Monthly Archives: July 2017

  1. Nice V Ajax - 2017 Champions League Qualification Round

    Despite taking a first half lead in their third round UEFA Champions League qualifier vs. Ajax, OGC Nice had to settle for a 1-1 draw following a tired second half.

    Lucien Favre, Nice's tactically sharp manager, noted as much in his post match comments, stating: "I think that the equaliser hurt us. Then, we didn't remain as disciplined as we were in the first-half. We left it too open, too many spaces and then we saw the way that they win back the ball and create dangerous opportunities."

    He then went onto add that he was still pleased with his team's efforts, which was encouraging to hear, for Nice still produced some excellent football throughout the match. Against a talented Ajax side who love to possess the ball, the way Favre set up his team in a well organised shape that was accompanied by some nice pressing was essential in making life challenging for their opponents to stamp their usual mark on proceedings.

    Forming a mix between a 4-4-2 in their initial pressing

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  2. Corentin Tolisso: Making a great impression after moving to Bayern Munich

    28th July 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    Although leaving Olympique Lyonnais would've been a tough call to make after spending 10 years at the club, Corentin Tolisso knew the time was right to embark on the next chapter in his career

    For Tolisso, who was close to joining Napoli a year ago, his decision to stay at Les Gones for another season was entirely vindicated, for he played a starring role for OL in a season where they reached the semi finals of the Europa League and finished fourth in Ligue 1. In addition, his consistently excellent performances were certainly crucial towards him earning a dream move to Bayern Munich.

    "A year ago, all the conditions weren't right. I wasn't ready to leave and I still wanted to play for Olympique Lyonnais. This year, I'm ready to take the big step. I have had a complete season. My individual performances were quite promising and I

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  3. Andreas Pereira: Ready To Shine and Spare Man Utd A Recruitment

    26th July 2017. By Ryan Baldi.
    Manchester United have already splashed out in excess of £100 million this summer to sign Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof. But manager Jose Mourinho has openly admitted that he is growing frustrated at the club's lack of further transfer activity and supporters too are getting anxious.

    Numbers are needed in midfield and attack, runs the general opinion, with Eric Dier of Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan winger Ivan Periši? both named as priority targets for the Red Devils.

    However, the form 21-year-old playmaker Andreas Pereira has thus far displayed in pre-season has shown that the Brazil under-23 international is ready to contribute at Old Trafford next season, and could help ease his manager's recruitment headache if the club's transfer targets continue to prove illusive.

    Pereira, who joined United from PSV as a teenager in 2011, has impressed for Manchester Un

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  4. Napoli Sign Adam Ounas - One of the most astute acquisitions of 2017

    24th July 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    While the likes of AC Milan, Juventus, AS Roma and Inter Milan have all been busy flexing their financial muscles in the transfer market, Napoli has quietly gone under the radar with their dealings this summer.

    It must be said that although they have been spending, they've still impressively gone about their work in a purposeful, financial savvy fashion, signing players who'll be extremely suitable for Maurizio Sarri's entertaining philosophy.

    Bringing in accomplished left-back, Mario Rui, on an initial loan from Roma, adds essential depth to the squad, and should prove handy to relieve Faouzi Ghoulam should he need a rest over the course of the campaign. Their other acquisition so far is indeed a lot more exciting, however, for Adam Ounas is a hugely promising talent with awesome potential.

    Paying a very

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  5. A Strong Start for Roberto Mancini as Zenit Manager

    7th July 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    Having missed out on Champions League qualification for a second year running, Zenit FC's busy summer has given a strong indication that they don't want this worrying trend to continue for a third consecutive time.

    Bringing in the highly experienced Roberto Mancini as manager, who's held the post at some of Europe's biggest clubs including Inter Milan, Manchester City, Lazio and Galatasaray was indeed a fine capture to signal their intent. While bringing in such a respected tactician like Mancini was an inspired selection, another component as to why the club's hierachy were so keen to secure his services was his reputation, which they believed would be crucial in attracting some star talent.

    This was certainly the case in their acquisition of the exceptionally talented Leandro Paredes, who joined for an initial €23 million plus a potential four million in bonuses from AS Roma. "The coach was very important for my choice to come h

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  6. Six Defensive Midfield Options for Manchester United

    19th July 2017. By Ryan Baldi.
    Manchester United have already spent well over £100 million this summer on the captures of Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelöf.

    The Belgian striker arrived from Everton for £75 million as the Red Devils pipped Chelsea in the race to sign the 24-year-old, and cultured centre-back Lindelöf was brought in from Benfica for £31million to bolster the backline.

    But United's spending won't stop there. José Mourinho is intent on making two more key additions. Croatian winger Ivan Periši? has been earmarked as the man to add natural width to the Old Trafford side and the 20-time champions of England are currently locked deep in negotiations with Inter Milan for the player.

    The other area of his team which Mourinho has identified for strengthening is in central midfield, where he is believed to be seeking a disciplined destroyer to protect the defence and free up record signing Paul Pogba to unleash his full potential.


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  7. New Arsenal Signing Alexandre Lacazette

    17th July 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    Alexandre Lacazette followed on beautifully from his memorable, goalscoring debut vs Sydney FC on Thursday by putting in another encouraging shift in Arsenal's second preseason friendly vs the Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.

    Although he couldn't get his name on the score sheet during the 3-1 win in front of a packed ANZ Stadium, Arsenal's record signing, who cost a staggering £52.7 million, illustrated so many of his most endearing attributes from his interesting position on the left side of the Gunners' attack.

    Using his intelligent movement, Lacazette was constantly able to find vacant space to receive possession or to create space for a teammate. The biggest beneficiary of his aptitude in this regard was certainly Arsenal left wing-back, Ainsley Maitland Niles, as Lacazette would occupy the left half space which drew his direct opponent, Josh Risdon, slightly infield, thus manufacturing space out wide for Maitland-Niles

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  8. Mauricio Pellegrino - A Fine Choice for Southampton Manager

    14th July 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    Having guided newly promoted Alaves to a remarkable ninth place finish in La Liga and reached the Copa del Rey final last season, all while working with the fifth lowest budget in the league, Mauricio Pellegrino's fantastic work clearly caught the attention of Southampton.

    Looking for a new manager after being uninspired by Claude Puel's time in charge, who was somewhat harshly sacked at the end of his first campaign, the club knew Pellegrino was the man they wanted to lead them into the 2017/2018 Premier League crusade.

    "We had an impressive list of candidates and went through a comprehensive interview process. Mauricio impressed us throughout with his depth of knowledge, motivation and ability, communicating this in a professional and passionate way," insisted vice chairman Les Reed.

    "He has an excellent understanding of the

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  9. Lucas Biglia: the glue needed to bind Milan's gifted young side

    12th July 2017. By Ryan Baldi.
    AC Milan have forked out well over €100million this summer on seven new arrivals as the club and its new owners embark upon an ambitious project to restore the Rossoneri to their former glories.

    But for all the exciting new signings, it could be the next player through the door if indeed Vincenzo Montella gets his man who could prove to be the most vital, not only for the coming season but for the development and restoration of the club over the next few years.

    Lucas Biglia, Lazio's midfield anchoring captain, is the object of Milan's desire, with a €20million deal on the verge of being struck according to widespread reports in Italy.

    The seven players that the San Siro giants have brought in thus far are all either young and still developing (in the case of Franck Kessié and Andrea Conti), have little to no Serie A experience (such as Mateo Musacchio, Ricardo Rodríguez and Fabio Borini), or both (Hakan Çalhano?lu and André

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  10. A Busy 2017 Transfer Window for AC Milan

    10th July 2017. By Edward Stratmann.

    AC Milan is certainly making a statement of intent about their intentions for next season with their impressive transfer dealings so far this summer.

    Having already completed six terrific signings of players who are all ready to come in and make an immediate impact, manager Vincenzo Montella is justifiably setting his sights on returning the Rossoneri to the Champions League.

    "I'm full of enthusiasm. The team is growing and becoming complete with new players arriving all from different leagues so I think our aim is to qualify for the Champions League," said Montella.

    "We are going to have to fight with teams like Roma, Inter, Lazio, Atalanta and Napoli and it's going to be hard work, but I expect my side to show the same spirit from last year and I can see a lot of enthusiasm among the fans. Our objectives are realistic."


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