Showing posts from May, 2016

Wilshere’s Inclusion Unsurprising: Three Talking Points from England’s Euro 2016 Squad

Manager of England men’s national football team Roy Hodgson announced his final 23-man squad for the European championship earlier today, following UEFA’s deadline. And just like his Balon d’Or choices, controversy found its way to the subject.

Key factors behind the significant level of the discontent aimed at the former Fulham Boss were Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater.
Below, we discuss these factors and other areas of concern.
Wilshere in Drinkwater out, how justifiable?

You know that popular saying about the three guarantees of life: death, taxes and some ridiculous feature, event or otherwise that cannot seem to go away. Well that ridiculous feature is Wilshere always getting the nod for the England team whenever he seems mechanically fit.
It has been the case since he made his full England debut in a friendly against Denmark in February 2011 and even more so since Roy Hodgson was appointed manager in May 2012 following Fabio Capello’s resignatio…

Louis Van Gaal's time is over at Manchester United

When Louis Van Gaal was appointed manager of Manchester United 2 years ago to replace David Moyes, the fanbase greeted the news with fanfare and jubilation. Here was a manager with a history of winning silverware but as soon as he put in place his philosophy into action, the fans were singing a different tune; LvGOut. You see the fans demand to see attractive football and be entertained not the safe, defensive minded football tactics under Louis Van Gaal. 
Yes it's true his playing style, played a part in his downfall but his signings never lived up to the hype. Morgan Schneiderlin played a shadow of himself when compared of his time at Southampton, Bastian Schweinsteiger I have to admit was decent when he played but was injured too frequently, Memphis was very mediocre. It wasn't all bad though, Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo did a decent job, so did Daley Blind, not great. The best of the lot have to be Anthony Martial who as the season progressed, improved and showcased hi…

Jose Mourinho is a Necessary Evil

Jose Mourinho’s time at Manchester United would not turn out as his reputation suggests, he would blood the youngsters—both academy graduates and signings—he wouldn’t go about trying to gouge out the eyes of opposition mangers and finally, he would decommission that famous blame generator of his that blames everything but himself—from the ball boy to the corner flag.
And just as we expect those, we could do well to include the sun turning into a ball of ice, Game of Thrones losing its appeal, snowfall in Nigeria as well as the realisation of the proverbial world peace.

The common ground upon which all these expectations stand is simple: DELUSION.

The fact is that the only thing Mourinho has in common with Manchester United is winning. Like him or hate him, he is a winner and Manchester United is a club very used to winning—until 2013 at least.
But every other attempt to justify his impending appointment  ends up in futility: Mourinho in general seems to be the antithesis of everything up…

Manchester United v Crystal Palace Match Analysis

Oh yes! finally Manchester United have won a trophy without Sir Alex. Of course in typical Manchester United fashion it wasn't easy but in the end United overcame Crystal Palace to win that famous trophy.

The first half was a very cagey affair with neither team looking like making a breakthrough with both sides preferring a direct approach, United utilising the strengths of Marouane Fellaini and Palace the strengths of Connor Wickham. It was frankly a very boring half but given the pressure of the big occasion it is easy to see why both teams were not going for an all out attack tactic.

Manchester United dominated the first stages of the second half having close to 70% of the ball and rattling the post twice. Firstly through Marouane Fellaini and secondly through a header from Anthony Martial. But it was Crystal Palace who made the breakthrough with Jason Puncheon who beat David De Gea at a tight angle at his near post to give Palace a 1-0 lead. The joy was short lived for the Ea…

Louis van Gaal's position has become untenable

Following the failure to achieve the minimum target set to him by Ed Woodward Louis van Gaal's position as the manger of Manchester United has become untenable. It is now inevitable that the Dutchman will leave the club after the FA Cup final regardless of the result. Van Gaal has been clinging to the hope of finishing in the top 4 for months as he has faced revolt from the Manchester United fans who are desperate for a change in the dugout with the majority fully backing Jose Mourinho to take the job.

Louis van Gaal's second season at Old Trafford has been abject at best. His team has been abysmal to watch on the pitch and the manager himself has infuriated the Old Trafford faithful. Despite spending £250 million on players in his two seasons at the club he has resided over a humiliating season resulting in a 5th place finish in the league, Champions League and Europa League humiliation, defeat to Middlesbrough at Old Trafford and an FA Cup final. A season that is no where n…

Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth Match Review

Manchester United hosted AFC Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Tuesday for the last game of their 2015/16 campaign, after the match was rescheduled after a bomb scare right before kick off in the weekend. Manchester United needed a win to secure the fifth position and qualify for the Europa League, while AFC Bournemouth could jump up two places and finish their first season at 16th position.  The match went Manchester United's way after they decided to put their foot on the gas during the final moments of the first half, with some great goals by  Wayne Rooney, who also netted his 100th at Old Trafford, Marcus Rashford and Ashley Young, and a second own goal for Chris Smalling, the match ended with a score of 3-1, this also meant that David de Gea lost out on the Golden Glove.  AnalysisThe starting moments of the game were pretty Man United-esque, credit given to Carrick in deep mid field, who probably played his last league game and Wayne Rooney, to keep possession and regulate the bal…

Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth Updates

Manchester United were supposed to host AFC Bournemouth for the last game of the 2015-16 Premier League season, however, after a suspicious package was reported in the North West corner of Old Trafford, the match was delayed and finally abandoned upon its discovery.  It was an intense situation as players waited in the dressing room while the Stretford End and Sir Alex Ferguson stand were evacuated, everyone cooperated and no panic was reported. The match was called off and a controlled explosion was carried out According to the Daily Mail, the package was a dummy and the entire shenanigan took place because of a security error, we can expect a sacking in the coming days then, not sure if LVG would be the one to go though. This was confirmed in a statement by Assistant Chief Constable John O'Hare. There were several rumours about the rescheduling of the match with some claiming that it would be considered a 0-0 draw (much like most of Manchester United's season) but that was …

West Ham United vs Manchester United Match Analysis

Manchester United travelled to Upton Park for the last ever game to be played there, with top 4 at the tips of their fingers, a win would mean a temporary fourth position and another one against Bournemouth at home would see them secure that, but thanks to West Ham, that didn't happen. West Ham united gave a fitting farewell to Upton Park by coming back from behind to finish it off at 3-2.  AnalysisManchester United had a pretty sad first half, constantly losing the ball, being outclassed everywhere and just playing pretty bad, it wasn't a surprise when they conceded an early  goal, while it becomes a driving factor for some teams, this squad didn't budge, the game went on in a simillar fashion and it would've been 3-0 had it not been for a few bad misses. They picked up the pace in the final minutes of the first half and for the majority of the second, and were able to take the lead after two brilliant goals by Anthony Martial, their joy however was short-lived as they …

Norwich City v Manchester United Match Review

A game Manchester United simply had to win to have any chance of scraping a place in next seasons Champions League and win they did. Although there was nothing to enjoy about the performance from United. It was very difficult to watch the team in red with the red devils line up showing a distinct lack of pace. It would be simplistic and naïve to say that its the result that maters but when this is the norm from this team you can only be furious with these performances.

The first half was eventless. The only notable thing to happen was Matteo Darmian coming off with a nasty looking injury. It was typical of Louis van Gaal's team this season with the lack of forward movement frankly scary to watch. Wayne Rooney provided nothing upfront in the first half with the skipper providing no movement in behind the Norwich defence and offering very little in terms of hold up play. The team was in desperate need of pace with Anthony Martial injured in the warm up and Marcus Rashford bizarrely …

Devil's Wager - Betting guide to Sevilla vs Shakhtar Donetsk

Sevilla host Shakhtar Donetsk at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final tie on Thursday priced as bet365’s 8/13 favourites to win in regulation time and as 1/5 favourites to progress into the final. Shakhtar trade 9/2 and 7/2 respectively in these markets.

Sevilla have dominated this competition in recent years, winning the last two renewals to take their tally to a record four trophies, all of which have come in the last decade. Off the back of a 2-2 draw away from home, they can sit tidy in the fact the have two comfortable away goals. To qualify is't good enough, at 2/9 you would have to bet too much, but to win in 90 mins strikes a good at 4/6.

At around the same price, you can back both teams to notch at around 4/6 which would have collected in the Spaniard's last three games while Shakhtar have scored in all of their last 10. If you fancy Sevilla to put their recent form behind them then the 2/1 about a home win with both si…

Devil's Wager - Betting guide to Liverpool vs Villareal

Villarreal’s narrow win ended Liverpool’s 12-game unbeaten run in this season’s Europa League and left the Merseyside outfit with it all to do at Anfield. Ironically, it is the Spanish side that are now 12 games without defeat in Europe’s second tier competition as they look to reach the Europa League final for the first time, too.Everyone loves a stat and for those who bet by them the fact that 59% of teams that have won 1-0 at home in the first leg of Europa League knockout ties have gone on to progress to the next round. Not great news for Liverpool, but you can find Villarreal to qualify at 8/13 which is a tidy price for a team who could settle for a 0-0 at Anfield.
Their away form in La Liga, though, is not wholly compelling with a 6-6-6 record which includes a recent loss at relegation threatened Rayo Vallecano. With Liverpool having to score, we can see this game being full of goals in comparison to the first fixture, with Liverpool and Over 2.5 goals at 15/8, its a good price c…

Louis van Gaal celebrates mediocrity on the night Leicester City win the league

Its rather fitting that on the night Leicester City were crowned Premier League champions Louis van Gaal had the opportunity to address the Manchester United fans at the end of season awards night. He gave a rousing speech at last years awards ceremony in which he promised the world to the fans and declared 'we are close!' to being able to win the Premier League. This years speech had a rather different take to it but Louis was still able to make 5th place seem like the greatest achievement in the clubs history with his usual rhetoric of excuses and false positives.

No less than an hour after Leicester had won the league Louis van Gaal said one of his infamous catchphrases 'its a process' he declared yet again. The words used by the Manchester United manager in almost every time he speaks usually he used it as an excuse to explain why his team have been so poor this season. However on a night were Claudio Ranieri had lead his Leicester team to the league title the rhe…

Manchester United vs Leicester City Match Analysis

Manchester United hosted league leaders Leicester city with both teams eyeing a win, one to be crowned champions and the other to enter the top 4 and potentially qualify for the champions league. But both didn't get the result they wanted as the match ended 1-1 much like it did the last time the teams met. Analysis Manchester United The team had a brilliant first half followed by a terrible second one, constantly moving forward and trying to create chances suddenly changed to fighting in the midfield and passing the ball to the Leicester player (we all want them to win the championship, but giving them the ball isn't the right way to do that)  David de Gea didn't see much of the ball and seemed to take care of it whenever called, other than the goal by Morgan, which to be honest, I don't blame him for, Okazaki was in his face and it was like a wrestling match in the box, not the ideal  conditions for a good save. Antonio Valencia, who replaced Tim Fosu Mensah was quit…