Premier League Champions

In a season where the main focus was Pep vs Mourinho and who out of the 2 would win the league. Antonio Conte came into the league fairly unknown but off the back of the Euros we saw how far he took the least talented Italy team in decades. Winning the title is no fluke and it isn’t down to Chelsea not being in Europe because Liverpool weren’t in Europe and no English team even got into the Champions League quarter finals except Leicester City.

Regardless of how well Tottenham have played over recent weeks the season is 38 games and Chelsea thoroughly deserve this.

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The final push

After the international break, we sat back and reflected on the Premier League season and looked forward to the end of the current campaign. 10 games and 30 points left to play for, Chelsea remain at the top spot, 10 points clear of their nearest rivals, Tottenham. I think the overall pattern of this season will continue over those 10 games. spots 2-4 will change at least once and the top spot and title will go to Chelsea.

For football fans, April will be a month to remember and for Manchester United fans it could be a month to forget. Will United triumph in the Europa League? Will they be still be successful in the Premier League?

Chelsea’s 10 point lead is down to a mere 4 point lead and Tottenham are the in form team in the league. After the loss to Manchester United, Chelsea strategically announced the news many Chelsea fans knew was coming at the end of the season. John ‘Captain Leader Legend’ Terry would not be playing for the club next season.

Manchester United are banging on the 4th spot door and are through to the Europa League Semi Finals and will be playing the ‘easier’ side, Celta Vigo. With a Europa League final spot seeming all but guaranteed, Mourinho’s side still have everything to play for.

 

 

 

Best sport in the world

Updated 16/03/2017

The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious club football tournament in the world and last night was an instance that proved it. Barcelona came back from the biggest deficit in Champions League history.

Was this a bigger loss for PSG or a big win for Barcelona. I think the luckily for PSG players, the amount of praise and congratulations for Barcelona has overshadowed their epic collapse.

The UEFA Champions League has struck again!

Leicester City have defeated Sevilla 2-0 at the King Power Stadium. We all love an underdog story but we did not expect Leicester to make it this far, while being 15th in the League. They play with a fearless attitude and that’s what makes them dangerous for whatever team they play in the QUARTER FINALS.

As if things couldn’t get any more bizarre, the Champions League has again provided beautiful footballing moments. We all knew it would take time for even the great Pep Guardiola to adjust to the Premier League but many believed that in the Champions League Pep could show his quality. This is the first time he has failed to reach the Champions League quarter-finals in a nine-year managerial career, leaving LEICESTER CITY the only English club left in the competition.

With nothing to fear and 0 expectations, it’s no surprise, Zindane and Buffon have both said they are keen to avoid Leicester in the next round.

Manchester City vs Monaco Review | 21st February 2017

The Champions League Round of 16 match at the Etihad Stadium was exciting to say the least. A display of pure attacking prowess where both sides conceded excellent and sloppy goals.

The defenders on either team didn’t put themselves in the best light and despite John Stone getting on the score sheet, it does not deflect away from his mistake for Monaco’s 2nd goal.

It’s amazing to think about the strikers Atletico Madrid have had over the years and two of their previous best were on form.

Falcao looked a lost soul in two seasons on loan from Monaco to Manchester United and Chelsea – but this was a master striker back to his best and City may have been rattling at the back but Aguero was in magnificent form throughout, terrorising Monaco with his prodigious work-rate and sheer menace.

Underrated players

There are many awards in the footballing world like the Ballon d’Or, League Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year to name a few.

Underrated players are quite modest and not vocal about their personal performances. Last year Leicester won the Premier League and Mahrez was named Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year.

Similar to how American sports have the ‘Most Valuable Player’ MVP which doesn’t incorporate price or just number of goals, the MVP is simply a player who means the most to their teams’ success. I believe having an MVP argument would be a lot more difficult that picking the winner of the Ballon D’or or player of the year who seems to be the player who scores the most and has a global fan base.

In football, value certainly doesn’t equate to cost as every year we have a list of expensive flops and players like Payet who exceed expectations due to a lower transfer fee.

N’golo Kante – For Leicester last year, all the spot light was on Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez who were both pivotal in Leicester doing the ‘impossible’ but there was also a third player who was also fundamental in Leicester becoming Premier League champions. N’golo Kante is a tireless Midfielder who has been compared to Cluade Mackelele but he is certainly a different type of player

James Milner is the definition of a versatile player, as he’s been used in various positions for club and country.

Joe Allen again is a player who works hard for the team, can play football and gets his fair share of goals.

Will China be a football superpower? PART 2

It seems this frivolous spending has gone so far the Government had to intervene. Even though owners though they were doing the Government a service and in a sense they have brought a lot of attention and top class players to China but has it benefited football in China as a whole? That’s yet to be seen.

The Chinese Government wanted instant result but have cracked down on foreign imports to preserve the identity and integrity of their league. So with stricter rules in place and almost every team filling their foreign player quote, there are only 5 more slots in the whole league for foreign players.

Going back to my point in the previous blog , until China creates their own breakout stars and creates them with the same attention and praise as foreign imports, they will not be a football superpower.

Will China be a football superpower?

Do you even recognise the photo for this blog? You probably don’t but that’s the logo for the Chinese Super League.

There has been a lot of talk recently about China and the money they have been spending lately, but will China become a football superpower?

In the current environment of professional football, it seems money talks loudest. When the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City were suddenly bankrolled by billionaire owners, many claimed they have ruined football. More than a decade later, Chelsea are still a prominent force in European football whilst cutting back on their lavish spending. Manchester City on the other hand, with new manager Pep Guardiola at the helm, the owners seem to be willing to pay for whatever and whoever he wants after spending just over £180m this past summer (more than any other Premier League club).

China’s President Xi Jinping is supporting plans to make his country a football superpower, which has seen a 50 step plan created to improve the entire football scene in China from grassroots to professional.

When and why did China start spending so much

In 2011 teams in China starting to invest in foreign players as Guangzhou Evergrande bought the Argentinian forward Darío Conca from the Brazilian club Fluminense for a RECORD £7m. Since then the prices have become more and more inflated. The reason for this was recently explained by Shanghai SIPG’s manager who claimed that teams in the rest of the world wouldn’t take China serious or accept their bids over other teams if they didn’t basically blow everyone else out the water.

Also I think the lack of world-class Chinese players, drives up the price of the best homegrown players; for instance Zhang Lu, a 29-year-old goalkeeper with just two caps for China, moved clubs for £8m last year. The high cost of top Chinese talent means it makes economic sense for clubs to spend large sums on top foreign players. Similar to the Premier League and how English players seem to have inflated prices but in the Premier League teams would rather pay less for foreign talent than expensive English talent whereas in China this seems to be the opposite.

Quota

Similar to the certain leagues in Europe, China have implemented a quota on foreign imports and only allow foreign outfield players. The list of last season’s foreign players – three non-Asians are permitted for each club’s starting lineup, plus another as substitute – shows at least 20 Brazilians on the books of Chinese clubs.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say China is corrupt but it is very Government based and a lot of motives behind things are Government based and football is no different. With so much emphasis from the Government for China to be a football superpower, the companies who own the 16 clubs in the Chinese Super League see investment as a way to gain favour with the government.

Even with all these players going to the China Super League and all this talk and publicity, I still don’t intent to watch any of the matches, do you?

With elite managers and players still choosing to play at the top level and for the top honours instead of purely for money, I don’t think China will become a football superpower especially with the lack of great Chinese players.

What would you do? Chelsea youth players

Playing for a club like Chelsea is a dream for many young footballers all over the world.

The route starts playing for Chelsea’s youth teams and once you outgrow youth football, depending on your skill level you’ll go on loan to a Championship side, team abroad, on the rare occasion a team in the premier league and on an even rarer occasion you’ll break through to the first team. Continue reading “What would you do? Chelsea youth players”

Scary City

It seems that Manchester City and Pep Guardiola are a match made in heaven. Manchester City easily have the most technical team in the league but managers never

You would think with a new manager coming in and instantly dropping their highest paid players and long serving fan favourite and England number 1 Joe Hart he would receive a bit of backlash and I am sure if it was Jose Mourinho doing the same things he would be ridiculed in the papers but Pep has a lovable demeanour so he is left to it and his brilliance has time to come to the surface without being pressured or put under scrutiny.

How far can Leicester go this season?

To say Claudio Ranieri and Leicester City shocked the world with their title winning campaign last season would be a profound understatement. Tipped at the start of the season to get relegated, Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and friends put in performances of the highest quality week in week out during the 15/16 campaign, cruising their way to deserved Premier League glory. And with their squad going into the 16/17 season relatively unchanged, who’s to say that they won’t go and do it all over again? There are, however, two reasons as to why that may not be the case. Continue reading “How far can Leicester go this season?”