• 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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