Player to watch in 2014/15: Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)

Player to watch in 2014/15: Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham) 1

Before the turn of the year, Jan Vertonghen had started to make ominous noises about his future and had reverted into the type of ambiguous phraseology players tend to use when their heads have been turned.  The Belgian’s performances certainly seemed to suggest that his mind was elsewhere, with the second half of his season(…)

Player to watch in 2014/15: Adam Lallana (Liverpool)

Player to watch in 2014/15: Adam Lallana (Liverpool) 0

In the Summer transfer-windows, we talk a lot about how certain players will adjust to English football.  Typically, that discussion involves a frail-but-brilliant South American playmaker or a French centre-back with questionable physicality. Even if Adam Lallana is a proven Premier League commodity, there are still questions that he needs to answer this season and(…)

Alan Pardew, Newcastle, and a sudden lack of excuses

Alan Pardew, Newcastle, and a sudden lack of excuses 2

What a strange six months Newcastle have had.  Five of them have been abject, but the last has been full of future promise. The slump that the side willfully entered into following the sale of Yohan Cabaye ended up defining what had been, up until January, a very respectable Premier League season.  As a statement(…)

Ed Woodward, Manchester United, and how to create a rod for your own back

Ed Woodward, Manchester United, and how to create a rod for your own back 1

Ed Woodward did not enjoy his first year as Manchester United’s Chief Executive and his association with both David Moyes and last Summer’s failed transfer activity still effect how he’s perceived by the club’s fans. Times are changing; Louis Van Gaal has arrived, two significant bits of business have been concluded, and optimism has cautiously(…)

Liking Swansea City’s transfer activity and their midfield balance

Liking Swansea City’s transfer activity and their midfield balance 13

Throughout most of the Summer, all the talk around Swansea has concerned who might be leaving.  The squad at The Liberty Stadium was largely assembled by Michael Laudrup and, with the Dane now gone, player turnover was always going to be a possibility. Ben Davies is on the verge of joining Tottenham, Michel Vorm is(…)

Arsenal & David Ospina: A small caveat and the potential need for patience

Arsenal & David Ospina: A small caveat and the potential need for patience 0

Arsenal are on the verge of completing a deal for Nice’s Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina, and the twenty-five year-old will imminently be moving to England for a reported £3.5m. The World Cup wasn’t long ago and so most of you will remember his performances for his national team and will be aware of what kind(…)

Drowning in the metaphors: Moaning about football commentary on television 3

Being a season-ticket holder at a Premier League club probably spoilt football on television for me, and maybe as a result I moan about it more than I should – but, whilst the last decade may have introduced us to giant iPads, heat-maps and high-definition, the standard of commentary seems to have gone into steady(…)

Michel Vorm to Tottenham: Have you thought this through properly?

Michel Vorm to Tottenham: Have you thought this through properly? 9

Michel Vorm has done well for most of his three years in the Premier League, and has carved out a reputation for himself as an agile shot-stopper who is also very comfortable with the ball at his feet. The news, however, that he’s part of a three-player deal between Tottenham and Swansea is baffling. According(…)

The Manchester United fly-over and its commentary on fan behaviour

The Manchester United fly-over and its commentary on fan behaviour 3

When a club enjoys a decadent era of success, they inevitably attract new fans.  From the early 1990s until 2013, Manchester United had a magnetism and allure which understandably sucked-in many a young football fan.  The game isn’t like it once was and television has eroded the role of local teams and provided constant match-day(…)

Player to watch in 2014/15: Andy Carroll (West Ham)

Player to watch in 2014/15: Andy Carroll (West Ham) 0

A public critique from the board, the appointment of a new attacking coach, and around £20m of new attacking talent purchased – clearly, the West Ham owners were dissatisfied with what they saw last season and the steps taken over the Summer are a clear indication of where they want to seen an improvement. Mauro(…)

What Ben Davies could be for Tottenham

What Ben Davies could be for Tottenham 6

It now appears as if Tottenham have won the race to sign Ben Davies and that Swansea’s 21 year-old left-back will be heading for London in the near future for a reported £10m. So what are Spurs getting? Davies doesn’t receive anything like the same attention as he would if he were English, and so(…)

Simplification is the key for Tottenham’s Andros Townsend 5

Andros Townsend has had a funny Summer. At the turn of the year, the Tottenham winger must have thought his chances of going to Brazil as part of England’s World Cup squad were very good – he had, after all, been a prominent part of the national team’s final qualification games and Roy Hodgson seemed(…)

Liverpool ready to snag Loic Remy – and a bargain

Liverpool ready to snag Loic Remy – and a bargain 3

Since Luis Suarez was sold to Barcelona, the talk has been of how Brendan Rodgers will ‘replace’ him.  Not to be a pedant, but that’s quite a redundant discussion: Suarez is a unique footballer, both in terms of his ability and his stylistic tendencies. You don’t ‘replace’ players like that, you just move on –(…)

Player to watch in 2014/15: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

Player to watch in 2014/15: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) 0

It can’t be easy being Olivier Giroud.  The Frenchman scored 16 Premier League goals last season and yet, all Summer, the talk has been of who will eventually replace him. Of course, assessing Giroud purely by his goal-record is reductive analysis, and clearly there are limitations to his game, but he seems to suffer from(…)

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