Seb Stafford-Bloor


Seb is a Premier League-accredited football writer in Bath, Somerset. He writes regularly for FourFourTwo and acts as content editor of uMAXit.
  • Tottenham Travel To Madrid, Gather Up The Benefits, And Head On Up The Mountain

    Tottenham's 1-1 draw with Real Madrid felt significant. Not just in relation to potentially qualifying from Champions League Group H, but as a reference point for the future. For the players who took part, there's certainly value in knowing that an opponent's literal superiority doesn't have to lead to defeat. With the right tactics, discipline and execution, the odds can be upset and favourites can be derailed. It's a rather trite observation, but that's partly because it's one rarely justified, instead becoming one of those predictable, throw-away remarks made whenever clubs of a certain size achieve an unlikely result.  ...

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  • Jonjo Shelvey Is Reclaiming His Relevance At Newcastle

    There aren’t many players in English football like Jonjo Shelvey. Not many who look like him, run like him, or pass the ball as well as he does. There aren’t many who behave like him either. Shelvey didn’t make many friends in the Championship last season. Within a month of Newcastle’s start to life in the second tier, he had been fined and banned for allegedly racially insulting Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Romain Saiss. Shelvey has always protested his innocence, but the incident continues to define the perception of who he is. Ten yellow cards during that Championship season didn’t help either, nor the red card against Nottingham Forest which prompted him to undertake a course of therapy. ...

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  • What Makes The Perfect Last-Minute Goal?

    If the recent international break was good for anything, it was last-minute goals. Mohamed Salah's nerveless stoppage-time penalty against Congo guaranteed Egypt a place at next summer's World Cup and, on the same day, Kendall Waston's late header earned Costa Rica the draw with Honduras which stamped his country's passport for Russia. On Tuesday night, Roman Torres' 88th minute goal would also secure Panama a place in the main draw. For all the native complaints about how dull and lifeless England's campaign has been, the past fortnight has actually been rich with sporting drama. ...

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  • Chelsea Remain Worryingly Unchanged

    There's nothing worse than losing the last game before an international break. With no chance to immediately right the wrong, supporters, managers and players are left drifting aimlessly, thinking of the points they've dropped and wondering how and when they might prove costly. At the moment, that's particularly true for Chelsea. Losing 1-0 to Manchester City wasn't just a defeat to a title rival, but a vivid drawing of their inadequacies. Pep Guardiola may have had to wait until midway through the second-half to see his team take the lead, the slick combination between Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus finally breaking the hosts open, but he was understandably pleased with the performance and with the volume of chances his players managed to create. ...

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  • Mesut Ozil: Arsenal’s False Standard Bearer

    Mesut Ozil's Arsenal career does now appear to be coming to an end. His contract will expire next summer and, with interested parties able to approach him from January onwards, he is already a gossip column fixture. Jose Mourinho, of course, being the latest manager to reportedly carry an interest. It's too early to write Ozil's Arsenal obituary, but the prospect of him playing for a larger, wealthier club with many more star players creates an interesting discussion point: is he, perhaps, a rare example of a world class player who needs to be surrounded by glinting talent to thrive. ...

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