Snakes and Ladders with Liverpool and Tottenham

Snakes and Ladders with Liverpool and Tottenham 2

To quickly retread some history that everybody is already aware of: In the Summer of 2013, Tottenham were Marca’d into the sale of Gareth Bale and reallocated the received revenue into the purchase of seven new players.  In the Summer of 2014, Liverpool had their arm forced into parting with Luis Suarez and, similarly, have(…)

Theo Walcott & the mind-trick of a long-term injury

Theo Walcott & the mind-trick of a long-term injury 0

Theo Walcott is close to returning to first-team action for Arsenal.  Arsene Wenger has been reticent to discuss whether the player will feature this weekend against Sunderland, but it seems likely that he will at least be named within the matchday squad. Of course, it’s been nearly ten months since Walcott ruptured his anterior cruciate(…)

Tottenham vs Asteras: Individual Player Statistics 0

Tottenham got back on course in the Europa League, whipping a fairly ordinary Asteras side 5-1 at White Hart Lane.  The game will be remembered for Erik Lamela’s goal, but the performance represented a healthy step away from the disappointment at The Etihad – even if the Greek team found it worryingly easy to find(…)

Liverpool’s decision to walk away from Victor Valdes seems like an error

Liverpool’s decision to walk away from Victor Valdes seems like an error 1

The Liverpool Echo have taken a break from demanding that Mario Balotelli make a formal apology after Wednesday night – yes, really – and claim that Brendan Rodgers has passed on the opportunity to sign free-agent goalkeeper Victor Valdes. The former Barcelona player has, of course, started training with Manchester United on a non-contract basis(…)

Tottenham’s Erik Lamela and a symptom of an unusual mentality

Tottenham’s Erik Lamela and a symptom of an unusual mentality 6

Erik Lamela is an unusual player. By now, the whole world will have watched and admired his sensational rabona goal at White Hart Lane and the vines and videos of that wonderful effort will be circulating the internet for many days to come. The required skill level to execute something like that is off-the-chart, clearly,(…)

Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Individual Player Statistics 0

There will be some grumbling from the supporters about the performance, but Arsenal won last night and the Champions League is very much a bottom-line competition.  Three points is three points, and here are the away team’s statistics: – Aaron Ramsey had 94 touches of the ball, ten more than any other Arsenal player. –(…)

Mario Balotelli and shirt-gate is just a symptom of the game’s emphasis on triviality

Mario Balotelli and shirt-gate is just a symptom of the game’s emphasis on triviality 1

At worst, seeing two opposing players swapping shirts at half-time is mildly irritating.  That annoyance pales in significance, though, to the hand-wringing which now accompanies every instance of its occurrence. It’s a disgrace, it’s disrespectful, it’s against the spirit of the game. Well, it’s really not. When Mario Balotelli traded shirts with Pepe last night,(…)

Liverpool: Naivety, intangibles, and a lack of pressing

Liverpool: Naivety, intangibles, and a lack of pressing 0

This isn’t a tactics-focused website by any stretch of the imagination, so this will be brief and painless. Liverpool’s pressing last night – not good enough. Before the game, I published a brief team projection with some accompanying justifications – and that included this paragraph: Brendan Rodgers opted to be quite aggressive last night and,(…)

Liverpool vs Real Madrid: Individual Player Statistics 0

The good and the bad for Liverpool: clearly they were completely outmatched at Anfield last night, but they deserve a modicum of praise for restricting the score to just three – after all, we all saw what happened to Sunderland at the weekend. Here are the home side’s statistical leaders from last night: – Steven(…)

Liverpool: A justified team-selection for this evening

Liverpool: A justified team-selection for this evening 0

The marquee game in Liverpool’s Champions League group takes place this evening, with Real Madrid due at Anfield. Having lost in Switzerland and facing a return game in the Bernabeu, Brendan Rodgers’ side really need something positive from this game – and here’s a suggested line-up, with justifications below: – With Mamadou Sakho an injury(…)

Real Madrid in England: The Fernando Redondo moment

Real Madrid in England: The Fernando Redondo moment 0

Real Madrid play in England again tonight, heading to Anfield for a game which could well decide Liverpool’s Champions League future. Los Blancos are not a rare sight on these shores and in recent years UEFA’s elite club competition has pitted them against both Manchester clubs, Arsenal and, again, Liverpool. Whenever they do show up,(…)

Manchester City: Vincent Kompany, hero referees, and crazy penalties

Manchester City: Vincent Kompany, hero referees, and crazy penalties 3

Any match analysis of Manchester City’s 2-2 draw with CSKA Moscow last night will rightly include a scathing critique of the English’s side inability to protect their two-goal lead. Fair enough. One might also say that Vincent Kompany’s post-game tirade about UEFA, sponsors and the banning of his side’s supporters for an offence committed by(…)

The forward situation at Tottenham & the need for continuity

The forward situation at Tottenham & the need for continuity 3

Football opinions are tribal and, more often than not, they are stubborn.  Supporters tend to embrace certain beliefs and hold onto them eternally, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that they’re are flawed or incorrect. Sometimes, though, we have to accept that the whole basis for the argument is wrong and approach the question(…)

Stoke, Swansea and the complaints about John Hartson

Stoke, Swansea and the complaints about John Hartson 1

“I’ve never heard a more one-sided view from a pundit and we are right to complain about it. Hartson was a disgrace. He’s a big fan of Swansea and their manager… and it showed.” That was Peter Coates, Stoke City’s chairman, discussing John Hartson’s remarks about Victor Moses on Match Of The Day 2. When(…)

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