Monthly Archives: January 2017

  1. Manu Trigueros Shows Outstanding Form for Villarreal

    13th January 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    In the build up to Villarreal's massive clash with Barcelona at the Madrigal, the coach of the Yellow Submarines, Fran Escriba, made a point of praising star midfielder, Manu Trigueros, on what a fantastic season he's enjoying.

    To get a sense of just how highly he rates his trusted charge, Escriba even compared him to the Barca genius, Andres Iniesta. Trigueros, being his humble, well grounded self, promptly downplayed the lavish praise, however, explaining: "Comparing me with Iniesta are big words. He has always been an idol though."

    For Trigueros, who's unquestionably been enjoying his finest season to date since breaking into the Villarreal first-team four years ago, Escriba's comments were a testament to just how well the once Barca youth trainee is playing. Aside from being his side's standout player, the midfielder's also already scored more goals than in any of his full previous season tallies this campaign - a feat

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  2. Three Contenders to be the Next Barcelona Coach

    11th January 2017. By Ryan Baldi.
    After seeing their side slip to third in the table following a 1-1 draw with Villarreal at the weekend, many Barcelona fans are beginning to wonder if manager Luis Enrique is the right man to carry the team forward.

    It may seem harsh to question a coach who won the treble in his first season in charge of the Catalan giants, before following that success up with a league and cup double last season. But, after a summer of heavy investment in the playing squad, Luis Enrique has too often been found wanting tactically - relying on the brilliance of Lionel Messi to drag his side out of the mire - while his team selections have often been confounding.

    So with the possible exit of the former Roma and Celta Vigo boss at the end of the current campaign, rumours are already beginning to circulate over who will be brought in as his successor; here are the three leading candidates.

    Jorge Sampaoli


    Sevilla

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  3. Yunus Malli - A Great Signing for Wolfsburg

    9th January 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    After the departure of talented, wantaway sensation Julian Draxler, Wolfsburg knew they needed a talented attacking midfielder to replace the 2014 World Cup winner, who'd just joined PSG in a deal worth a staggering £34 million.

    They didn't waste any time settling on his replacement, however, with Wolfsburg quickly bringing in the ingenuitive, creatively gifted Yunus Malli from Mainz 05 for roughly a third of what they received from selling Draxler, paying just £10.7 million.

    Having been a mainstay within the Mainz squad for the last three and a half seasons, Wolfsburg astutely swooped on Malli, taking advantage of a clause in his contact that stated he could leave for less next summer, which forced Mainz's hand into offloading their prized asset.

    Mainz's loss is certainly the Wolves' gain, for they've got a player who should be able to come in and make an immediate impact, as they search to get their so far turbulent s

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  4. A Turn Around in Fortune for Yaya Toure at Manchester City

    6th January 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    Considering Yaya Toure was exiled from Pep Guardiola's plans at the beginning of the season, in large part due to his agent's outspoken, often bizarre comments, it's quite the turnaround to see him cutting a key figure in the tactical genius' plans now.

    The calamitous situation all began when Toure's agent, Dimitri Seluk, claimed that Guardiola had a vendetta against his client for not regularly selecting him, before then adding that the Spaniard was "humiliating a great player".

    All it took was an apology from Seluk and Toure, who had also been excluded from Manchester City's Champions League squad for the group stage, in November, however, and this gave him the gateway he needed to return to the fold. "I wish to apologise -- on behalf of myself and those who represent me -- to the management team and all those working at the club for the misunderstandings from the past," Toure's statement read.

    "Those statements do

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  5. The Importance of Juan Mata

    4th January 2017. By Ryan Baldi.
    As he whipped the ball into the corner of the West Ham United goal following a superb cutback from Marcus Rashford, for the second time in as many days, Juan Mata had come off the bench to set Manchester United on their way to another three Premier League points on Monday evening.

     

    Against Middlesbrough at Old Trafford two days earlier, the Red Devils were growing frustrated at being on the wrong end of some questionable refereeing decisions by Lee Mason, while the visitors took a shock second half lead.

     

    Anthony Martial drew United level with five minutes to play, before Mata picked out Paul Pogba inside the penalty area for the Frenchman to head in a late winner. The Spaniard's introduction after 64 minutes added a degree of incision that had been missing from their performance up until that point, and the same was true at the London

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  6. Esteban Granero at his best for Real Sociedad

    2nd January 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    Having not featured in any of Eusebio Sacristan's superbly coached Real Sociedad outfit's opening 12 matches of the season, it was hardly surprising that rumours linking Esteban Granero with a move to La Liga minnows, Leganes, were circling.

    Seeing as La Real had made such an excellent start to the campaign, Eusebio preferred to stick with a settled side and didn't feel the need to undertake any wholesale tinkering. Sociedad's manager did, however, pick an interesting moment to finally give the technically exquisite Granero his first appearance.

    Although Granero was only introduced as a substitute for the last five minutes of their colossal clash with Barcelona, a game Sociedad probably deserved to win, it spoke volumes that Eusebio was willing to trust the former Real Madrid and QPR man in such an important fixture.

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