Monthly Archives: October 2015

  1. Massimiliano Allegri Hopeful That Juventus 2015 - 2016 Serie A Struggles Are Over

    As September neared its conclusion, and Juventus remained winless at home for the 2015 2016 Serie A season, head coach Massimiliano Allegri was getting angry. The Italian-born manager criticized his team for reading games wrong and giving up what should be easy wins. So what is causing the Juventus 2015 - 2016 Serie A struggles and can they overcome the issue?

    A September 23rd at-home draw against Frosinone was particularly frustrating for Allegri, for numerous reasons. For one, Frosinone are Serie A debutantes this year, having finished second in the 2013 2014 Serie B. For another, Frosinone were on a four-game losing streak when they faced Juventus. And finally, Juventus looked to have the game in the bag with a 1-0 lead, until Frosinone defender Leonardo Blanchard netted a goal at the 90+2-minute mark.

    The Frosinone draw was just one bum note in what has been a symphony of disappointment

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  2. Harry Kane Goal Drought: Why Tottenham Hotspur's Most Dependable Weapon Isn't So Dependable Anymore

    The first eight weeks of the 2015 2016 Premier League season have posed several big questions. Why are Chelsea performing so poorly? Will Liverpool be better off with a replacement manager? Did Manchester City overpay for Raheem Sterling? Perhaps the biggest curiosity of all, though, is what in the world happened to Kane over the summer hiatus, and what is causing the Harry Kane goal drought?

    Last season, Harry Kane wasn't just Tottenham Hotspur's most dependable scorer; he was one of the most dependable scorers in the entire league. He was the breakout star of the season, netting 21 goals in 34 league appearances. In cup and continental play, he added an extra 10 goals. He wasn't the top scorer in the English top-flight: that title belonged to Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, with 26 points to his name. But Kane was the second most prolific scorer in the league, and his young age-he turned 22 in July-had soccer pundits speculating about the great, great things he could

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  3. Celtic 2015 - 2016 Europa League: Can they Recover from a Two-Draw Start?

    Following their decisive victory in the 2014 2015 Scottish Premiership, the Celts earned a spot in the second qualifying round for Europe's most prestigious club football tournament. The team did quite well in the qualifiers, too, crushing Iceland's Stjarnan F.C. on a 6-1 aggregate in the second qualifying round and beating Azerbaijan's Qaraba? Futbol Klubu 1-0 in the third round.

    But while things started off well in the playoff round, with Celtic winning 3-2 in a home game against Sweden's Malmo FF, they lost the second leg 2-0 to miss out on a group stage slot. Thus, the Celts were transferred over to the Europa League, where they've been drawn in Group A alongside Molde FK, AFC Ajax, and Fenerbahce.

    A Slow Start in the Europa League

    Whatever momentum Celtic seemed to have going for them in the earlier Champions League qualifiers seems to have evaporated since the Scottish soccer club arrived in the UEL. So far,

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  4. Jurgen Klopp Appointed Liverpool Manager Following the Departure of Brendan Rodgers

    Well, that didn't take long. Just five days after Brendan Rodgers was sacked from the Liverpool FC manager job, an announcement was officially made: Jurgen Klopp appointed Liverpool Manager.

    Klopp, who led Dortmund to a pair of Bundesliga titles and a runner-up finish in the 2013 2014 Champions League, had been rumored to be in talks with Liverpool for several weeks, as chatter about Rodgers' future with the club heated up. Klopp had been on sabbatical from the soccer world, following his resignation from Dortmund last spring after a disastrous season. Still, the German coach is typically regarded as one of the finest soccer managers in the world, and he just might be the man to turn the Reds into a winning soccer organization again.

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    A Season in Need of Turnaround

    Not even

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  5. Rafa Benitez at Real Madrid: Has He Created a "Cowardly" Team?

    At this moment in time, we are seven games into the 2015 2016 La Liga season. If you look at wins and losses, Real Madrid are technically doing better this season than they were at the same point a year ago. Indeed, seven games into the 2014 2015 La Liga, the Vikings were in fourth place on the league standings table, having lost two games and won five. Their point total was 15. This year, their seven-game total is 15 points once again, but they're in second place instead of fourth, and they're also still undefeated, having won four games and drawn the other three. But, with the arrival of Rafa Benitez at Real Madrid some commentators are criticizing the changing style of the team and particularly a 'cowardly' style of play.

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    The Lingering Affection for Carlo Ancelotti

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  6. The Big Winners and Losers of the Capital One Cup Third Round

    So far in the 2015 2016 Capital One Cup (also known as the Football League Cup), we haven't seen a ton of big surprises. The first two rounds of the tournament went more or less as expected, with all of the biggest soccer clubs (Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, etc.) making it to round three intact. However, the Capital One Cup third round matches, played on September 22nd and 23rd, brought arguably the first big development of the tournament so far the elimination of Tottenham Hotspur.

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    Tottenham Make an Early Exit

    Tottenham Hotspur, of course, were one of the most successful soccer clubs in the Capital One Cup last year. Spurs went all the way to the finals, beating teams like Nottingham Forest, Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United,

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  7. Bologna FC Return to the Serie A (and Their Chances of Avoiding Relegation)

    Despite being a founding member of the Serie A-not to mention seven-time league champions-Bologna FC have been relegated from Italy's top flight football division many times over the years. Where top clubs like Internazionale, Juventus, Roma, and AC Milan have spent 82, 83, or 84 seasons in the league, Bologna are clocking their 70th with the 2015 2016 campaign. The question is, will Bologna FC return to the Serie A produce a good enough finish this year to avoid relegation? Or will they continue their recent trend of ping-ponging between the first and second tiers of Italian soccer?

    Bologna's Recent "Rise and Fall" Trend

    Fans in the Bologna home jersey 2015 2016 have experienced something of an up and down rollercoaster of emotions over the past few years. A series of sales, acquisitions, and takeovers have
    created a lack of consistency at Bologna and have actually put the football

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  8. Champions League 2015 - 2016 Group H

    Zenit St. Petersburg have never won a UEFA Champions League title, or even gotten very close to doing so. In fact, the Russian club's European success is pretty much limited to a UEFA Cup (Europa League) victory in 2008 and a UEFA Super Cup title the same year. After a dynamite start to the Champions League 2015 - 2016 Group H, it seems like Zenit St. Petersburg might have what it takes to go a long way in the tournament. The Anti-Aircraft Gunners are up three points in Group H after just two games. Spanish soccer club Valencia are in second, while Lyon (France) and Gent (Belgium) are trailing in the bottom two slots.

    Potential Frontrunner Status

    So could Zenit St. Petersburg be potential frontrunners or dark horse contenders for the 2015 2016 Champions League title? It's tough to say. On one hand, the first month of the tournament has been remarkably competitive, to the point where Zenit's two-win record is pretty notable.

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  9. Toulouse FC 2015 - 2016: Can They Perform Better Than They Did Last Season?

    For Toulouse FC 2015 - 2016 is a new start following a disappointing season in 2014/15. Toulouse FC fans didn't have a lot to be happy about during the 2014 2015 football season. Their club had a decent start to the season, winning four of their first nine games and reaching as high as eighth place on the Ligue 1 standings table. But a disastrous run from October to December-they lost seven games in a single two-month period-put TFC in dire straits heading into the New Year. When all was said and done, Toulouse ended the season with a record of 12 wins, six draws, and 20 losses, and finished at 17th place on the Ligue 1 table.

    In other words, TFC managed to avoid relegation, but only narrowly. They ended the 2014 2015 campaign five points ahead of Evian and, therefore, weren't in much danger of tumbling into the red zone. Still, the poor performance resulted in the March sacking of manager Alain Casanova-who had been with the team for nearly seven years-and puts them in

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  10. Champions League 2015 - 2016 Group G: Chelsea Crash and Burn, Porto Take the Frontrunner Position

    Back in the summer, right after the UCL group stage draw was announced, Champions League 2015 - 2016 Group G looked like one of the tournament's more predictable segments. Portugal's Porto FC and England's Chelsea FC seemed destined to take the top two slots in the group while Ukraine's Dynamo Kyiv and Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv seemed almost sure to be also-rans. After all, Chelsea were fresh off a thoroughly dominant run in the always-competitive Premier League, and Porto went all the way to the UCL quarterfinals last year.

    Trouble for Chelsea?

    Now, though, with two of the six game-days officially on the books for Group G, things are looking a bit shaky for Chelsea. The Blues lost what could end up being a key group stage match on Tuesday, September 29th, falling 1-2 to Porto. Dynamo Kyiv, meanwhile, skated into the top two with a 2-0 victory at Maccabi Tel Aviv.

    Should Chelsea fans start to worry that

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