How will the despotic leaders of Turkmenistan and North Korea react to chastening Asian Cup defeats?

It is not hard to imagine the reaction of Turkmenistan's and North Korea's presidents following the recent round of chastening defeats suffered by both nations at the Asian Cup, the geographical equivalent of football's European Championships. Despite an absence in either country of authentic soccer pedigree both sets of players will genuinely fear of the…

Are Bayern Munich falling behind European rivals due to misguided loyalty to aging players and a lack of forward planning?

Bayern Munich's failure to adequately replace departed stars and an over-reliance on players either past their best or not of the required standard could see the German champions fall behind both European, and domestic rivals. The double-whammy loss of retirees Philipp Lahm and Xavi Alonso deprived the Bavarians' of two world class performers, arguably still…

Germany at the World Cup: A Poor Squad, A Noncompetitive Domestic League and An Out of Touch Head Coach

The unwritten rule suggesting that a Bayern Munich flushed with success and replete with ability is a veritable bellwether for the fortunes of Germany's national side appears, on the evidence of the early departure of Die Mannschaft from the 2018 World Cup, to have significant credence. Notwithstanding the annual cakewalk to the Bundesliga title Bayern…

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…

English Premier League 2017/18 snapshot season review: Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace’s upturn in fortunes after the most inauspicious of starts that all but condemned the South Londoners as early-season relegation favourites is all the more remarkable for their lack of dependence on a reliable, out-and-out striker during the 2017/18 Premier League season. With Bakary Sako and expensive flop Christian Benteke contributing a mere 20%…

Premier League 2017/18 Season: The Verdict

The denouement of the 2017/18 Premier League season brings into sharp focus the ever-increasing gap between English football's haves and have nots. Or does it? Manchester City's total dominance reflects the creeping influence that petro-dollars are now having on the modern game. Coupled with Sky Television's largesse the seemingly limitless wealth brought to the Etihad…

Masterstroke Mitrovic Signing Gives Fresh Impetus to Fulham’s Promotion Credentials

Are two Serbs better than one? At Fulham's Craven Cottage, it would appear so. Benefiting from owner Shahid Khan displaying an element of patience increasing rare in today's game, manager Slavisa Jokanovic has made the Cottagers into realistic promotion contenders and used his Serbian links to recruit, albeit initially on loan, fellow countryman Aleksandar Mitrovic…