Can Manchester City’s lack of a Plan B be traced back to the sale of Kelechi Iheanacho?

For a side with genuine hopes bordering on a sense of entitlement of retaining the Premier League title, Manchester City's nine league defeats to date have highlighted the lack of attention given to the squad at a time when it hit its creative peak. To remain at the top, continually repel a chasing pack and…

Mired in mediocrity the EFL Championship affords little preparation for the culture shock awaiting those promoted from it

The English Football League(EFL) Championship: highly competitive, much of a muchness, or of such a poor standard that it is merely rearing the next battery farmed, low quality fodder for next season's Premier League? Notwithstanding the enforced Covid-19 break the Championship season is roughly at the mid-April stage, a point where the league table has…

Lampard primed for Chelsea return, for whom Sarri remains the hardest word

The Roman Abramovich-era ha over the last fifteen years brought unimaginable success to Chelsea Football Club but with success comes expectation, impatience, and as demonstrated on innumerable occasions: the costliest of mistakes. A self-made, Russian oligarch who prospered during the aftermath of Soviet disintegration and the economic free-for-all under the disastrous Boris Yeltsin presidency, Abramovich,…

Disparity between Premier League & Bundesliga exemplified by Hummels’ return to Dortmund

The return of Mats Hummels to Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park highlights the widening gap between those long regarded as Bundesliga elite and their Premier League counterparts. Television money and restrictive, although hardly egregious, ownership rules designed to ensure fans remain as such in the eyes of the clubs they support, and not assets from…

Liverpool vs. Barcelona: A night where distinction dispatched presumption into obscurity

A few observations from last night's Champions' League tie between Liverpool and Barcelona: Liverpool have the strongest domestic squad in Europe, and in effect, the world. Barcelona were put to the sword without the absent Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, Adam Lallana, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whilst Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri seamlessly stepped up…

Chelsea fail to convince as Tottenham surrender title challenge

Barely 72 hours after an honourable defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao (League) Cup Final at Wembley Chelsea might have been forgiven, although perhaps not by owner Roman Abramovich, for a less-energetic, nervier performance against London and top four rivals, Tottenham Hotspur. As it transpired, Sarri-ball lives to fight another day. Although a chance…

Real Madrid – Liverpool Champion League Final: a fitting sequel to Sliding Doors

The now managerless Real Madrid’s game-management guided the Los Blancos to a 13th European title, although their performance against a slightly unfortunately Liverpool could never be described as vintage. Starting with the same eleven from the corresponding 2017 final but with an obviously frustrated Gareth Bale, despite his telling intervention, cutting a brooding figure at…

Premier League 2017/18 season snapshots: Chelsea

Fifth place and thirty points behind albeit runaway champions Manchester City is a far cry from Chelsea’s Premier League triumph but a year ago. The hand dealt Antonio Conte in what must be said to be two haphazard transfer windows since the Blues’ fifth Premier League title begs the question who sourced, and ultimately ratified…