Oct 29, 2010

Bright future for the Three Lions despite current troubles

By Simon Glanville

Nominations for the FIFA Ballon d'Or were revealed this week and not one Englishman was named in the 23-strong party.

Toon Must Give Hughton a Chance

By Marcus Cleaver

Newcastle crashed out of the Carling Cup on Wednesday night to a young Arsenal side who seemed to dominate every blade of grass at St. James’ Park.

Oct 28, 2010

FIFA Ballon d'Or: Who is the Best Player of 2010

By Gautam Sharma

This is the first year of the FIFA Ballon d'Or, brought about by the happy marriage of the FIFA World Player of the Year, and the Ballon d'Or of France Football. France Football has come out with the 23 player shortlist for the 2010 award. While the snub of Diego Milito from the shortlist is causing all the controversy, lets take a look at some of the most deserving candidates to win the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or...

A Tougher Stance is Needed...

By Stephen Adams

Violence and racism still blight football at the top level, it's time the governing bodies thought differently and acted decisively to eradicate the problem.

Oct 27, 2010

The Unheralded Genius of Andrei Arshavin

By Gregor Vasconcelos

13 games. 5 goals. 6 assists. How can someone with those numbers be so criticized? That is the story of Andrei Arshavin.

Oct 26, 2010

The death of the “Professional Footballer”

By Robert Ellis

As an avid football follower from birth (according to my dad anyway) the life of modern day footballers fascinates me. The lifestyle, playing on the big stage and the thrill of walking out for a club you love is something many “amateur” footballers like myself crave.

IFAB – Last Bastion of the Empire

By Graham Burt

Everyone has heard of FIFA. The international football governing body is difficult to ignore with its pomp and public proclamations. But it is a lesser known organisation – the slightly shady sounding IFAB – that controls the rules of the game.

Oct 25, 2010

Arsenal deserve more credit after coming of age against Manchester City

By Richard French

Arsenal went to big spending Man City yesterday and played them off the park, but today all the praise is going to Roberto Mancini’s team for their ‘battling’ performance with ten men. Arsene Wenger must be pulling his hair out.

Oct 24, 2010

Fabregas an example to follow

By Simon Glanville

Newspaper headlines have been dominated this week by the surprising tug-of-war battle between Manchester United and Wayne Rooney.

Video Technology simply isn’t feasible

By Jake Harrison

Association football has been a way of life since it took a formal bow in a London tavern in 1863. The debates, discussions and arguments still rumble on to this day and, as part of the modern game, the topic that gets all football fans talking is video technology.

Oct 23, 2010

Bill Nicholson: Spurs through and through

By Jake Harrison

In 1961 Tottenham Hotspur “proved the doubters wrong” as they enjoyed a glorious campaign, claiming a league and cup Double. Six years ago today, the man who masterminded Tottenham’s finest hour sadly passed away. Bill Nicholson will always be remembered by Spurs and football fans alike, not only for his desire to win, but also for his desire to win well.

Quest for First Team Football, Part Two: "Finishing School"

By Daniel Soffa

In a Five Part Series, Daniel Soffa deals with the struggles associated with some of the most talented young players & their quest for first team football. The first part dealt with the issue of youngsters at big clubs ("Forever Young!"). In this second instalment, we take a deeper look at the practise of loaning out talents as a "Finishing School".

Oct 22, 2010

‘Tackling’ the problems of the beautful game.

By Scott Rogers

A lot of hue and cry over the last few weeks has been on poor or dirty tackling, and how can it be controlled. Many players and managers have had their say but the the matter remains unclear...

Quest for First Team Football, Part One: "Forever young"

By Daniel Soffa

In a Five Part Series, Daniel Soffa deals with the struggles associated with some of the most talented young players & their quest for first team football. In this first instalment, we tackle the issue of the "youngster tag" at big clubs, how it can limit first team opportunity, potentially rendering a player... "Forever Young!"

Oct 21, 2010

Benitez rant a poor excuse for his Liverpool performance

By Ben Greenwood

Almost unnoticed amongst the speculation, shock and subsequent opinion-giving that came from the Wayne Rooney revelations were Rafa Benitez's comments regarding his former club Liverpool and “where it all went wrong”.

A Costly Win for Barcelona?

By Melanie Hughes

Xavi Hernandez shone in Barcelona’s 2-1 victory over Valencia at the weekend but news of his ongoing injury has dampened the victory for the Catalan club, and for football lovers everywhere.

In 'Pole Position' but who are Lech Poznan?

By James Brown

When Manchester City fans saw the draw for group A in the Europa League, they might have been forgiven for dismissing Lech Poznan as a threat.

White Liquid in a bottle comes from the Cow in a field

By Gautam Sharma

Is it just me, or are football analogy’s becoming increasingly bizarre? First Rafa rants about bottles of white liquid earlier this week, and then Sir Alex stares at cows in a field... what is going on?! Am I the only one who misses "intellectual prostitution"?

Oct 20, 2010

Rooney should leave and go abroad

By Jake Harrison

A move away from England would be great for Wayne Rooney and for England. There always seems to be an over-hyped topic in football.

Sir Alex Ferguson. Defeated at last or master of the Art of War?

By Richard French

“If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”-
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

There is no doubt that Sir Alex Ferguson is rarely beaten.

Rijkaard to Replace Hodgson?

By Marcus Cleaver

After Liverpool suffered a humiliating 2-0 defeat at the hands of local rivals Everton at the weekend and now sit in the relegation zone of the Premier League, speculation is rife as to who will replace beleaguered boss Roy Hodgson.

Theatre of Dreams waking up to their own Nightmare

By Stephen Adams

The recent court-room drama at Liverpool has shown even the biggest clubs are not immune from financial meltdown. With things going wrong both off and on the pitch, United look set to be the next team facing a crisis...

Oct 19, 2010

Rafa’s Lucky Escape

By James Phillips

Rafael Benitez has got to be one of the luckiest men in football. Having escaped his sinking Liverpool ship with a hefty multi-million pound pay-off in the summer, he has somehow found himself in the plush position of Internazionale coach.

No more Rooney, where do Man Utd go from here?

by Mark Duffield-Thomas

So, the absolutely unthinkable seems to be happening. Sir Alex Ferguson’s talismanic forward wants away, Rooney is turning his back on Old Trafford.

Oct 18, 2010

Milan vs Real: The Greatest Team in History?

By Mohamed Smaili

It's about a continental clash, a Derby of Europe if you may... between the two biggest European Champions in history

Real Madrid vs Milan, Tactically Different…

By Mohamed Smaili

AC Milan of Massimiliano Allegri and Real Madrid of Jose Mourinho began the season with very definite ideas about their tactical strategies... but on Tuesday, that pattern will change.

Are the wheels coming off at Old Trafford?

By Simon Glanville

When you think of Manchester United, love them or hate them, you think of success.

Oct 16, 2010

Barcelona vs Valencia Match Preview

By Melanie Hughes

Valencia CF have tonight’s game against Barcelona to prove that they deserve their place at the head of La Liga.

“The Man With The Hat” Malcolm Allison Remembered: 1927-2010

By Ben Greenwood

'Big Mal', Malcolm Allison, died on Thursday 14th October at the age of 83. Remembered as much for his flamboyant, outspoken nature, his cigars and his “Lucky Fedora” as his time as Manchester City assistant manager to the great Joe Mercer, Allison remains a legend in football.

Anybody out there?

By Matt Mariconi

Just throwing it out there to all those who care to listen. Becoming addicted to the game of football in the United States is hard.

Oct 15, 2010

A Year in the Life of Wesley Sneijder

By Gregor Vasconcelos

Humiliated. That is possibly the only word that can explain how Dutch Maestro, Wesley Sneijder, must have felt after he was booted out of Madrid.

One step backwards, two step forwards

By Ross Dunbar

Long-term vision is needed to save Scottish Football...

Did you know, Scotland was the first country to have four clubs reach the Quarter Finals of the European Cup?

Football’s last taboo... Gay Players

By Richard French

Of all the footballers in the United Kingdom, not one is Gay. Either you believe that or you admit that the game is closed off to openly homosexual men and that there are plenty who live secretive lives in the ‘closet’.

Oct 14, 2010

Numbers Favour The Hunter

By Mohamed Moallim

27 goals in 37 games for AGOW, 39 in 61 for Heerenveen, 105 in 136 for Ajax, 8 in 20 for Real Madrid, 7 in 30 for AC Milan and so far 5 in 7 for Schalke 04. Throw in 24 goals in 39 games for Holland, we can conclude that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is nothing less than a serial goal scorer.

Can Sven The Super Swede Reproduce O’Neill’s Luck of the Irish?

By Steven Downes

Leicester City. My hometown club. One that has played home to some great players over the years, including: Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton, Gary Lineker, Emile Heskey and even Roberto Mancini!

Liverpool problems deeper than a 'Gillet' shaving cut…

By Gavin Dobson

Sometimes I wonder whether I am to blame.

Everybody and their Labra-Doodle know the off-the-pitch story taking place at Liverpool

Oct 13, 2010

Nothing pointless about them

By James Brown

There is always dissatisfaction during the international break over what are perceived as “pointless games,” those where the likes of Liechtenstein and Andorra get thrashed 7-0 with alarming regularity.

So Just Who Are Montenegro?

By Marcus Cleaver

The England Players left the Wembley pitch last night to a chorus of boos from the home fans that has almost become a parody of itself.

Scotland vs Spain: A Battle for Pride...

By Melanie Hughes

On a night when David Villa made himself the best striker in Spain’s history Scotland were heartbroken in a battle for pride.

A Standing Ticket, Please?

By Ross Dunbar

The last weekend of November will see Scottish Football fans participate in one of the biggest choreographed fan actions in British Football history

Oct 12, 2010

A Brazil that made Brazil smile

By Gregor Vasconcelos

The Samba is back and the World better be ready for it...

It is early days in July, the World Cup has just ended and with it a very disapointing participation from the greatest footballing nation in the World.

Oct 11, 2010

Sickening blow for Bent as England chance goes up in smoke

By Simon Glanville

I feel for Darren Bent. England’s upcoming European 2012 Qualifier with Montenegro was set to be the Sunderland striker’s big chance, a chance that he has more than merited to be presented with. Instead, injury has taken his chance away.

A Decision of the Heart?

By Lorenzo Scala

The January rumour mill is spinning once more in Italy with a host of speculative suggestions and stories surfacing in the daily sports newspapers.

Hot topic in Milan at the moment is the 'almost definate' return to the peninsula of the Brazilian who ‘belongs to Jesus' as early as January

Oct 9, 2010

UEFA Coefficients Explained - Why Bundesliga will overtake Serie A this season...

By Gautam Sharma

(This article has been updated at UEFA Coefficients Explained)

This is Serie A’s last season among the top 3 "superleagues" of Europe, at least as per UEFA... few seem to admit what is almost a mathematical certainty... guys, this is inevitable. Let me explain how...

Oct 8, 2010

Hard men don't do easy!

By Stephen Adams

The Premier League has got off to a leg-cracking start, but is it right to ask the hard-men to go easy in the tackle?

Its a man's game... or is it?

By Simon Glanville

Football has traditionally always been a man’s game – known for its tough tackling and ultra-competitive nature - but maybe that’s about to change.

How can we finally rid football of hooliganism?

By Richard French

Each season sports news channels and radio stations will inevitably report that violence has occurred up and down England. While it is not as frequent or widespread as the dark days of the seventies and eighties, there is still a problem with the ugly side of the beautiful game.

Oct 7, 2010

Could Big Kev lead the line for the Three Lions next week?

By James Phillips

Kevin Davies is no spring chicken. A key member of the Chesterfield F.C team that reached the 1997 FA Cup semi-final and with nearly 400 Premier League appearances to his name, the Bolton Wanderers captain has certainly been around the block. Yet it is only now, at the age of 33, that the Yorkshireman has made a breakthrough into the England squad. So why has Fabio Capello, or any of his predecessors for that matter, failed to move before?

The Rise of Jan Vertonghen

By Mohamed Moallim

Sometimes you know when a player is playing at the top of his game, at ease with it, totally comfortable with what he is asked to do on the football pitch – Jan Vertonghen has come on leaps and bounds cementing himself as one of the most versatile players in the game and a definite star in the making.

There Are More Questions Than Answers

By Rohan Kallicharan

There are, as so often in recent times, more questions than answers when it comes to the subject of Liverpool Football Club this morning. The question that I have heard most often is whether the club can be sold whilst George Gillett and Tom Hicks are pursuing a legal challenge

Oct 6, 2010

The Rise and Rise of Image Rights in Football

By Marcus Cleaver

“È arrivato ama un re, e parte come un ladro” roughly translates as ‘He came as a King and leaves as a thief’. These were the rather poetic words used in Italian daily sports paper Corriere Dello Sport back in 2002 to describe the transfer of Ronaldo from Internazionale to Real Madrid.

Oct 5, 2010

Achieving the impossible: Mainz begin to believe that they can win the Bundesliga

By Henri Neuendorf

Seven wins in seven games, this is where the record stands for the best ever start to a Bundesliga season. Bayern Munich and Kaiserslautern held the record jointly, and last weekend the unlikeliest of teams matched it.

Harry Potter of Bernabéu

By Melanie Hughes

Mourinho suggested the help of Harry Potter was needed at the Bernabéu and it seems that Los Blancos got it after racking up their highest goal tally of the season so far against Deportivo.

Oct 4, 2010

Yogi leaves the Picnic

By Martin Clark

John “Yogi” Hughes has left Hibernian under fire from fans and most likely the Board.

Olympique de Marseille: Will they ever be European Champions Again?

By James Philips

France has had a major impact on the history of football. Jules Rimet, founder of the World Cup, Henri Delaunay, founder of the European Championships and Gabriel Hanot, instigator of the Ballon D’or award and European Cup

Same old story from same old Arsenal

By Simon Glanville

Arsene Wenger – Arsenal legend, highly-rated manager, stubborn persona. It’s the latter of those three traits that once again could cost Arsenal silverware this season.

An All English FA Cup?

By Daniel Soffa

Who are the best 4 English teams? Arguably United, Everton, Villa, Spurs, perhaps West ham deserve a mention.

Oct 3, 2010

Is Milan Ready to Win the Scudetto?

By Henri Neuendorf

It has been six years since AC Milan, the historic Italian powerhouse have been able to win the Italian title.

Liverpool face defining moment...

By Rohan Kallicharan

The phrase ‘defining moment’ is a well worn cliché in sports journalism. More often than not, it will refer to a David to Goliath scenario observing a rise from mediocrity to champion.

Oct 2, 2010

My eyes have (finally) seen the glory...

By Gary Paul

Memory can do the strangest of things.

My earliest football related memory dates back to 1981, and more specifically the F.A. Cup final replay which has the name "Ricky Villa" indelibly writ large across our collective football consciousness. I was six years old.

Do Arsenal have the muscle to break down Chelsea?

By Melanie Hughes

Last week in North London prior to the West Bromwich Albion game, the general feeling from Arsenal fans was boredom. Not with the style of football, but with the predictable nature of their team;

Oct 1, 2010

Club success not translating into International success

By Scott Rogers

Another week of Champions League football and a similar story for the English teams involved, four wins, ten goals scored and just two conceded and all four sides either top or joint top of their groups after two rounds of fixtures.

Why England should go with the form book against Montenegro

By Simon Glanville

It’s decision time for Fabio Capello as he prepares to name his England squad for the upcoming European Championship qualifier with Montenegro.