Newcastle United’s signing of Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye in the summer of 2011 didn’t prompt too many headlines in the transfer columns of world football. Indeed, the news of Cabaye signing for the club was often a footnote amidst reports of their failure to sign fellow Lille star Gervinho, who opted to join Arsenal instead. Missing out on Gervinho gave them £10m to spend elsewhere, maybe later on in the season, but more on that later. As for Demba Ba, it’s widely known that Stoke turned down the player on medical grounds, leaving the door open for Newcastle to secure the players’ signature on a free transfer after his contract at West Ham ended Read more..
The world of football is more exposed than ever thanks to the internet. The global game has become increasingly more accessible, and the amount of people following the game online multiplies each day. Elementary translation services provided by services such as Google, or Bing, mean foreign texts can be badly translated and taken out of context; and every club, nation, manager, and player is covered by some blog, tweet, journalist or podcast somewhere in the ether. Football fans have never had it so good, as the overpriced TV channels show leagues from all over the globe, and even if you can’t access these the internet allows you to keep up with results and news in Read more..
Moneyball has been a buzzword in soccer football during the last year or so. Since John W Henry and the Fenway Sports Group took over at Liverpool FC, a lot of the attention surrounding the “Moneyball” method has focused on the exploits of the club, their scouting team, management, and of course the players. They have been the guinea pigs for a Moneyball experiment in football. John W Henry’s links with Moneyball/Sabermetrics are well documented, and he was even portrayed in the excellent recent film version of the Moneyball book written by Michael Lewis. Since mentioning in a previous article that these so called “new” methods could be simply common sense football management rather than Read more..
Manchester United have a history of triumph against adversity. Nowadays there isn’t much adversity, much the opposite if anything, but their manager still tries to instil a mentality of ‘us versus them’ into his squadron of players and staff. Meaning the triumph against adversity continues, even if only in the minds of their players and fans. All the recent talk of Manchester United has been that of a team in crisis. Neither of the ‘keepers they have are getting a run in the team because neither is good enough, their defence without Vidic is too fragile, they’ve never replaced Paul Parker at right back, they have no central midfielders, Ashley Young has been about as Read more..
Since Barcelona’s rise to power as the dominant force in world football, tacticians have been exhaustively analysing their methods and style to the nth degree. Barcelona are the successful, world renowned embodiment of certain tactical systems, which make their style of play the subject of many a debate, and numerous analyses. Once the obvious exhibit has been dissected thoroughly, the studious football writer needs to look elsewhere to fulfil their desire to explain tactics to people and draw crap diagrams which don’t really mean much. This is what they found in their search for an alternative. Make sure you include or at least reference the following: Marcelo Bielsa. Cruyff, Michels and Total Football – this might Read more..
In our previous Football Manager article, we tried to predict the players we thought would achieve the status of ‘wonderkid’ within the game. As Football and Championship manager veterans will know, wonderkids are the most sought after players because they have the potential to become world class, and are often available at prices which are slightly below those of an already established world class player. Our predictions in the aforementioned article (which was a list of players compiled with the help of @solanseven) were generally successful. Mother Superior jumped the gun on players such as Thorgen Hazard and Samed Yesil, who are almost too kiddish to achieve any kind of wonder on a normal database start-up other than the Read more..
Participants in the popular fantasy football game over at fantasy.premierleague.com will notice that Charlie Adam picked up some points for an assist from today’s clash of the English titans between Manchester United and Liverpool. It was certainly a case of a free kick won, rather than a free kick conceded, but it was an example of Rio Ferdinand going in for a challenge when perhaps he didn’t need to, of which there were many in this game. Luis Suarez was somewhat stifled in the first half by a Manchester United team containing four players who, if playing in what would be considered their best and most natural position, would be centre backs. Manchester United looked Read more..
You might not think it, but Phil Jones has been a Premier League footballer for well over a year now. He used to play for a team called Blackburn Rovers, who play their home games at Ewood Park in Blackburn, Lancashire. Whilst at Blackburn he excelled in two positions – central defence and central midfield – but would pop up all over the pitch and make driving runs forward from defence in the style of his fellow defender Christopher Samba. Despite never scoring for the club, fans could see that he possessed a decent shot and you regularly heard the calls of “shooooot” from the terraces as he took the ball towards the opposition area Read more..
Finally it has ended. The transfer window shut last night amid a flurry of activity on transfer deadline day. Rather than go through a summary of all the deals – which would be boring because this is information you already have (even the BBC has it (well some of it)) – we will look at one of the clubs involved in a few intriguing ins and outs on the final day. Which might also be boring…. Everton, having already sold James Vaughan to Norwich earlier in the summer, sold players in two key positions. Mikel Arteta decided at the last minute that he would like to go to Arsenal, and like the player who Arsenal Read more..
How can a 27 year old Brazilian who has played in the Ukranian Premier League for 7 seasons be the new Cesc Fabregas? Jadson, who won a belated first cap for Brazil earlier this year, is lined up to join Arsenal as they attempt to secure the signing of a talented midfielder to go part of the way to replacing Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, who are bound for Manchester City and Barcelona respectively. Although he is being brought in primarily to replace the Spaniard’s guile, creativity, and most importantly, his assists in midfield, it’s surely too simplistic to label him the new Fabregas. His age is the first clue that he isn’t a like for Read more..