By George Storr
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.
Continue reading “Manchester United are staring down the barrel of transfer window tragedy”
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”
By Joe Davies
It is a rare thing in football that an away support outnumbers the home fans in a stadium. As I failed to establish the chant ‘Woah Lacazette-y, Aubameyang’ (to the tune of Black Betty), it occurred to me that without a home chorus to contend with the incentive for away fans to stand up and sing is dampened somewhat. While Gooners have been criticised for their lack of home atmosphere since the ‘Highbury Library’ days, you really could hear your own voice echo as Arsenal beat Blackpool 3-0 at Bloomfield Road. The magic of the FA Cup this was not.
Continue reading “Inside Bloomfield Road: what’s happening with the Blackpool boycotts?”
By Joe Davies
“Tim, I think I don’t know how you are going to survive the mobs when you come back home man. You are going to have to shave your beard so they don’t know who you are.”
Continue reading “Advent Day 24 – Tim Howard”
By Joe Davies
English football was once a game of partnerships. Big man, little man – one guy to hold it up, one to work the channels and play on the shoulder – was the dominant strike pairing across all British sides. Managers lined their teams up with two pacy, outside wingers, and two box-to-box midfielders in the middle, with one going while the other stayed and vice versa. In defence, you would have two imposing centre-halves, one covering while the other marked tight, and full-backs would adopt a similar strategy to the central midfielders in order to make sure there were always three staying back in possession. This is the way all English school kids grew up playing football on the weekend, and is still the dominant shape in Sunday-league football today. Football was simple.
Continue reading “The renaissance of the English 4-4-2”
By George Carden
From being forced to play left-back to spending six-months in Carolina through a career that has seen him rise from the seventh tier of English football all the way to the glamour of the Premier League – Glenn Murray has experienced it all. Continue reading “Glenn Murray, the plasterer who turned into a Premier League poacher”
By Barney Stephenson
Always the bridesmaid and never the bride. There’s something particularly apt about Jermain Defoe’s long association with the number 18.
Clearly a box player in the mould of a classic centre forward, on leaving West Ham in 2004, Defoe relinquished the number nine shirt settling for its less prestigious multiple due to Freddie Kanoute’s presence at White Hart Lane. Jermain and the 18 have been inextricably linked ever since.
Continue reading “Advent Day 18 – Jermain Defoe, always 18 never the nine”
By Lewis Steele
The Italian Mario Balotelli has the ball on the edge of the box. The brains of Manchester City fans have delved through the archives of cliché’s about ‘Typical City’ – the club that always builds up to let fans down. It was happening again. Roberto Mancini’s side have never won a Premier League title, but a recent surge of money has led City right to the top. But, not quite, ‘Typical City’ have surely messed it up again – all they had to do was beat Queens Park Rangers to guarantee a first Premier League title, but the score is 2-2. 93 minutes and 15 seconds are on the clock, it’s surely over – how would City fans ever be able to show their face in the office? Will this go down in history as the worst failure of Premier League history?
Continue reading “Advent Day 16: Sergio Agüero-ooooooooooo and the greatest moment of Premier League history”