Pages

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Player Profile - Christian Eriksen

For years, the name of Christian Eriksen has been on the tips of the tongue of scouts across the globe. Now 25, the Middlefart-born Dane is one of the most impressive creative players in the world. With a deftness of touch that wouldn’t look out of place in a Brazilian national side to a vision and general temperament on the ball that makes him almost impossible to frustrate, Eriksen is easily among the leading lights in the entire Premier League.

The Spurs man started out at AFC Ajax, like many of his fellow Danes. He quickly became a key man at Ajax, thriving as the key cog in a resurgent Ajax side led by Frank de Boer. With some exceptional performances domestically and in Europe, including rampaging performances on English soil, Eriksen was a player that most teams in the world would have taken a chance on.

It was a surprise, then, when he made a move to Tottenham for just £11m in 2013. The move was seen as a massive coup for the club, as he joined a mini revolution at Spurs. While at first he was somewhat slow to get started, despite an assist on debut, he quickly established himself as a player who could lift the tempo of a math seemingly at will.

With the ball under his control almost permanently, he’s become a player noted for important goals, including wonderful free kicks. He’s also a player who is known for his top quality link-up play, having become a key foil for teammates Harry Kane and Dele Alli and, at international level, alongside the likes of Lasse Schone and Kasper Dolberg – fellow Ajax players.

For many, he’s among the most underrated players in the world and, just 25, could yet establish a career to rival Danish legends such as Michael Laudrup.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Punters Win Big with 8-Fold Acca



Two happy chats dicussing their winning football accumulator bet. From beer money to £100k. The stuff of dreams!

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Arsenal vs Tottenham


As a truly classic English football fixture, the game between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur is well worth keeping an eye on. Both sides have been very impressive this year, though Arsenal are beginning to enter a minor blip – despite a 2-1 win against Bournemouth last time out, they have looked a touch jaded.

Spurs, though, are flying after dismantling Chelsea and then putting Internazionale to the sword in Europe. With Arsenal coming back from a politically intensive trip to Kyiv, could we see Spurs get a result at Arsenal? With Arsenal winning one of their last six derbies, it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility.

Arsenal News


With the likelihood of Arsenal resting a lot of players after their European tie on Thursday, they should come into this one mostly full strength. The return to form of Shkrodan Mustafi was much-needed, as is the constant firepower of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

If they can get to this game without any major injuries at the back, they should feel pretty good about getting a result here.

Spurs News


Spurs will arrive at the Emirates flying after a major win in midweek against Inter. However, they are enjoying a very impressive run of results mostly at home. Away from home, especially against Arsenal, results have been much less impressive.

This should be an intense game, so expect Spurs to stick with their tight and offensive midfield diamond that they have been using recently to great effect. In getting the most out of their key players, it offers a versatility that should help to congest the game and slow down Arsenal.

Verdict


Spurs to win. It might seem controversial given their away day derby record, but a win for Spurs here feels very much possible. Arsenal have toiled in recent weeks, and they might just find that Spurs, flying from their recent wins, have just a touch too much energy for them in this one.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Player Profile - Loris Karius

For many, German goalkeeper Loris Karius was the wrong choice for a club the size of Liverpool. The 24-year-old German, though, has shown in 2018 that he has more than enough to handle playing for a top club. After all, there’s a reason why he was voted among the finest keepers in Germany prior to his arrival at Anfield!

He started off at VfB Stuttgart after a series of moves around smaller youth clubs like SSV Ulm 1846. He then made a surprise move to England, when he joined recently cash-rich Manchester City. He was signed for City in 2009, but never made a single appearance for the Citizens despite costing an “exorbitant amount of money”, according to Thomas Albeck, the Stuttgart youth co-ordinator.

A move to Mainz 05 came next, where he stayed for four years. In his time at the club, he quickly established himself as a keeper of some repute, playing regularly for the Zero-Fivers. He quickly became a key player following coming on for Christian Wetklo. Wetklo was injured and, at 19, he became the youngest Bundesliga keeper of all-time.

From 2013-2016, he was a key player for the club and was voted the second best keeper in the Bundesliga in 2015-16, keeping nine sheets. He came second only to the great Manuel Neur.

Then, he made his move to Liverpool. While he’s only begun to establish himself at Anfield after 18-months, the German looks to be coming into his own and really establishing a legacy for himself. Now the number one keeper at Anfield, he appears to have the back of players, coaches and fans as he continues an impressive renaissance.

While he might not be among the elite keepers in the league just yet, a rich history and potential for development says that, at just 24, that could change quickly.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester United


While things might have calmed somewhat at Manchester United, it’s telling that a win here might not even be enough to propel them ahead of Bournemouth. While the Cherries are wonderfully over performing under Eddie Howe, United have not performed anywhere near their expected quality for the majority of the season.

Can a trip to Bournemouth be the right remedy to the uncertainty around United? It worked with the dominant win in their trip to then high-flying Watford: it could happen again here, too.

Bournemouth News


Bournemouth should come into this one feeling pretty chirpy about their chances of a big showpiece win here. They have some great attacking player, with the trio of Calum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and David Brooks creating an interesting British trio up top who are making a huge impression.

With the Colombian destroyer Jefferson Lerma impressing many in the middle of the park (and covering up a slow start to the season for Lewis Cook) and the defensive trio of Nathan Ake, Steve Cook and Simon Francis making a big difference, they have no real reason to fear United in this tie.

United News


Manchester United, though, are seeing a bit of an upturn in form from some of their more important players. Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba have formed a decent little triangle with Luke Shaw, while there is a decent return to form coming at the back with some more stout, stoic defending in recent weeks.

While Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof do not look entirely solid together, they aren’t the horror show they can appear.

Verdict


We can see this being a hard-fought draw. United aren’t quite on the losing habit as they were, and will see a point here as decent enough progress. We can’t see Bournemouth overcoming their big-club hoodoo at home here – but they are more than good enough to take something. If they finally cast-off that mentality, they could probably give United a beating.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Newcastle United vs Brighton and Hove Albion - 20th Oct


While it might only be October, this has all the hallmarks of a six pointer. Newcastle United are six adrift of their opponents, while Brighton ended a five match winless run with a win last time out. United meanwhile threw a 2-0 lead against Manchester United to lose 3-2 and mean they are yet to win this year.

The question in this game is not so much who is better, but rather who feels more confident to see out a match.

Newcastle United News


Newcastle will be without a large chunk of players from an already thin squad. Ciaran Clark Salomon Rondon, Paul Dummett and Yoshinori Muto are all doubts for this game, as is Kenedy. Florian Lejune is still out, too.

They will be without a lot of players, meaning that it will be down to the engine room of Mohamed Diame and Jonjo Shelvey to get Newcastle up the pitch into attacking positions. With such a paucity of quality even with a fully fit squad, though, is that possible?

Brighton and Hove Albion News


Brighton meanwhile will be without Davy Propper and Pascal Gross, meaning that they will be missing two of their most important midfielders. Gaetan Bong and Dale Stephens are doubts, too, meaning that Chris Hughton will need to stretch his reserves of talent if he wants to get a win back at his old club.

The injuries are mounting up a bit for a squad that already looked limited in terms of quality. Can they correct that and get a result here despite being depleted?

Verdict


We can see Newcastle finally breaking their winless un in this game. Brighton have not been great despite their win against West Ham, and Newcastle will need to start getting positive results sooner or later. If they cannot defeat a low in confidence and injury stricken Brighton, it’s not likely they’ll win a game!

Brighton are a good side, but in their present form Newcastle should have all eyes on victory here. It’s now or never for the Toon.


Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Player Profile - Paul Pogba

If you have somehow managed to get to 2018 without hearing the name of Paul Pogba, we’d be quite impressed in a way. The big Frenchman is among the finest midfielders in the world game; a unique blend of grace, style, personality and raw power. Whether he’s nutmegging a fellow midfielder or lashing an unstoppable drive from distance, the fiery midfielder has earned his right to be among the global pantheon of midfield stars.

At 24, he’s maturing into the next midfield legend at Manchester United. Following an acrimonious exit from the club due to a lack of playing time under Alex Ferguson, Pogba made his way over to Italy with Juventus. In Turin, he established himself as a global star and quickly became an icon for a club perpetually in the midst of winning titles.

In four years in Turin, he clocked up over 150 appearances and won several medals, including four Serie A crowns as the Old Lady became one of the most dominant sides in the European game. While his then-world record move back to Manchester United is yet to truly catch fire, a League Cup and UEFA Europa League is a fine start to his return to Manchester.

Seemingly set with the aim of finishing off what he left behind the first time, the 2013 Golden Boy has all the talent and aptitude to make it at the top of the game. His unique blend of power, precision, persistence and personality makes him the kind of player that is so easy on the eye.

While his critics might say he is yet to score enough goals or truly blossom into a world-record worthy player, there’s much to admire about Paul Pogba. For years to come, he’ll be remembered as a genuine Premier League great.