Diego Costa: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho’s ‘perfect kind of player’

September 1, 2014

“Ruthless, hard-working and able to wind up the opposition – new Chelsea striker Diego Costa is turning out to be what you might perceive as being Blues boss Jose Mourinho’s perfect kind of player. The £32m summer signing from Atletico Madrid scored twice in Saturday’s thrilling 6-3 win over Everton and managed to annoy the Toffees players and their boss Roberto Martinez in the process. Costa’s goal tally stands at four in his first three Premier League games, which is some start for any striker at a new club in a new country.” BBC

What Happens To Those Lost On the Road To Stardom

September 1, 2014

“There is a question I would love to ask – but every time the opportunity presents itself I am too scared to do it. The question, you see, could well be taken badly, as an insult, though I mean no disrespect. The question is this; when, as a young player, you have grown up with justified dreams of global stardom, how do you cope with mediocrity? The question is uppermost in my mind at the moment. I’m currently back in London, where I just performed the happy ritual of going along to White Hart Lane to watch Tottenham Hotspur in its Europa League tie against AEL Limassol of Cyprus.” The World Game – Tim Vickery

Tottenham Hotspur 0 Liverpool 3: Raheem Sterling, Steven Gerrard and Alberto Moreno secure victory

September 1, 2014

“Brendan Rodgers celebrated his 100th game in charge of Liverpool with a good win against Tottenham Hotspur and a very good joke about Raheem Sterling’s astonishing second-half miss: ‘Raheem ran into the box like Ricky Villa and finished it like Ricky Gervais.’ This was more than another day at the office for Liverpool. This was Rodgers’s side back in business. After Liverpool’s defeat at Man­chester City last Monday, a few dark clouds of doubt scurried across the Melwood skyline. But Rodgers calmly trained his players well all week, setting them up tactically to outwit Spurs and particularly expose their high-pressing tactics. Liverpool moved the ball quickly, occasionally over the top, catching Spurs out.” Telegraph – Henry Winter

For World Cup Heroes, Back to the Day Job

September 1, 2014

“There are times when it seems as if the World Cup never ended, and that it is being played out every weekend in England’s Premier League. That was the impression at Turf Moor, where Burnley’s underdog spirit prevented Manchester United from getting either a goal or a win, despite United’s fielding its new purchase, the Argentine winger Ángel di María, whose annual salary (let alone his $100 million transfer fee) exceeds what it cost to assemble Burnley’s entire roster.” NY Times

Southampton: A wind of change is blowing through the south coast

September 1, 2014

“Southampton have been through a lot over this summer. Losing four of their key first team players to Liverpool and Manchester United along with their manager Mauricio Pochettino to Spurs. Add to that a promising young lad coming through the ranks in the form of Chambers being snapped up by Arsenal. All this in a single transfer window. People thought they were done and dusted. It would have been the case if Saints hierarchy had made a blunder in choosing a wrong coach for their first team. But with Ronald Koeman the team seems to be in safe pair of hands.” Outside of the Boot

Look on the Bright Side: Reasons for Arsenal, Everton, Tottenham, and Man United to Be Optimistic

September 1, 2014

“It was a weekend that will be known throughout the ages as ‘Black Match Day 3.’ That’s provided we define ‘the ages’ as ‘the next two weeks,’ as the world suffers through the most pointless FIFA international break of the Word Cup cycle. A month from now, nobody will remember the points dropped by a bevy of teams this weekend. But for the next two weeks, it’s going to feel like the end is nigh. This is not the end, though. It’s just the suspended animation of a two-week international break. And even for those teams in the darkest of places, there are reasons for optimism. Here are reasons for all the teams that dropped points this week to feel good about themselves.” Grantland

Dynamo Moscow looking to rise again in the Russian Premier League

August 29, 2014

“As the characteristic cold air engulfs the stadium and snow relentlessly falls onto the names on the back of shirts, the hazardous weather continuously threatens to disrupt the natural flow of a game. The severity of the climate change is a stark reality check for those who bravely attempt to forge out a footballing career in the unforgiving terrain of Eastern Europe. The difficulties involved in adapting to this harsh footballing environment pertain to more than just the extremities of the weather conditions. Political imbalances and power struggles have long been associated with sport in this corner of the earth. Despite these negative perceptions the potential ceiling is relatively high.” Outside of the Boot


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