• Chelsea’s Key Cast Members In 2016/17

    March 9th, 2017 The story of the Chelsea season so far largely gets written through the prism of Antonio Conte. However, we should also take a look at some his chief characters whose own efforts best represent the work done by the entire team. If Chelsea do win the title, they will have needed some... ...

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  • Might Sir Alex Ferguson Have Built His Fourth Great Manchester United Team Had He Stayed?

    March 17th, 2017 In Sir Alex Ferguson's last ever programme notes as Manchester United manager, he wrote: "It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so. The quality of this league-winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one." ...

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  • What Is Wojciech Szczesny’s Arsenal Future?

    March 16th, 2017 When Arsenal signed Petr Cech from Chelsea in 2015, it seemed that their goalkeeping situation was sorted for the next four or five years. The 34-year-old came into the club having just won his fourth Premier League title (albeit as second choice to Thibaut Courtois), alongside the four FA Cups, one Champions League and one Europa League trophy already sitting in his accomplished trophy cabinet. Cech would bring experience and leadership to the dressing room, but more importantly, a winning mentality that would gradually propel the club to its former heights after back to back cup victories. ...

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  • Professional Careers Will Always Hinge On Luck And Circumstance

    As with almost any anecdote concerning Brian Clough, John Robertson’s story is well known. In fact, no Clough biography is complete without loving chapters dedicated to Robertson’s emergence from the haze of the Nottingham nightlife and his rise to becoming one of best players in Europe. His story never grows old: from the shoddy confines of a creaking County Ground to the Olympic Stadium and that perfect cross for Trevor Francis.  ...

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  • By The Numbers: Best Striker In The Premier League?

    We take a look at the numbers to see which strikers have had the best season in the Premier League 16/17. ...

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  • Chelsea Edge Forward Together

    If the feeling in the stands was more than a little nervy, Chelsea's players seem to have wrenched the crutch of confidence from somewhere else as this title run-in plods steadily on. Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, a little like Wembley three days before, seemed on-edge. The element of swagger, seen in no short measure in recent years but severely depleted by the disaster of last season, was absent once more. Antonio Cote has done much to restore it this season, with his emphatic, emotional, slightly crazed reaction to events on-pitch. Awaydays, in particular, have been dosed-up on confidence this spring – and not just the sort you buy over the bar. ...

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  • In Praise Of James Milner, His Many Roles, And His Consistency

    To say James Milner burst onto the scene as a teenager would be pushing it. Mainly because James Milner, pretty much from the first time he made any sort of impression on a professional football game, had the physical resemblance of a hardened pro. When he scored for Leeds against Sunderland in December 2002, he was 16 years and 357 days old, making him – at that time – the youngest scorer of a goal in Premier League history. But he quickly became part of the scenery. ...

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  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic Denied The Right Ending At Manchester United

    The pain in Zlatan Ibrahimovic's face when he landed so awkwardly in Manchester United's win over Anderlecht in the Europa League semi final was hard to watch. Footballers have a terrible reputation for overselling the pain they are in, to try and extract cards from referees for their opponents or simply to waste time. Ibrahimovic does not really fake it, nor does he have any real history of picking up serious injuries. So when he looked hurt, even before those horrible replays showed that his leg had bent in a manner in which legs are not supposed to bend, it was immediately worrying. ...

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  • The Alternative Team Of The Premier League Season

    Teams of seasons are always subjective selections, and this season’s PFA Premier League crop is no different. The team – David de Gea, Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Danny Rose; Eden Hazard, Dele Alli, N’Golo Kante, Sadio Mane; Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku – has attracted much debate, and this is par for the course. ...

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  • Developing Liverpool Players Who Are Ready To Shine In 2017/18

    With their objectives streamlined and focus set in the closing weeks of the 2016/17 campaign, there are few opportunities available for Liverpool’s supporting cast between now and May, with Jurgen Klopp opting for experience and stability as he pushes for a top-four finish and Champions League qualification. Barring a major swing in their favour, the Reds will be required to contend with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal until the final day of the campaign at home to Middlesbrough, ensuring their peripheral figures will remain sidelined. For some, such as Alberto Moreno, Kevin Stewart and Daniel Sturridge, this will likely foreshadow a summer departure, with the senior trio in need of regular first-team football to revive their career prospects; but for others, 2017/18 will present a big chance to go from frustration to fortune. ...

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