The Pogba sale and what it means for Serie A

In the world of crazy transfer fees and inflated values due to everyone’s seemingly bizarre obsession with all things Premier League, there lies one sleeping giant of European football that once housed Europe’s greatest. It’s Serie A.
In the 80’s it housed the likes Michel Platini, Frank Rijkaard and Marco Van Basten. Go back to the early Noughties and you had an AC Milan side that had such imperious names as Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta, Cafu, Clarence Seedorf, Manuel Rui Costa, Pippo Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko. Juventus had Alessandro Del Piero, David Trezeguet, Mauro Camoranesi, Pavel Nedved, and Lillian Thuram amongst others. It was a who’s who of football brilliance.
Yet in recent years, perhaps rocked by the calciopoli scandal of 2006, which saw Juventus, relegated to Serie B and the the title going un-claimed. As well as the likes of AC Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio all being banned from the following season’s Champions League and UEFA Cup as well as various stadium bans and point deductions, Italian football has fallen firmly behind the likes of the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga. Yet could this transfer window see a change in fortunes on Europe’s leg shaped peninsula?

Continue reading “The Pogba sale and what it means for Serie A”

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Let’s Talk about Daniel Sturridge’s Goal in the Europa League Final

On a forgettable night for Liverpool fans, Daniel Sturridge’s sublime goal will be an awkward footnote, consigned to history as nothing more than a token goal as Liverpool come runner’s up to the might of Sevilla.

That’s not cool. Daniel Sturridge’s goal was far too good to be condemned as a ‘token effort’, it was an absolute worldy that proved once more that Sturridge, in terms of technical ability, is right up there with the very best the Premier League has to offer.

As Sturridge picks up the ball about 20 yards out, over near the left hand edge of the box, he is faced with three Sevilla defenders in front of him. As Alberto Moreno makes a truly lung bursting run on the overlap, Mariano moves his weight from his left foot to his right, offering up that glimmer of space for Sturridge to exploit so ruthlessly. Continue reading “Let’s Talk about Daniel Sturridge’s Goal in the Europa League Final”

A Brief Look at the Europa League Final

Time has been of the essence this week once more, trying to keep abreast of the end of season shenanigans across Europe, whilst planning for my own trip to France this summer, the time has come for a whistle stop look at the Europa League Final and what a final this could be.. Continue reading “A Brief Look at the Europa League Final”

Mourinho lines up his first United transfer

For all of their defensive woes, one criticism no fan or pundit can have of Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United is that they concede silly goals.

With a potential Champions League place still up for grabs, Manchester United currently have the second best defence in the league, conceding only 31 goals in the process. And yet question marks still arise about the personnel in United’s back four and more pertinently how impressive David de Gea has been for the third season in a row.

No one can doubt the improvement in Chris Smalling this season who will be a certain starter this year in France for England. Daley Blind as well as seemingly adapted nicely into a deeper role in the central of defence, a position that is a key component of van Gaal’s philosophy – the ability to be able to play out of the back and have a defender who is almost a quarter back’s quarter back (if that makes sense!).

With van Gaal’s future far from certain as José Mourinho still waits in the wings, lingering like some managerial reaper, any rumour involving Manchester United can hardly be concrete with so many if’s and but’s going into the next season but one player that is supposedly catching the eye of the Manchester United hierarchy and Mourinho is Raphael Varane. Continue reading “Mourinho lines up his first United transfer”

North London to Madrid for this Tottenham Ace?

In the last 5 years, the path from White Hart Lane to the Bernabeu is well trodden. First Luka Modric swapped North London for the Spanish capital, and then the world most expensive player gave into the overtures of Florentino Perez as Gareth Bale broke out his pigeon Spanish to the assembled press to say how chuffed he was to play for Los Blancos.

Florentino Perez’s next target though isn’t as easy a capture. With rumoured competition from Chelsea and Manchester United for his signature, a new contract in the pipeline with Champions League football on the horizon. This isn’t a rumour about Harry Kane, this is about the rise of Pochettino, the young Argentine manager who has the world at his feet.

La Gazzete Dello Sport reported in the last week that Florentino Perez is already thinking about axing the enigmatic Zizou as Real Madrid coach after Real’s defeat to Atletico in the Madrid derby but would Pochettino swap Tottenham for Los Blancos? Continue reading “North London to Madrid for this Tottenham Ace?”