Monthly Archives: November 2016
Posted: November 30, 2016|Categories: Southampton30th November 2016. By Ryan Baldi.Read more »
Since joining Southampton from Celtic in the summer of 2015, Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk's reputation has steadily grown to the point where he is now widely regarded as one of the finest centre-backs in the Premier League.
The 25-year-old Netherlands international is a reported transfer target for Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton, with a predicted price tag of as much as £40 million.
Former England striker and Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier is well aware of van Dijk's value at St. Mary's. "Virgil van Dijk is one of the best central defenders in the Premier League," he told Sky Sports. "He's an absolute giant
Posted: November 28, 2016|Categories: Manchester City28th November 2016. By Edward Stratmann.Read more »
Kelechi Iheanacho's meteoric rise from playing on the streets to joining one of the biggest clubs in the world is undoubtedly an inspiration to many back in his homeland of Nigeria.
Born in 1996 in Ogogwe, he developed his love for the beautiful game playing in the streets and watching his stars play in local sports centres on TV. Without a television in his house and with money not in abundance, Iheanacho admitted candidly to the Guardian that he found it tough to watch many Premier League games, which led him to instead spend his time honing those impressive skills that he so expertly showcases today.
"We didn't have a television at home," he said. "Even the people who did
Posted: November 25, 2016|Categories: RB Leipzig25th November 2016. By Edward Stratmann.Read more »
RB Leipzig's ascension to the top of the Bundesliga has been nothing short of remarkable. Although they've unquestionably constructed an impressive young squad that's bursting with talent, even they wouldn't have dreamt that they'd reach the summit of the league just 11 matches in.
With Bayern Munich losing to Borussia Dortmund on the weekend, Leipzig's scintillating 3-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen was enough to propel them to outright leaders and three points clear of Bayern. Indeed, quite the stuff of dreams by the Red Bull backed newcomers.
Their success has certainly been no fluke, however, for their superbly well coached and drilled by their fantastic manager, Ralf HasenhÃ¼ttl, w
Posted: November 23, 2016|Categories: Manchester United23rd November 2016. By Ryan Baldi.Read more »
Lying sixth in the table with 19 points from 12 games, nine points off league leaders Chelsea and six behind fourth-placed Arsenal, it's hardly been an ideal start to the season for Jose Mourinho's Manchester United.
The Red Devils are currently five points and one league position worse off than they were at this stage of the previous campaign under the much maligned, and since departed, Louis van Gaal.
With executive vice chairman Ed Woodward confirming last week that if United are to miss out on Champions League qualification again this term, they stand to lose as much as £20 million from their lucrative Adidas sponsorship deal.
So the pressure is very much on Mourinho to turns
Posted: November 21, 2016|Categories: Real Sociedad21st November 2016. By Edward Stratmann.Read more »
After having a tremendous breakout season last term, Real Sociedad's wildly gifted young attacker, Mikel Oyarzabal, has impressively risen to the challenge and continued his remarkable upward trajectory.
Even before he joined La Real as a 14-year-old from Eibar in 2011, however, the man affectionately nicknamed "Bigfoot" courtesy of his size 12 feet, was hot property across the Basque country. Not only was he wanted by Sociedad, but also their rivals Athletic Bilbao, who even offered him a scholarship in the years prior to him joining La Real, which was turned down due to his parents believing that his progression was going along smoothly at Eibar.
Indeed, upon reflection, both Eibar
18th November 2016. By Edward Stratmann.Read more »
With AS Roma in need of defensive reinforcements in the summer, due to Antonio Rudiger's nasty knee injury, plus the departures of Lucas Digne, Maicon and Leandro Castan, the club turned to Juan Jesus.
Joining from Inter Milan on an initial loan fee of €2 million, with an €8 million obligation to buy if certain parameters are met, the deal seemed reasonably logical, despite his time at Inter being rather mixed. After all, Jesus can play, not only at centre-back, but also at left-back. In addition, once the injured Rudiger returned, he'd be an adequate backup and give Roma some important squad depth.
Upon new signing, Mario Rui, suffering a devastating ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in
Posted: November 16, 2016|Categories: Sevilla16th November 2016. By Ryan Baldi.Read more »
Sevilla are taking La Liga by storm this season with a vibrant brand of fluid, attacking football. Under the tutelage of new manager Jorge Sampaoli, the Andalusians are finally transferring their Europa League pedigree which has seen them lift Europe's secondary trophy for the last three seasons in a row into domestic action.
Despite currently sitting fifth, the top of the division is tight and they are genuine title contenders, and were even top of the pile for a short period just a couple of weeks ago.
At the heart of Sevilla's emergence among the Spanish elite this season are two players who will be familiar to regular Premier League viewers.
Steven N'Zonzi and Samir Nasri have been solid Premier League performers in the past, but neither marked themselves out as world beaters during their time in England. So, to those who do not follow La Liga closely,
Posted: November 14, 2016|Categories: Manchester City14th November 2016. By Edward Stratmann.Read more »
Ilkay Gundogan headed into Manchester City's match with Middlesbrough last weekend in the midst of a scintillating purple patch of form that had seen him grab consecutive braces against West Bromwich Albion and Barcelona. But while he was happy with the week that was, he wasn't letting himself get too carried away with his achievements, saying: "If you look at just my goals record, you'd have to say this is the best spell of my career.
"But I think I can improve my performances over the next few weeks I'm still not playing at 100% because it does take time after being out of action for so long."
The German international knew that he and his teammates would still face a stiff
Posted: November 11, 2016|Categories: Hoffenheim11th November 2016. By Edward Stratmann.Read more »
When Hoffenheim's talented central defender, Niklas Sule, was asked why he rejected a move to England in the summer, he offered a refreshingly honest and logical answer, explaining: "To develop myself, I need playing time and a coach who trusts me. I have that in Julian Nagelsmann. He knows me well and knows where and how he can make me better.
"Here I have my usual environment and am within close proximity to my family in Frankfurt."
It must be said Sule's decision to prioritise family and his personal footballing development has been the right one, for under the stewardship of young managerial hotshot, Nagelsmann, the 21-year-old has continued to show why he possesses all the qualities to one day
9th November 2016. By Ryan Baldi.Read more »
It seems strange to consider a player's potential unrealised when they finished their career with two World Cup winners' medals, 15 Wold Cup goals, a UEFA Cup, a Cup Winners' Cup, two domestic titles and over 350 career goals.
If it was ever possible for a player who represented Barcelona, Internazionale, Real Madrid and AC Milan to have never reached the heights of their early promise, then it was Ronaldo.
The buck-toothed Brazilian superstar burst onto the scene in the mid-1990s by scoring goals and shredding defences in a manner that would have made such all-time greats as PelÃ© and Diego Maradona raise their eyebrows in disbelief.
Having moved to Europe to join PSV Eindhoven as a teenager i