Tottenham Come of Age on Golden Night in Turin

When you visit Juventus Stadium what first surprises you is its relative lack of size. In the brave new world of billion pound amphitheatres, two-way tunnel mirrors and cheese rooms, 41,000 seats isn’t a great many for comfortably the most successful club in Italian football history or a team currently pushing for a seventh consecutive league title and third Champions League final in four years. Continue reading “Tottenham Come of Age on Golden Night in Turin”

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Premier League Round Up: Liverpool and Arsenal Serve Up Early Christmas Cracker

Christmas is a time to put your feet up and take it easy and it was in this spirit that both defences on show at the Emirates prematurely entered on Friday night. With last season’s 3-4 bonanza still fresh in the memory, Arsenal and Liverpool served up an early Christmas cracker which only underlined both how enjoyable the two are to watch and yet why neither are even relatively close to being of a title winning pedigree. Continue reading “Premier League Round Up: Liverpool and Arsenal Serve Up Early Christmas Cracker”

Premier League Midweek Roundup: Claude’s Revenge

In the summer, the powers that be at St Mary’s concluded that an eighth place finish, complemented by narrow defeat in the League Cup final, fell so far short of expectations that it wasn’t even worth giving the architect of such a calamity a chance to turn things around. Maybe his meek demeanour persuaded them he wasn’t quite cut out for the brash brawl that is the Premier League? Maybe after seeing the previous two managers they’d headhunted desert them in pursuit of fancier projects (with very mixed results), the board just wanted to be the ones who got to dictate the terms of disengagement for once? “It’s not you Mr Puel. It’s us”… “We just don’t think we’re in a place where we can give you what you deserve right now”… “You’ll always hold a special place in our hearts”. Whatever the case, revenge is a dish best served Claude. Continue reading “Premier League Midweek Roundup: Claude’s Revenge”

City Sew Up Title as Moyes Throws Battle for England Number 1 Shirt Wide Open

Much like Christmas, Manchester derbies have in recent years taken on especially festive feel, a sense of operatic extravaganza that begins to unfold long before the two sides take to the pitch and, as reports from the Old Trafford tunnel attest, doesn’t reach its conclusion until well after the final whistle is blown. Continue reading “City Sew Up Title as Moyes Throws Battle for England Number 1 Shirt Wide Open”

The Premier League: A Week in Review

Farewell then Slaven, for now at least. In truth, the most impressive aspect of the Croatian’s tenure at West Ham was not that fondest of farewell thrillers against Manchester United at Upton Park or unleashing a season a half of brilliance from Dimitri Payet upon English football. Rather, it was the sheer volume of time the man was able to continue occupying his post beyond the point where his credibility seemingly became as shot as those who put him there. Continue reading “The Premier League: A Week in Review”

Zidane’s Madrid still trying to prove they’re the Real deal

If you think back a decade, when Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona were at the peak of their powers, the level of fascination his side generated appeared unprecedented. Tiki-taka tickled everyone’s lips. Books were written. Column inches overflowed. Ceaseless debate dwelled upon their place in the footballing pantheon, with many inserting them as the apex XI to ever grace grass. Continue reading “Zidane’s Madrid still trying to prove they’re the Real deal”

Premier League Week 7: A Tale of Two Strikers

 

There wasn’t a great deal particularly impressive about Harry Kane’s first goal on Saturday. Two centre backs caught up the pitch, a harmless header into the Huddersfield half, a defensive error and a keeper beaten at his near post. So slapdash was the chance’s conception, and so straightforward its consumption, that it failed to threaten the forward’s top five finishes of the week. Given his recent rampancy, Kane himself may have already forgotten scoring a goal of such mundanity. Continue reading “Premier League Week 7: A Tale of Two Strikers”