Monthly Archives: October 2016

Shinji Okazaki – The Ultimate Ron (or a reminder of why this blog’s called “Every Team Needs A Ron”)

There comes a time in oh so many forms of media when things need to be updated for a new era. Shakespeare gets taken over by Baz Luhrmann, with swords becoming guns and pre-pubescent boys becoming Claire Danes. Captain America still starts as a Nazi-fighting soldier in World War Two, but there comes a point where the passage of time dictates that he must be frozen in ice in order to exist in the present day.

‘Every Team Needs A Ron’ theory began in 2011. It was an entirely different age.

The final Harry Potter film had recently been released and Scott Parker was in the running for awards and England caps. This was a time before we (the people, the mainstream) properly valued defensive midfielders who didn’t just exist to put in crunching tackles. It was before the revisionist history of Paul Scholes was penned, writing him in as an alternative reality’s World Cup winner, had he only played in central midfield. Continue reading


Liverpool vs Manchester United – Now I’ve said I’ll write about it, I have to

I tweeted out, sometime before kick-off, that I’d write something about the Liverpool vs Manchester United match. I wanted to write one of the hopefully fun match reports that I like to do. I haven’t done one in a while and I like to write and you only get better by doing it more often, seeing what works, seeing what doesn’t.

The point of those, when I do them, is to find a narrative in the match. Not a spurious way of hyping a player up or questioning whether another is in the midst of an interminable decline. Not about whether referee calls swung the match and just *how* wrong they were to make that particular call. Something fun, something with emotion and problems and (perhaps) resolution. The director’s cut of reality.

It would have probably involved how much I was hoping Mourinho would get into an argument with Klopp and, perfectly pettily, flick his glasses off. Klopp would look bemused, chuckle, and then point to a spot of dirt on Mou’s gilet. Jose, with his face in an even glummer frown than usual, would look down. Klopp would throw his finger upwards and flick Mourinho in the nose. That would be fun. Continue reading

Trickle down dissatisfaction, or just another obstacle for a European Super League

Much has been made of the European Super League, many whispers, not a lot of definitive plans. I’ve wondered which clubs would take part. So, let’s actually sit down and do it. A disclaimer that these are musings rather than a thoroughly researched post. There is a point to all this though (you can skip to the end, it’ll be caps locked, if you want). Continue reading

The rest of the fanalytics survey 2015/16

A while back I did a survey of people’s favourite ‘fanalysts’ (broad term meaning people doing analytical work in statistical, tactical, etc fields and, broadly, not being paid for it). The results came out in time for the start of the new Premier League season, but I only wrote up answers to the questions of who were people’s favourite analysts, tweeters, articles, and ones to watch.

There were another few questions in the survey too, and I’m going to finally get around to writing them up quickly here. Continue reading

Premier League starting centre-backs: RANKED

So, we’ve reached the second international break of the new season and you will all be sick of international-themed content before long (Glen Johnson, AMIRITE?!), so I thought I’d rank every centre-back partnership in the Premier League and put ’em in order.

Now, I’ve tried to keep the teams they’re within out of it. Think “How would these guys do if they were put into a solid defensive set-up, and how would they do if they were put into a crappy one”. Continue reading