Blogs

  • By far the biggest story in this morning’s papers is that of Paco Alcacer and his imminent move to Barcelona. MARCA, AS, Superdeporte and Plaza Deportiva all report the same details about how the definitive moment came yesterday when Alcacer told Layhoon Chan, in person, that he wanted to leave Valencia. Speculation surrounding the Spanish international’s future has been rife ever since Peter Lim was captured leaving the Camp Nou a week or so ago.

    The terms of the deal are said to be €30m with a future €5m in add-ons. No players are said to be officially part of the move, although Plaza

    Read More »from La Liga Leaks: Alcacer ‘asks to leave VCF’, Lucas Perez ‘on his way to Arsenal’
  • Cricket: England v Pakistan, 1st ODI: Five Things We Learned

    England win the first ODI against Pakistan by 44-runs (DLS) in a rain-affected series opener at The Ageas Bowl. Here’s what we learned…

    MAN OF THE DAY - JASON ROY

    Azhar Ali may have top-scored, but it was Jason Roy’s innings of 65 that took the game home for England. At the top of the order, he has become something of a collossus. As well as feeling comfortable on the international scene, Roy is in a purple patch that has seen him smashed 120 not out against Kent, a 93 not out against Glamorgan – both in the Royal London One-Day Cup – and a Championship 110 against Middlesex. He struck seven

    Read More »from Cricket: England v Pakistan, 1st ODI: Five Things We Learned
  • Tactics Bored: How Pep Guardiola is once again changing the world

    Manchester City are now managed by a maverick. Not only is he a maverick, but a deep thinker. Someone who does the cryptic crossword, not just out of choice, but because they actually understand how they work. Someone who wears cardigans. Someone who would never wear a properly sized tie. Someone who would not even think twice about teaming a skinny suit with some rather snazzy trainers. Someone who is able to understand just why Marcelo Bielsa, who hasn’t won anything of merit for two decades, is a genius, actually.

    Pep Guardiola is this man, and he is indisputably a genius. The work he has

    Read More »from Tactics Bored: How Pep Guardiola is once again changing the world
  • La Liga Leaks: Alcacer ‘close to Barca switch’, Isco ‘wants new Real deal’

    Senor Rumor Andrew Gaffney is back with another round of transfer rumours and deals from LaLiga.

    Hello there. It’s been a few days since the last La Liga Leaks but that’s due to the fact there’s been very little in terms of transfer speculation. Fear not though as today offers up at least a couple of stories which should peak your interest.

    Valencia-based newspaper Superdeporte state Paco Alcacer is ‘closer than ever’ to joining Barcelona. Apparently the player’s head wasn’t in the game against Las Palmas because he’s got an agreement in place with the Calatan giants. Layhoon Chan and Suso Garcia Pitarch don’t want to sell but could be forced to because the player is desperate to make the

    Read More »from La Liga Leaks: Alcacer ‘close to Barca switch’, Isco ‘wants new Real deal’
  • La Liga: Racism isn’t just a football problem, but a cultural one in Spain

    If a LaLiga star is racially abused,but no-one reports it, did the abuse happen? Andrew Gaffney has a look at why racist abuse is far too common in Spain

    Last weekend saw the 40-goal haul steal all of the headlines in LaLiga, both nationally and internationally. For a league that is often labelled predictable by casual viewers, the opening day threw up plenty of surprises. All three newly promoted sides avoided defeat against more established opponents, Leganes even managing to beat Europa League qualifiers Celta Vigo. Minnows Las Palmas overcome Valencia 4-2 at the Mestalla while Sporting Gijon bested Athletic Club. All of those made headlines either locally or nationally, but one story was notably absent, or better yet, hidden: the racist

    Read More »from La Liga: Racism isn’t just a football problem, but a cultural one in Spain
  • Football: Sam Allardyce would be a fool to bring John Terry back to the England side

    John Terry has a series of controversial off-field incidents and the Chelsea defender's abilities on the pitch appear in terminal decline, so Alex Netherton asks why Sam Allardyce wants him in his England squad?

    Sam Allardyce, a man who looks like he’s been living on a diet of granite and windchill factor, is not really a footballing relic. He was one of the first English managers to take sports science and data analysis seriously. He was always, no matter how some of his sides played, open to incorporating mavericks into a first eleven and giving them licence to indulge their talents. He might look like a bovine-humanoid hybrid, or an anthropomorphic block of concrete, but he is not a fool. Allardyce could be the most successful England manager for the past two decades, relatively speaking. His

    Read More »from Football: Sam Allardyce would be a fool to bring John Terry back to the England side
  • Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Rooney ‘set for USA move’, Chelsea ‘want defenders’, Arsenal pursue ‘£25m Evans’

    The Boss of Goss Kevin Darling wraps up the latest transfer rumours surrounding Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and more

    When David Beckham made his decision to quit playing proper football and go to the MLS instead, it was partly because he wanted be one of the beautiful people living in LA. So what would Wayne Rooney’s excuse be?

    The Mirror seems to think the Manchester United striker’s move stateside could be imminent. And while these two England captains have been similarly decorated on the pitch, it’s hard to imagine anyone paying the Roonster to advertise designer sunglasses or pose in his pants.

    Nevertheless, the American chap who the Mirror have spoken to reckons US clubs will be queuing up to throw

    Read More »from Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Rooney ‘set for USA move’, Chelsea ‘want defenders’, Arsenal pursue ‘£25m Evans’
  • Premier League HOT or NOT: Aguero, Fellaini, Carroll, possession

    What’s sexy, and what’s not, in football this week…

    HOT

    Marouane Fellaini
    Jose Mourinho has made some high-profile purchases in his first couple of months at Manchester United, but perhaps his most impressive signing is a Belgian defensive midfielder that nobody at Old Trafford had seen before. It’s Good Fellaini. A player last seen at Everton a few years ago, playing behind the striker and winning lots of headers, Good Fellaini has since dropped off the radar while his nemesis Bad Fellaini carved his name into United folklore. It had been widely suspected that Good Fellaini had in fact died, or at least retired. But Mourinho, somehow, has

    Read More »from Premier League HOT or NOT: Aguero, Fellaini, Carroll, possession
  • Social Chatter: Arsenal fans have a meltdown at Arsene Wenger over Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo

    James Matthews gets the best from social media as Arsenal fans have another meltdown following Arsene Wenger’s latest verdicts on Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo.

    Arsene Wenger is already a man under intense pressure at Arsenal - but things did not get any easier this weekend.

    Not only did his side draw 0-0 with Leicester City in a battle of last season’s top two, but Wenger himself did little to appease the frustrations of the Gunners’ faithful.

    Already angry at their manager’s failure to sign a striker during the summer, Wenger has even threatened to heighten tension between himself and the Arsenal fans - on two fronts.

    Firstly, Wenger heaped praise on Yaya Sanogo - suggesting he might be the answer to Arsenal’s search for a goalscorer - and then

    Read More »from Social Chatter: Arsenal fans have a meltdown at Arsene Wenger over Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo
  • European Paper Review: A new star for Real, upsets in Germany and 'fat' Higuain scores winner

    Madrid’s new Magician, Barça batter Betis, PSG continue to disappoint while there are shocks in Germany.

    'Magic Asensio’ reads the double front page of Monday’s Marca. That’s Marco Asensio, the 20-year-old Mallorcan left winger who scored on his Real Madrid league debut in a 3-0 win at Real Sociedad. Gareth Bale got the other two. Double front page? Another Spanish Olympic gold medal is also celebrated.

    Rival Madrid supporting newspaper AS went for Bale on their cover under the headline ‘Power’ as they praised the makeshift attack of Bale, Morata and Asensio. The paper had asked: ‘Is this going to be the La Liga of Bale?’ before the first game, evidence that he’s now seen as one of Madrid’s two

    Read More »from European Paper Review: A new star for Real, upsets in Germany and 'fat' Higuain scores winner