‘How Deep Is Your Squad?’ – Part Two

And we are back with the second part of How Deep is Your Squad with the spotlight now firmly focussed on to Chelsea, last year’s best team by a country mile. As people criticised City for their distinct lack of fight in defending their title, Chelsea up until Christmas were truly sumptuous. As lavish and smooth as the velvet robe hung up on the back of the bedroom in the house you always dreamt of. Fabregas, the returning maestro, made old man Gepetto from Pinocchio look like the Punch and Judy show at the end of Margate pier as he pulled the strings of the Chelsea midfield with consummate ease. Drogba came back and Diego Costa came in, the master and the apprentice as Mourinho plotted his next title triumph. Between August and Christmas Chelsea played some fantastic football but signs of a demise were there, cracks were covered over with just how well they played during the first half of the season and the failings of Utd, City, Arsenal and Liverpool throughout the season too offer any great sense of competition. Continue reading “‘How Deep Is Your Squad?’ – Part Two”

‘How Deep Is Your Squad?’ – Part One

I can imagine this being a perfect little section on perhaps SoccerAm, Calvin Harris sound-tracking the graphics (How deep is your SQUAD? Oh-oh-ohhhh), the kids would love it for all its gimmicky greatness. Alas the written word doesn’t quite convey the novelty of such a sound bite and a YouTube link just doesn’t have the same seamless quality it would have on the screen. In this particular instance though, sound bite or no sound bite, the depth of two squads in particular are both making the title race much more interesting in these early stages of the season that also provide the slightly more baffling question of where as the money been spent from two of the richest clubs in England? These two clubs in question are Manchester City and Chelsea, both with potentially endless funds (in the remit of Financial Fair Play). City from unbeaten in the opening five games and with the defeat of Chelsea at the Etihad already, seem incredibly more shaky after another injury lay off for Kompany and the loss of the much improved Mangala and Chelsea from being League Champions to something of a listless ship in 5 months, questions must be asked as to why they find themselves in this position? For Part One of this two-part extravaganza it seems easier to start initially with looking at Manchester City’s predicament of injuries hampering the fluency of their early season performances. Continue reading “‘How Deep Is Your Squad?’ – Part One”

Tottenham vs Arsenal – Capital One Cup 3rd Round, 23/09/2015

When I came back from work I was somewhat excited at the prospect of watching a decent cup derby. The League Cup had been somewhat generous this year with two derbies; Villa against Birmingham the night before and a mid-week North London derby at such an early round brought a little magic to the darken September evening. Not quite the glitz and heritage of the FA Cup but surely a little more enticing than the next round of the Great British Bake Off and yet I was left a little disappointed by the show at White Hart Lane. Here we had a battle of styles; Wenger’s philosophy of possession against Pochettino’s high pressing game in a fixture which just seemingly delivers goals for fun, a cash cow of excitement. Yet this game was more about the lack of fluency than anything else. Continue reading “Tottenham vs Arsenal – Capital One Cup 3rd Round, 23/09/2015”

Who Would Want To Be Brendan Rodgers?

Where to start for poor Brendan. Picked to succeed the slightly ill-fated 2nd term of the Scottish demi-God on Merseyside that is Kenny Dalglish, Rodgers’s remit was to rebuild Liverpool into THAT team. The team that dominated the pre-Premier League era with such consummate ease, and it all seemed to be going so well when he led the truly brilliant Liverpool class of 2013/14 season to that run of 11 straight victories. That season under Rodgers saw Gerrard have something of a renaissance in the QB role, Captain Fantastic with a Liverpool team that at last was going to carry him to the title instead of the other way round. Liverpool had their own elite SAS, as deadly if not as subtle as the one David Cameron has at his disposal with Sturridge and the sensational Suarez scoring over 50 Premier League goals between them. Suarez, with all the biting behind him, could have happily won goal of the month 4 times over in that game against Norwich on that cold December evening (or my particular favourite that season against Newcastle, bring the ball down on his shoulder from a 60 yard Enrique diagonal ball to round Krul with his second touch and slot the ball into the empty with his third touch in as many seconds). Rodgers had done it. With no European football to get in the way of a squad of exceptionally small proportions, playing once a week meant they were settled and brilliant – until that slip. Continue reading “Who Would Want To Be Brendan Rodgers?”


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