• Ander Herrera Was Manchester United’s Player Of The Year, Not Zlatan Ibrahimovic

    ARCHIVE: On April 19th, Paul Ansorge wrote the below on why Ander Herrera was Manchester Utds player of the year last season and not Zlatan.  Ander Herrera was exceptional when Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-0 on Sunday. He was assigned a man-marking job on the presumptive runner-up in this season's PFA Player of the Year awards (assuming N'golo Kante gets the “you didn't get this last year so you're definitely getting it this time” treatment), Eden Hazard. ...

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  • View From Stamford Bridge: New And Old Realities

    Five games have now been played this season but it’s funny how little has changed. Like last season, I’m instinctively looking at the dotted line around 4th place before casually looking up the table. Winning the title last season only became an actual target, in my mind, late in the day. At the start of last season, like this one, every Chelsea supporter knew the deal. Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and ourselves- 6 teams, 4-5 Champions League places. Nothing’s changed, all these clubs still spending big money and under big pressure in the expectation of getting one of those places. And still at least one will miss out from “Big Cup”, even with a Europa League win amongst that pool. ...

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  • Image Continues To Be Almost Everything In Football

    Looks matter. They're not supposed to, but they do. When a mother kisses her overweight son on the forehead and tells him that she thinks he's beautiful, she knows - really - that the world will judge him largely on his appearance. Often, football is erroneously presented as a reflection of society, but this is an instance in which that's actually true. The way a player holds himself, dresses and behaves - his aesthetic qualities - matter almost as a much what he does on the pitch. ...

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  • Are Everton Experiencing Difficulty Or A Crisis?

    No other team more perfectly encapsulates the damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t hypocrisy that lies at the heart of modern football than Everton. For a long succession of seasons their prudence in the transfer market was a source of immense frustration, not only to Blues but to outsiders too, as it was widely acknowledged that here was a side just a couple of big signings away from breaking into the top four. Why didn’t they show some ambition? Why didn’t they stop settling for silver and speculate to accumulate? ...

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  • Jurgen Klopp Needs Pragmatism To Progress At Liverpool

    Jurgen Klopp knows full well that the introduction never overshadows a legacy. “When I left Dortmund, my last sentence was it is not so important what people think when you come in, it is more important what they think when you leave.” It has been almost two years since the charismatic German arrived in English football. His aim remains simple; win the Premier League. The eleven players that Klopp named during his first game in charge are not the same group that faced Burnley on Saturday, and yet the more things change the more they stay the same.  ...

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  • Liverpool Winger Sheyi Ojo Has Landed A Perfect Loan Move To Fulham

    After a long and arduous campaign that saw Fulham finish sixth in the Championship, scoring the joint-most goals of any side in the English second tier but conceding the third-most from the top 10, Slavisa Jokanovic led the Cottagers to a two-legged play-off semi-final clash with Reading, who had finished five points above them in fourth. Fulham boasted arguably the best young talent in the division in teenage left-back Ryan Sessegnon, and in Tom Cairney (12) and Stefan Johansen (11), the Championship’s highest-scoring central midfielders—but falling to a 2-1 aggregate loss to Jaap Stam’s side, it was clear where the weaknesses lay in Jokanovic’s squad: over the two games, the southwest London side fired 31 shots on goal, with only one finding the back of the net, coming from Cairney, who benefited from an error from Ali Al-Habsi. Heading into the summer transfer window, Jokanovic needed to bolster his attacking line, as the former Yugoslavia international plotted to lead his side to the Premier League at the third time of asking. ...

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  • The Frank De Boer Debacle At Crystal Palace Shows They Are A Directionless Club

    On a sunny summers afternoon in June, Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish struck an affirmative tone. "We need an evolution over a period of time," he relayed to an assembled gathering of journalists. "We’ve been in the bottom three two seasons in a row for home form, sooner or later that’s going to catch up with us. If you want to play on the break in the Championship it’s less expensive. I think we’ve got players who are technically better than that now but it’s also not a sustainable model."  ...

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  • Alberto Moreno’s 16 Month Journey From Sevilla Suffering To Sevilla Success

    “Worst ever Liverpool left-back.” “An embarrassment.” “Horrific.” Those were some of the kinder and less sweary reactions to Alberto Moreno's performance in the 2015/16 Europa League final. Some of the ire directed his way may have been over the top and the way he was presented as the sole scapegoat for that defeat may have been unfair, but there was no denying that Moreno was nowhere near good enough that night in Basel, as Liverpool fell to a 3-1 defeat against his former club Sevilla. ...

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  • Liverpool 1994/95: Looking At The Best Young Teams In Premier League History

    The early 1990s saw the birth of a new era in English football. Just as the Premier League was establishing itself, Liverpool, who had been the dominant force in the country for two decades, were falling away. Their decline was confirmed by a 1993-94 campaign in which they finished eighth, their lowest league position since 1963. Within a matter of months, two of the last remnants of the club’s past successes, Bruce Grobbelaar and Ronnie Whelan, left on free transfers, while another, Steve Nicol, would soon follow suit. ...

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  • Why PSG Are Currently Ahead Of Manchester City In Their Quest For Elite Domination

    The similarities between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are obvious and broad. In recent years, both have been taken over by fantastically wealthy Middle Eastern dynasties (City by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, PSG by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011) with the unswerving intention of transforming each club into a European superpower and global brand. To that end each has so far been furnished with over a billion pounds for transfers alone, luring superstars who would previously have showcased their elite talents at the Bernabeu or Camp Nou. It's a level of investment that has changed the landscape of modern football forever. ...

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