Fernandinho’s performance for Manchester City last night

Fernandinho’s performance for Manchester City last night 0

When Manchester City spent £30m on Fernandinho a year ago, there was a lot of sneering – the perception was that this was City being City, and they were overpaying for a player who didn’t have much profile in England.  Yes, the fee was too large, but on the basis that every club they negotiate(…)

Chelsea vs Schalke: Individual Player Statistics 0

That Chelsea midfield is still a work in progress, clearly, and the defensive chemistry between Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic is evidently not quite what it should be.  Early days and by no means a terminal result, but Chelsea drop points at home to a struggling Schalke side – here are their stats from Stamford(…)

Why Alan Pardew is such a natural hate figure at Newcastle United

Why Alan Pardew is such a natural hate figure at Newcastle United 8

In a recent newspaper poll, 85% of participating Newcastle supporters voted in favour of Alan Pardew losing his job.  Within the coming days, that 85% are likely to get their wish with Pardew expected to be imminently dismissed by Mike Ashley. Dissatisfaction with managerial performance is ubiquitous in football and barely a week passes now(…)

Europe shines a cold, unflattering light on Arsenal

Europe shines a cold, unflattering light on Arsenal 1

These are depressing evenings. For Arsenal fans, sure, but also for the rest of us.  This was one of those games which truly emphasised the shortcomings in English football and provided a perfect example of how tactically dense our sides can be in European competition. Arsenal weren’t just beaten in Dortmund, they were humiliated.  Not(…)

Rio Ferdinand, David Moyes, and selling bitterness for cash 0

Rio Ferdinand’s autobiography is being serialised in The Sun at the moment, and some of the more noteworthy extracts concern David Moyes’ short, unsuccessful time as manager of Manchester United. The book – which, incidentally, will be Ferdinand’s third(!) – isn’t released until the 3rd October, so it’s probably asking for trouble to include actual(…)

West Ham, early signs of stylistic change, and trouble for the Carroll/Nolan axis

West Ham, early signs of stylistic change, and trouble for the Carroll/Nolan axis 1

Last night’s game between Hull City and West Ham was very watchable, and that was primarily because both sides defended incredibly carelessly throughout the second-half.  Beyond that, however, the take-away point from Monday Night Football was just how much more effective the away side looked going forward. Specifically, how much better they looked without either(…)

Leicester City’s Leonardo Ulloa: Graphics from the weekend

Leicester City’s Leonardo Ulloa: Graphics from the weekend 0

The Championship is a funny place.  It’s an incredibly competitive league yet, time-and-again, reputations built within the division prove to count for very little at the level above.  Forwards in particular are susceptible to false economies, so Leicester City’s decision to spend £8m on Leonardo Ulloa over the Summer was sneered at accordingly. When a(…)

Alan Pardew will be replaced at Newcastle by…another Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew will be replaced at Newcastle by…another Alan Pardew 4

  Alan Pardew reportedly has ‘one game to save his job’ according to the press, and supposedly an underwhelming performance against Hull City at St James’ Park could very well bring the curtain down on this sorriest of sagas. Pardew is loathed by the club’s support and understandably so.  During his four years at Newcastle,(…)

QPR, Harry Redknapp and a shapeless mess 3

  Conor Kelly picks through QPR’s mangled carcass after Old Trafford… There was a moment ten minutes into the second half of Manchester United’s thumping victory over Queens Park Rangers that epitomised everything wrong with the London team. Armand Traore, freshly introduced at half-time to inject some energy into their play, was nutmegged by Wayne(…)

Manchester United: The value of balance and width

Manchester United: The value of balance and width 0

  This point has been made before on this site, so I’ll do this quickly… Before the international break, Manchester United gave one of their bluntest, least imaginative performances of recent years and spent ninety minutes against Burnley labouring against the restrictions placed upon them by their tactical system.  The structure, in principle, was fine,(…)

Daley Blind’s Manchester United debut: Graphics & Thoughts

Daley Blind’s Manchester United debut: Graphics & Thoughts 1

  Very comfortably, very impressive. Had Daley Blind arrived at Manchester United on any other day of the year, his signing would have been hailed far more than it was is. Neat and tidy midfielders don’t really stack up with elite goalscorers, though, and he was rather lost in the Radamel Falcao narrative. Blind wasn’t(…)

Manchester United 4 QPR 0: Bullet points 0

  – Manchester United reverted to a back-four which, despite being a reaction to a lack of viable defensive options, will presumably be twisted into an ‘admittance of tactical failure’ by this time tomorrow.  Let’s be clear: modern managers flex in and out of formations depending on the opposition that they’re facing and the resources(…)

Erik Lamela’s Tottenham performance: Graphics & Thoughts

Erik Lamela’s Tottenham performance: Graphics & Thoughts 1

Erik Lamela is going to be an interesting player to track this season.  After his performance against QPR, there was a slightly premature belief that he was ready to be a week-in week-out difference-maker for Tottenham and that, from that point onwards, he would look every inch the finished article. Seven days later, though, he(…)

Arsenal vs Manchester City: Individual Player Statistics

Arsenal vs Manchester City: Individual Player Statistics 0

The narrative from this game may well be that Arsenal let two points slip away late on – justifiably, too, given the time and space afforded to Martin Demichelis in the 83rd minute – but this was a hugely encouraging performance and one which showed a not insignificant amount of resilience. Here are the stats(…)

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