What is the point of pre-season?

Pre-season, huh, what is it good for? Well not preparation judging by the opening two rounds of Premier League football from 2016/17. All those tours, all those ‘tournaments’, the transfers and money spent and yet, the teams that have a settled starting line up at this point of the season are few and far between.

 

This had led to an underwhelming start, with competitors lumbering, slowly emerging from the cocoon of July, rather than exploding into life. Yes, there have been exciting new signings scoring (Zlatan!), new managers emoting (Conte) we’ve had villains (Costa) and late winners (Costa again), so why the sense that something is missing? Continue reading “What is the point of pre-season?”

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Will Hart go on (and on) for Manchester City?

There is a scene in the Head and Shoulders advert running throughout the European Championships that featured the back page of a red top newspaper emblazoned with the headline ‘Hart Under Pressure’. The camera then cuts to our Joe (mercifully free of dandruff) who is in the process of being measured up for a snappy new suit. ‘Pressure?; he shakes his head at the camera dismissively. In a sorry case of life imitating art(?), England’s number 1 will have woken to some eerily familiar back pages after he was dropped for Manchester City’s opening game of the season. Continue reading “Will Hart go on (and on) for Manchester City?”

The Premier League Contenders from the North

As we move north, the three biggies from the North West really start to put the cat amongst the pigeons on trying to predict this season’s Premier League.

 

It’s been a summer of change and transitions from Liverpool to Manchester. As Pep and José decide to kick start their rivalry from Spain in the same city and Jürgen Klopp finally gets his pre-season, it could be more than feasible to see all three of Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United vying for title honours come April and May next year. Continue reading “The Premier League Contenders from the North”

JG’s Transfer Update Pt.2

Here we are with pt.2 of JG’s transfer round up and its full of the big hitters. It’s L to W, taking in the likes of Liverpool, United, City and Spurs and the newcomer who loves being linked with the big names – Middlesbrough. Continue reading “JG’s Transfer Update Pt.2”

What has happened to Raheem Sterling?

When Manchester City splashed out £50 million on Raheem Sterling in the summer, it seemed that the footballing world was there for the taking. It was an astronomical fee for a seemingly incredibly gifted teenage sensation but ever since Luis Suarez left Liverpool (bear with me on this one); Raheem Sterling has seen his progress stall… Continue reading “What has happened to Raheem Sterling?”

Will Conte Return For His Man?

Previous relationships between players and managers are strange things. Pep Guardiola and Thiago Alacantra. Louis Van Gaal and Bastien Schweinsteiger. Sam Allardyce and Kevin Nolan. Some managers have their favourites and now Antonio Conte might be joining the list of acquiring a faithful lieutenant to administer his footballing instructions. Continue reading “Will Conte Return For His Man?”

Laporte and Stones set to join Pep?

In the world of expensive centre backs, Manchester City’s current crop ranks right up there with both Mangala and Otamendi costing the naughty side of £30million but neither have set the world alight with performances that match their respective price tags. Now with Guardiola arriving in the summer, and wholesale change a foot with this aging City squad, defenders are once more high on the agenda.

As Raphael Varane and Marquinhos respective stars stall somewhat, at least in the eyes of the British media, Guardiola appears to be targeting two of the brightest prospects from the ‘next generation’ of centre backs currently playing in Europe. Continue reading “Laporte and Stones set to join Pep?”

Which Premier League club should buy Matuidi?

163 appearance’s and three consecutive league championships for Paris Saint-Germain. 42 Caps for France and a very realistic chance of winning the Euro’s this summer with the host nation. Blaise Matuidi has had quite the five seasons since moving to PSG from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2011. Yet if rumours are to be believed, the 28 year old Toulouse native is subject to serious interest from Chelsea, but will the Parisian’s sell and is Chelsea the best fit for Matuidi in the Premier League? Continue reading “Which Premier League club should buy Matuidi?”