Monthly Archives: October 2015

  1. Antoine Griezmann: His Strong 2015/16 Performance, His Transfer Prospects, and More

    Last weekend saw some measure of order and normality returned to the Spanish La Liga. Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid are all back in the top-three, something that hasn't exactly been the norm this season. Real and Barcelona are leading the way, with 21 points apiece in the league standings. But Atletico Madrid are only two points back and seem to be finding their way after a somewhat disappointing campaign in 2014 2015, but where does Antoine Griezmann fit into the statistics?

    Griezmann: One of the Brightest Talents in the La Liga

    Atletico's not-so-secret weapon this season? Antoine Griezmann. The 24-year-old Frenchman joined the Mattress Makers last season on transfer from Real Sociedad. And while Atletico couldn't keep pace with Barcelona or Real Madrid in terms of wins or goals, Griezmann at least was firing on all cylinders.

    Indeed, despite starting his career as a midfielder and not a forward,

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  2. Sporting Lisbon Lead the Way in the 2015/16 Primeira Liga; Can They Stay There?

    Sporting Lisbon haven't exactly been experiencing a drought of success in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. On the contrary, the Lions have won 18 league titles over the years-the third highest tally of any Portuguese soccer club. They've also finished as the league runners-up on five occasions in the past 10 years, most recently in the 2013 2014 season. Add 2014 2015 victories in both the Portuguese Cup and the Portuguese SuperCup, and things are going fairly well as Sporting Lisbon lead the way in the 2015/16 Portuguese League.

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    A Monopoly of Success

    With all of that said, though, it's worth noting that Sporting have not won the Primeira Liga title in more than 13 years. They last

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  3. Eden Hazard out of Favor at Chelsea: Could a Move to Real Madrid Save His Career?

    What in the world happened to Eden Hazard? The downfall of the Belgian attacking midfielder has been one of the most puzzling narratives of the 2015 2016 Premier League. That's saying a lot, considering the fact that Hazard's club, Chelsea FC, have experienced a puzzling narrative of their own. With Eden Hazard out of favor at Chelsea, could a move out of the Premier League help Eden find his footing once again?

    From Player of the Year to Dead Weight

    Six months ago, no one in the soccer world would have been speculating about Chelsea wanting to get rid of Hazard. The Belgian star was the playmaker for the Blues during their dynamite 2014 2015 season. He played in all 38 matches of Chelsea's Premier League-winning campaign, scored 14 goals, and provided 10 assists. Diego Costa ended the season as Chelsea's leading goalscorer, but Hazard was the MVP. Unsurprisingly, he was voted the PFA Player of the Year recipient

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  4. Douglas Costa Proving the New Hope for Bayern Munich's European Success

    Douglas Costa joined Bayern Munich in the summer as one of their two major signings, along with Arturo Vidal, and the Brazilian attacker has made a huge impact on the team with his fast-paced offensive displays and incredible production rate in the final third.


    Under Pep Guardiola, Bayern's attack has been varied both in its approach and its layout. Whether the boss opts to go with a standard front three supported by three midfielders or bring a far more eclectic mix of positional rotation into the game, domination of possession and breaking down teams by moving the ball quickly and looking to make use of movement off the ball has always been key.


    To that mix, Costa has been able to add dynamism, outstanding penetration down the channels and a consistently impressive end product, which has already seen him clock up six assists in league play alone. Bayern's perfect

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  5. Galatasaray and Fenerbahce Draw in Super Lig Rivalry Match

    Galatasaray SK may be the reigning champions in the Turkish Super Lig, but the football club had to come from behind to draw with rivals Fenerbahce on Sunday. The two teams are trailing in second and third place, respectively, in this year's Super Lig, as Besiktas look poised to run the table for the year. A win for either squad on Sunday would have helped level the playing field a bit. Instead, though, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce draw, leaving Besiktas four points ahead after nine weeks of competitive play.

    A Long-Standing Rivalry

    The Intercontinental Derby matches are always among the most anticipated games (if not the most
    anticipated games) of any given Super Lig season. The rivalry dates back to January 1909 when the two football clubs met for the first time.

    In the years since, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray have played one another 361 times, with the stats for the rivalry remarkably even in their split.

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  6. Fiorentina and AS Roma Do Battle for the Serie A Top Spot 2015/16

    The downfall of Juventus has created something of a vacuum at the top of the 2015 2016 Serie A league standings table-a vacuum both Fiorentina and AS Roma are out to fill. The two high-ranking Italian football clubs met for the first time this season on Sunday, October 25th. And while Fiorentina came into the match as the Serie A point leaders, it was AS Roma that left the fixture with that distinction. It seems that the battle for the Serie A top spot 2015/16 is set to be one of the highlights of this season's football action.

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    The Season So Far

    Roma and Fiorentina-along with Napoli, Internazionale, and Lazio, all of which are in the Serie A's closely-ranked top five-have played strong football

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  7. Could Messi Be Forced out of Barcelona Due to Tax Issues?

    The Spanish tax office could have riots and uprisings on their hands if they continue to pursue Lionel Messi for tax fraud. Messi and his father are both facing three counts of tax fraud and will have to stand trial to refute the charges in court. The supposed tax fraud allegedly took place between 2007 and 2009, with Lionel and his father accused of defrauding Spanish tax authorities of $4.5 million in unpaid taxes. If Leo is found guilty, at least one state attorney for the Spanish tax office wants to put him behind bars for 22 months. So could Messi be forced out of Barcelona? And which club would benefit from the Spanish tax authorities allegations.

    Messi and his father have been facing these accusations for years now, and the process has grown increasingly murky and convoluted in that time. For instance, just days before news broke that Spanish authorities would seek a prison sentence for Messi, Barcelona prosecutors cleared the Argentine soccer of all wrongdoing in the case.

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  8. Super Keylor Navas won't keep Real Madrid top of La Liga without Attacking Improvement

    Guest Post By Karl Matchett


    A fact of life at Real Madrid is that no matter what part of the team is playing successfully and exciting the fans, another will still be criticised for underperformance, even if not strictly true. Rafael Benitez has only been in the job a matter of months but has already faced media column inches about his choice of playing Gareth Bale centrally, possible fall-outs with Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos and, most recently, playing negative football.


    That last slight, brought up again by Laurent Blanc in the build-up to the Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain last week, was somewhat at odds with the bare facts of Real in La Liga this term: top of the league, unbeaten and with the most goals scored. Of

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  9. Newcastle United Crash and Burn in Wear-Tyne Derby 2015

    It was a big weekend for local derby games in the English Premier League. On one end of the spectrum, Manchester City and Manchester United battled for the league's top spot, with City ultimately coming out on top-for now, at least. On the other end of the spectrum, Newcastle United and Sunderland competed for a chance to escape the red zone in the Wear-Tyne Derby 2015.

    The first Wear-Tyne Derby of the 2015 2016 season showed just how much North East England's football clubs have flopped this fall. Heading into the game, Newcastle United had only won one of their first nine games of the season. Sunderland, meanwhile, hadn't won any games. Sunderland were in dead last place, with only three points from the first nine fixtures. Newcastle United weren't doing much better, sitting in 18th with six points.

    Stuck in the Red Zone

    The best thing that can be said about the Wear-Tyne Derby is that

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  10. Tim Sherwood Sacked as Aston Villa Manager, Following Loss against Swansea City

    The writing was on the wall for Tim Sherwood, even prior to Aston Villa's Saturday, October 24th home fixture against Swansea City. The 46-year-old manager had only been in charge at Villa Park for eight short months. But the Lions had been in dire straits throughout the 2015 2016 Premier League campaign, having fallen into the red zone at the end of September. Everyone in the soccer world knew that Sherwood's job was on the rocks. The question was whether or not he would prolong his stint with a win against Swansea City, or put the final nail in his own coffin with a loss. Ultimately the news came - Tim Sherwood sacked as Aston Villa manager, but his team didn't let him go easily.

    For a few minutes in Saturday's game, it looked like Sherwood might be able to salvage his job-for another week, at least. The Lions managed to stay pretty equal with the Swans in terms of possession and shots on goal. At the 62-minute mark, they even scored the first point of the match, with

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