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”

The misunderstood talents of Andy Carroll: more than just a master of headers?

By Andrew Misra

“I cause problems”. Not the ominous words of a vengeful villain on the big screen, but those of Andy Carroll on his latest return off the bench against Crystal Palace a month ago. That’s right, he’s back. The pony-tailed beast is back. Big Andy is back. For now, at least.

Continue reading “The misunderstood talents of Andy Carroll: more than just a master of headers?”

The renaissance of the English 4-4-2

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”