Monthly Archives: March 2018
- March 29, 2018
The age old debate of whose league is better has been a familiar one in the new age media world. Which is unfortunate for Italian fans, who ruled supreme before the turn of 2000, trailblazing their way through Europe and winning major trophy after major trophy. But with Serie A’s decline, it has paved the way for La Liga and the Premier League to battle it out to be Europe’s number one.
Both leagues have plenty to offer for different needs when watching football, but there are a number of factors which lead one to think that Spain’s league is far ahead of their competitors.
When you take a look at the last 15 winners of a European or international trophy, ranging from the Champions League to the Europa League to the Super Cup to the Club World Cup, 14 have been from Spain.
That doesn’t just include Barcelona and Real Madrid, but also Sevilla, who dominated the Europa League and won it three consecutive times under Unai Emery.
- March 28, 2018
With only seven league fixtures to go until the current campaign comes to an end, Jose Mourinho’s men are sitting in second place in the Premier League and are 16 points behind soon-to-be champions and local rivals Manchester City. However, Manchester United will be aiming to finish the season on a high note in all competitions before they can retaliate within the transfer window.
After producing vital victories over the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool as well as an unbelievable comeback against Crystal Palace over the last couple of weeks or so, Mourinho is now being seen in the eyes of the board and the supporters as the perfect manager to take the club forward on and off the pitch.
On the other hand, following the embarrassing defeat to La Liga side Sevilla, leading to the club exiting the Champions League, he’ll need the full backing of the board as the Red Devils are still lacking a few game changers and world class players before they can challenge for any major honour
- March 27, 2018
For most football clubs, the motto is fairly unimportant. Even the most ardent of fans could be forgiven for not knowing theirs. If visible at all, it usually sits on or around the club crest in small font. The motto is out of sight, and out of mind. Barcelona aren’t most football clubs, however. Indeed, according to their own motto, they are ‘More Than A Club’.
These words – ‘Mes Que Un Club’ – aren’t trivial; they have embodied the club throughout its long and storied history and are considered to be so essential that they are painted into their stadium’s seats. Fans can’t help but notice the motto when they enter the Camp Nou.
Barcelona are more than a football club in the sense that they represent something beyond the pitch. They are, for many, a cultural symbol of Catalan nationalism. Hence, following the fallout from the Catalan independence referendum in 2017 that saw voters beaten by Spanish police, former Barca captain Xavi Hernandez came out publicly to state his
- March 22, 2018
While other leagues around Europe have been concluded as early as December of last year, one remains strong with two teams going toe-to-toe for the title. The country is Italy and the league is Serie A, with Juventus chasing their seventh consecutive Scudetto, while Napoli are in search of their first league title since 1990.
What has been truly magical is how these two teams have not eased the pressure on one another at any point throughout the season so far. Even when Juventus took the lead for the first time during the campaign after Napoli’s collapse to Roma, the Neapolitan club kept their faith and just made sure they picked up points in their following two games.
In what has been the strangest result of the entire season, Max Allegri’s men drew 0-0 to SPAL Ferrara away from home - a team that is battling relegation and has conceded the joint-third most amount of goals in the league.
The Bianconeri, as expected, had 65% possession during the 90 minutes,
- March 19, 2018
Fiorentina’s purple kit is among the most eye-catching in football. It’s simple, but unique. No other team in Europe’s major leagues wears the colour, which stands out as a beautiful rejection of the more traditional blacks, blues, reds and whites on show throughout Italy, England, Spain and Germany. Rather fittingly, the dark purple – which informs the club’s Viola nickname – was born amid majestic surroundings.
Fiorentina’s Purple Colour Scheme
According to folklore, Fiorentina became Viola by accident. Originally their shirts were a more conventional – and frankly less interesting – vertically split half-red, half-white. But, during a trip to the River Arno, which snakes underneath the Ponte Vecchio and through Florence, a fatal washing error saw the two colours combine to form a purple hue. The new look was welcomed, and has remained in place for almost 90 years since.
The kit fits in perfectly with the city itself. Florence is widely regarded as one of the
- March 16, 2018
Gareth Southgate announced his England squad this week ahead of the international friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy, and there were a few surprise names called up - one being Manchester United’s Ashley Young.
If you have watched him regularly throughout the season, then it’s not that much of a surprise, but to the outside viewer, they might well be asking why the England manager has recalled someone who last played for the Three Lions in 2013.
Young has been a typical Mourinho player since the Portuguese boss took over: hard working, never-let-die attitude, and the versatility to play in a number of positions when asked upon. Mourinho likes his players to have loyalty and the
Englishman has shown this through his open mindedness of playing in systems and areas of the pitch which were previously unfamiliar to him.
There have been a number of stellar performances shown by the former Villan, but none better and handled with more grace than the one against
- March 09, 2018
Leeds United’s greatest accomplishments are associated with their all-white kit. When in 1969 they won the English top flight for the first time in their history, they wore all white. When they repeated the feat decades later, in the season preceding the First Division’s rebirth as the Premier League, they wore all white. And, when they reached the final of the European Cup in 1975, and the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 2000 – you guessed it – they wore all white. But it wasn’t always this way.
It will be hard for any true Leeds fan to read this, but the club’s initial colours were blue and white and based on Huddersfield Town’s design. This link came about through Hilton Crowther, the former chairman of Huddersfield who went on to become a key figure in Leeds’ formative years. His idea was for the two sides to join forces; when this ambition was scuppered, he left the Terriers and became chairman of Leeds.
The Revie Plan
The club wouldn’t wear an all-white kit
- March 08, 2018
Arsenal’s demise from being a top European heavyweight to a club that is living off scraps and is in a state of uselessness is not new. Their cyclical season pattern has been a prominent feature year after year, for the past half decade. And, unfortunately for those in favour of keeping Arsène Wenger at the club, things will not change until Arsenal part ways with the manager that has given them so much.
No one should deny that Wenger hasn’t brought a lot to English football, as well as Arsenal, especially when he first joined in 1996. Bringing in a newfound professionalism, that consisted mainly of strict dietary plans, as well as improved training facilities and introducing sports science, Wenger changed the history of the Premier League whether people like to admit it or not.
It’s unfortunate and sad to see a manager of Wenger’s stature, for all the good he has done in the game, have his legacy tainted, especially in the last few years. It would be pleasant to think
- March 01, 2018
After Chelsea’s limp and lacklustre display against Manchester United last weekend took them out of the top four positions, there was genuine concern among the away fans about the genuine possibility of missing out on Champions League football next season.
It’s no surprise there is angst in the atmosphere at this moment in time, given the club seems to have a variety of different confrontations throughout the hierarchy. It has been well documented that Antonio Conte is at an arm’s length to the Chelsea board, which has stemmed from the fact that they are now in charge of transfers moving forward, not the manager.
From Conte’s perspective, it’s not difficult to understand why a manager would be displeased with having very little control over player recruitment, especially when you are working day in, day out with them. After last summer’s transfer debacle of failing to sign Romelu Lukaku, as well as selling Nemanja Matić to Manchester United, the Italian manager’s thoughts