Football

Premier League: Manchester United and The Rise of the Northwest

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Alex Ferguson’s strongest asset was not his tactical superiority over his peers but it was his winning mentality. Any team fielded by him, went on to the pitch expecting and playing for a win. With the arrival of David Moyes – a manager generally content with a 6th place finish – they lost that winning mentality and the theatre of dreams was no longer the fortress it used to be and instead became a place where premier league teams’ dreams come true. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Modern 3-4-3: a la Conte

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italia-conte

As the first 24 team European Championship goes underway, regular tournament favourites are entering this year’s edition in an unfamiliar position. For the first time in their history, Italy enters an international tournament as underdogs and have on paper one of their weakest squads ever. Midfield generals who played instrumental roles in their successful qualifying campaign are also unavailable this summer. Read the rest of this entry »

Zidane has the Perfect Ingredients to Guardiola’s Recipe

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real atletico

Over the past 3 years, Diego Simeone’s version of Ateltico Madrid has proven harder and harder to break down. The loss of some of their best players to the allure of more established European powerhouses did not impact the progress and identity of Atletico Madrid under the Argentine’s leadership. On their way to their second Champions League final in 3 years, Los Rojiblancos claimed the scalps of the two overwhelming favourites for this year’s title – Barcelona and Bayern Munich, respectively.  Read the rest of this entry »

“Quality” players that Arsenal Wenger should have looked at

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Arsene Wenger has used his annual party-line of “no quality players on the market” to justify another miserable transfer window. He looks and sounds like a different man to the one who consistently unearthed young exciting talents in the first decade of his tenure. Here is a look at a number of players in different positions who would have made an upgrade to his current squad without the need for splashing astronomical cash sums as Wenger would have us believe. Read the rest of this entry »

For the second time this season, United sign Arsene Wenger’s perfect player

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Morgan Schneiderlin

Arsenal’s match against Manchester City last season has seen the birth of Francis Coquelin. After years of struggling to even cement his place in Championship teams, Coquelin was suddenly seen as the solution to Arsenal’s midfield problems. His rise to prominence is akin to Macheda’s for Manchester United in 2009. He was seen as the saviour of United’s scoring woes until his eventual fall from grace. Read the rest of this entry »

Incompetent Arsene vs Inflexible Brendan: A tale of two managers

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First Half

Rodgers got his pre match tactics spot on. He was aware that Wenger has one preferred way of playing football and built his pre match preparation to counter that perfectly. With the exception of Ramsey’s disallowed goal – admittedly wrongful – Arsenal were no match to Liverpool in the first half. Liverpool dominated the first half because of 4 main players – 2 from either side – Chambers, Coquelin, Lucas and Can. Read the rest of this entry »

Balotelli or Suarez – What is Rodgers’ plan for Benteke?

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In recent years, Liverpool fans got used to signing high profile strikers. Every couple of years a new player comes in, carrying the burden of a high price tag and facing the unforgiving jury. Torres and Suarez were the obvious success stories, while Andy Carroll and Balotelli flopped. Benteke’s signing could go both ways depending on the style of football and team setup that Rodgers chooses for next season. Read the rest of this entry »