Remember when Shunsuke Nakamura was nominated for the Ballon d’Or?

“We have a lot of quality players, but I turned to my assistant and said ‘I think we are witnessing a genius at work’. If you are talking a pure, pure footballer, he is as good as there is.” – Gordon Strachan

Continue reading “Remember when Shunsuke Nakamura was nominated for the Ballon d’Or?”

Manchester United are staring down the barrel of transfer window tragedy

The race to finish fourth isn’t the only cause for nerves at Old Trafford at the moment. After a tumultuous season defined by personnel changes, rumours are already circulating that up to six of United’s senior players could be headed away from Manchester come summer. Having shown his capability to get Man Utd back to winning ways, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now has to prove that he has the influence and know-how to replace potential departures. Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward is putting his faith in OGS, so expect to see some eye-widening signings and transfer fees. 

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The Vietnamese football team: paving the way for a bright future in South East Asia

By Alex Brotherton

Within the cultural, racial and political melting pot that is Asian football, the region of South East Asia often finds itself forgotten. The likes of Japan, South Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia have over the years made multiple appearances at World Cups and have won numerous Asian Cups. Meanwhile, Australia’s membership of the South East Asia Football Federation (ASEAN) notwithstanding, South East Asia has been under-represented. But while westerners associate that corner of the world with anything but football, a sleeping giant appears to be awakening. Keen to known for more than just a war, Vietnam is on the rise.

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Sheffield United’s 5-3-2 renaissance: a look at Chris Wilder’s innovative but old-school style reaping success in the Championship

Sheffield born Chris Wilder is quickly becoming a highly reputed manager in the Championship as he propels his boyhood club into automatic promotion contention. Wilder, whom began his managerial career at Alfreton Town, is earning plaudits for his unorthodox tactical style.

After earning his trade in the Yorkshire Sunday league as manager of Bradway FC, Wilder has gained a reputation for using philosophies he learnt when he started out in management. He believes his players should be treat like normal, working-class people who are playing for passion and points, rather than their hefty wage bill. Unlike his promotion contending counter-parts; Marcello Bielsa (Leeds) and Daniel Farke (Norwich City), Wilder’s roots into management stem from the lower reaches of English football.

Continue reading “Sheffield United’s 5-3-2 renaissance: a look at Chris Wilder’s innovative but old-school style reaping success in the Championship”

Declan Rice: West Ham’s wonder kid and now the future of England’s midfield

By Lauren Savage

The long-awaited decision has finally come. Declan Rice has pledged his international allegiance to England over the Republic of Ireland, despite already earning three caps for the men in green. Continue reading “Declan Rice: West Ham’s wonder kid and now the future of England’s midfield”

Tragedy, oppression and violence: the story of footballer turned political prisoner Hakeem Al-Araibi

By Kieran Ahuja

You may or may not have heard of Hakeem Al-Araibi. His story has been told by myriad publications, football or otherwise, over the last few weeks in an effort to raise awareness of his story, which is one of tragedy, oppression and violence.

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1. FC Köln – Coming Back Stronger

If goats could talk, and indeed, used their new-found ability to tell stories – a pretty wild premise, I grant you – the gaze of the world would surely fall upon Kölner Zoo. Hennes VIII, the eighth iteration of 1. FC Köln’s world-famous goat mascot, could take time from his busy schedule of filming for adverts and television series to sit us all down, and tell us a story of Köln’s recent history: an unlikely triumph, followed by the most disconsolate of relegations.

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