“The best team lost”, is the quote doing the rounds after Real Madrid’s 1-2 win at Old Trafford. It’s widely accepted that this rare show of humility from Jose Mourinho is true, but as Manchester United know better than most, you need to be more than simply “the best team” in a competition, if you want to win it. Mourinho’s modesty is being seen as an indication that this great wandering winner will one day want to settle down at Old Trafford. Alex Ferguson has singled out the Portuguese in the past as one of the few managers whom he thinks has the quality to continue the work he’s done at Manchester United. Mourinho withdrew Read more..
The following article is a guest post written by Elie Sarkis, you can contact Elie via Twitter or visit his own site here. Click here if you are interested in submitting your own guest post to the site. In recent times FC Barcelona has proved to be the team to fear. Sir Alex Ferguson, one of the most coveted managers alive in football history, who is also known for his arrogance and love for the game, claimed that Pep’s side was the best team he had ever faced in his whole career. That statement came directly after the second defeat to this Barca team at Wembley, on English territory – 3-1 on may 2011 and most importantly Read more..
Despite failing to beat Corinthians in the final, Chelsea and Rafa Benitez must have enjoyed the World Club Cup as it meant they could get away from the everyday grind of Stamford Bridge life, at least for a short while. Chelsea have won only one of the four league games they’ve played at home since Rafa Benitez took over, losing one to QPR and drawing two more. Considering that much of the new Chelsea power was established by an excellent home record under Jose Mourinho, the losses don’t go down well whoever their latest manager is, but as that new manager is a Spaniard who was adopted by Merseyside and Liverpool FC in particular, those losses go down like a Read more..
Unlike club football where it can be perfectly reasonable to pick and choose a club to support based on a number of different factors, international football is very much a case of being stuck with what you’ve been given. Unless, it seems, you’re one of a growing number of England fans who seem to think they can abandon their native country and declare support for another nation, whilst continuing to criticise the inevitable failure of the England team as some kind of justification for this decision to defect. You don’t have to be a nationalistic, right wing, patriotic flag waver to recognise which national football team you should probably support. It should be the easiest Read more..
We’ve now reached the end of one of the strangest and most exciting seasons in Premier League history. The FA Cup winners and Champions League finalists Chelsea finished 6th, big spending soccer ballers Liverpool win the League Cup but finish 8th below Everton, and Manchester City wait until the last few minutes of the season to secure their status as the best team in England, and claim the title for the first time since 1968. Even now all the games have been played, the European spots are still undecided as Chelsea can qualify for next seasons Champions League if they win the final next week, meaning Spurs would miss out on Europe’s most lucrative and prestigious competition, Read more..
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..
It was supposed to be an all English final in this season’s Europa League, an all Manchester one at that, which had Channel 5 and ITV 27 rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of more football (advertising money). Suddenly Thursday nights on Channel 5 were the place to be. That was until both Manchester sides went out of the competition on the same night, but why were Athletic able to beat Manchester United so convincingly? The main reason for this result would be that Athletic Bilbao have been built into a well oiled pressing machine by their manager Marcelo Bielsa, which unsettles their opponents and doesn’t give them time to play, or time 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..
Carlos Tevez has apologised to Manchester City, after realising that his exile from football during the past few months has been because Roberto Mancini thought he refused to warm up during a Champions League tie against Bayern Munich in September. Mancini will support players who fail drugs tests, are Gareth Barry, sulk at being substituted, play on their mobile phone on the subs bench, and stand on opponent’s faces; but allegedly-refusing-to-warm-up isn’t on his list of forgivable crimes. Tevez doesn’t seem to have been missed much during his time away, and a witch hunt has been out on the player who is now number 2 in the list of Premier League hate figures, after recently Read more..
Demba Ba’s heroics in front of goal this season, have meant Newcastle currently find themselves in a position which only the most optimistic of Newcastle fans would have predicted before the start of the campaign. Of course this isn’t just down to Demba Ba – a whole host of shrewd signings have been added to a group of solid team players who helped Newcastle gain promotion from the Championship in 2010 – but 16 goals in 20 league games from the Senegalese has made the difference between a team whose aim is to avoid relegation, and one which now has hopes of European qualification. Ba’s performances this season have been so impressive that it almost Read more..