Monthly Archives: November 2015

Avec les défenseurs centrales comme ces, qui a besoin des enemis?

Marseille vs Monaco, 1-1

[Ligue 1, 29/11/2015]

[Un version français de la poste ici

Le match était résumé dans les interviews au bord du terrain d’après-match, l’intervieweur commence les deux par nommé le match ‘complètement fou’. Un nul probablement un résultat juste, ni équipe joue bien et la plupart des buts compris un degré de bizarre hilarité. Marseille pourrait avoir entré la première moitié du classement avec une victoire, mais plutôt réussi à encaisse trois buts des arrières des Monaco.

Trois des défenseurs centrales ont joué pour le match complet, N’Koulou et Rekik pour L’Olympique Marseille (Rekik substitué en le 73’ minute, avec Isla retombe du milieu de terrain), et Wallace et Raggi pour AS Monaco. Continue reading


With CBs like these, who needs enemies?

Marseille vs Monaco, FT 3-3

[Ligue 1, 29/11/2015]

The match was summed up in the post-match pitch-side interviews, both of which the interviewer started by calling the match ‘completely mad’. A draw probably a fair result, neither side playing well and most of the goals featuring a degree of bizarre hilarity. Marseille could have entered the top half of the table with a win, but instead managed to concede 3 goals to Monaco full-backs.

Three of the centre-backs played for the entire match, N’Koulou and Rekik for Marseille (Rekik substituted in the 73rd minute, with Isla dropping back from midfield), and Wallace and Raggi for Monaco. Continue reading

United unable to out-fox Leicester in top of the table clash

Leicester City vs Manchester United, FT 1-1

[English Premier League, 28/11/2015]

Given a) the general feeling about how Manchester United are playing, and b) it’s Leicester, this was something of a surprising ‘top of the league’ November match. ‘Something of’ being an understatement, more aligned with Louis van Gaal’s United playing seat-of-the-pants attacking football than simply being a mild shock. It may also have seen (and, spoilers, did) Jamie Vardy breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record for scoring consecutively in Premier League matches. Continue reading

Juventus vs City – an Italian job well done

Juventus vs Manchester City, FT 1-0

[Champions League, 25/11/2015]

Perhaps the greatest tribute band there’s ever been, Juventus let a Manchester City who’d 4 days earlier been made to look like Notts County side into their home, and dominated for more or less the entire match. In the city of FIAT and the Italian Job, the home side were systematically, hydromatically, and (by virtue of being better systematically) automatically better than Pellegrini’s men, particularly in the stereotypically Italian area of defending.

Juventus played with a 3 centre-back system as they’ve been doing in the league, Barzagli, Bonucci, and Chiellini playing; with Demichelis and Otamendi featuring for City. All CBs played the full game. Continue reading

Why I don’t think Arsenal are title contenders

This article should more accurately be titled ‘Why I’m a bit sceptical about Arsenal being title contenders but they might be but I think they probably won’t be and not because they can’t keep their first team fit’. But that’s a bit long.

A few weeks ago, I wrote this on the same subject, which ended with a rather piping hot take, so I should make it clear that I don’t have an agenda against them. Actually, Manchester United aside, they’re probably my favourite of the traditional Big 4 contenders.

This season, they have good shot and expected goals numbers, hinting that their good form over the first twelve games may be genuine ability this term. However, Continue reading

The Philosophy (2015 under Louis van Gaal’s United)

The Philosophy (2015 under Van Gaal’s United)

The Promise of All Seeming So far away,
The goal a distant memory
As again the ball circulates
Around the arteries of this pitch,
The need to shoot an itch
Which must be suppressed
To pursue the Greater Goal:
The Philosophy. Continue reading