• Kelechi Iheanacho’s Stagnation Shows Manchester City’s Cluttered Pathways

    In recent years, the language of marketing and public relations has bled into football discourse. It had always been there in the background, erupting onto the surface with the announcement of a new sponsorship deal or kit launch, but now it has begun to influence the way we talk about footballers and the game that they play. Tactical ideas have become “philosophy”, dealings on the transfer market fall under “recruitment” and young players being given a chance in the first-team represents a “pathway”. ...

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  • Dani Alves Would Represent A Coup For Manchester City

    Ahead of this year’s Champions League final, Dani Alves participated in a feature for The Players' Tribune - the sports website established by former New York Yankee Derek Jeter which publishes articles written exclusively by professional athletes - and regaled the story of his career to date. The least surprising passage of the piece involved his thoughts on Pep Guardiola, whom he worked alongside at Barcelona. ...

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  • Football Manager: Kyle Walker

    Welcome back to another uMAXit Football Manager experiment. Today my challenge is to look at England’s first choice right back and see if I can recreate his real life persona in the FM17 match engine. Kyle Walker has been a key part of Pochettino’s Tottenham jigsaw, but rumours are growing that Walker is heading north to play for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. So, today, I will be looking at recreating Walker under Pochettino, before flipping it up to seeing how he would perform in a Pep G style tactic as an inverted wing back. ...

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  • Must Joe Hart Be Thrown Into The Stocks?

    Joe Hart did not enjoy himself at Hamden Park. In fact, it’s been some time since he looked happy in an England shirt. Beaten by two Leigh Griffiths free-kicks on Saturday, Hart now occupies a territory which his predecessors will recognise only too well. ...

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  • Morning Editorial: Vultures Circle Joe Hart After Weekend Performance

    Going back a couple of years, Joe Hart was relatively comfortable.  ...

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  • Three Reasons Why Liverpool Offer England’s Best Chance Of European Success

    Just as LaLiga did this season, the English Premier League will send five teams to the 2017/18 Champions League, with Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United all having booked their ticket to Europe’s premier club competition. Despite the fact that Liverpool are the only team which will have to navigate a qualifying play-off, they are set up for a deep Champions League run and have an excellent chance of surviving longer than any other English side. How so? Well, here are three reasons why the Reds can take the continent by storm. ...

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  • Morning Editorial: Europe Braces Itself For Another Summer Of Crazy Spending

    Manchester City may have fired the golden starting gun on what is expected to be the biggest summer of spending in the transfer market, but they certainly won't finish it. The £43million acquisition of midfield play-maker Bernardo Silva is just the beginning. Not least for City who want his Monaco team-mate, full-back Benjamin Mendy, to attack down the left-flank with Tottenham Hotspur’s Kyle Walker charging down the right. Already we are talking about an expenditure of £120million and that will be added to with more signings as Pep Guardiola begins in earnest the task of shaping City into the team he wants them to be. The money is there. The money is everywhere. Europe is rubbing its hands with glee at the prospect of the Premier League coming calling and the re-emergence of the Milan clubs, Inter in particular, under new, ambitious ownership means that are more big players in the market to join Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus. That elite is expected to wield unprecedented levels of spending, fuelling fees and wages. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPnDLpaDUWc[/embed] A pot of £200million for the biggest Premier League clubs – Manchester United, City, Chelsea – appears to be the minimum amount available with Chelsea, in particular, also awash with money they have brought in through sales with the £60million from China for Oscar and ootentially a further £76million from the same source for Diego Costa although his move is suddenly in the balance. The Blues have waited and will now go big.
    There is an expectation. An expectation that the world-record transfer fee will be broken – Real could already have done so had Monaco not this month rejected their offer of 120million euros (£103million) for 18-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe – while United have been snooping around the 100million euro buy-out clauses in the contracts of Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann and Torino striker Andrea Belotti. Last summer they paid roughly that for Paul Pogba.
    Last summer Premier League clubs exceeded £1billion in spending in the window, with the new effects of the new broadcast deal kicking in, and the surprise would be if that figure is not easily surpassed this year. Interestingly the pressure in the market in recent seasons was wages. Now it appears that fees are going through the roof. But it will not stop clubs spending.

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  • Bernardo Silva Signing A Statement of Intent From Manchester City

    At one point in time, the FA Cup final was the centrepiece of the football calendar. It was the culmination of the English season and the last stop before a summer of mundanity and anticipation. It was an event watched by tens of millions of people and represented one of the sporting highlights of the year. ...

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  • A Brief History Of: The City Football Group

    When the Abu Dhabi United Group purchased 90% of Manchester City’s shareholdings in September 2008 for a princely sum of 210 million pounds it transformed the Blues overnight into the richest football club in the world. This video examines the subsequent creation on the City Football Group, and explores their plans for the future. ...

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  • Why Nicolas Otamendi Can Save Manchester City A Small Fortune This Summer

    There are few more fascinating footballers in the Premier League than Manchester City’s Nicolas Otamendi and in an increasingly homogenised sport his refusal to be pinned down to a type is something that should be cherished. At first, second, even third glance he is a thoroughly modern defender, unflinchingly on the front foot, proactive over reactive as he anticipates danger with one eye already on calmly recycling possession. Yet conversely there is also a clear relish to each and every challenge undertaken, a combative nature that evokes the centre-back bouncers of yesteryear with scars for laughter lines. ...

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