead of him, to make…

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Respect shown to UEFA’s Europa League by British clubs

In the fifth round of group stage matches of the 2018 – 2019 UEFA Europa League, Britain’s four participants gave a strong showing by not conceding a single goal in the competition. It is secondary to UEFA’s Champions League and widely regarded as being less prestigious. Such a view is often reflected in team selection for UEFA Europa League games. They can be seen by many managers as an opportunity to use either players on the periphery of their squads or youngsters. Not all choose to, instead they field the…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Work for Nasri to do to earn a deal with West Ham

Conditional on Samir Nasri discovering full fitness, a contract with West Ham awaits him. Without a club since leaving Antalyaspor in January of this year, he is trying to get his career back on track. A doping ban, relating to a breach of WADA rules in December 2016, at which time Nasri was on loan to Sevilla, is due to finish at the end of December.  In the lead – up to that date, he has been training with West Ham. Their manager Manuel Pellegrini was in charge of Nasri at Manchester…

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Plenty of progress for England in 2018

A year which started with a win, ended with a win.  In between victories over the Netherlands and Croatia, there were many other positives for England.  In the process of reaching the final four of the 2018 World Cup and winning their UEFA Nations League group, they played some excellent football. The players which manager Gareth Southgate selected, all embraced every opportunity which they received to play for their country.  Although it was largely a batch of young players which represented England, their performances were consistently good.  The faith which…

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