England Rules: Four Questions That Explain the Summer Transfer Window

July 27, 2015

“While there’s still more than a month remaining, something about the current transfer window just seems … off. Most of the big clubs — Chelsea, PSG, Arsenal, Barcelona, and Real Madrid — have been relatively quiet, and the star we all expected to leave looks like he might stay put in Italy for another year. Now, there’s been plenty of movement in Munich, Manchester, and everywhere else, but even those transactions have been underpriced, overpriced, or seemingly out of nowhere. In short, the silly season’s gotten weird. Here are four questions to sort through all the mayhem.” Grantland


7 strikers that need to be upgraded on FIFA 16

July 14, 2015

“In FIFA, as in football generally, goals are the key to every single match, as long as you get one more goal than your opponent you’ll be fine. In FIFA 15 the outrageous goal was king thanks to some dodgy goalkeeping mechanics. In FIFA 16 we think that problem should be fixed so we expect poachers to become the focal point of a lot of teams. We’ve picked out seven of them who need upgrading in FIFA 16.” Squawka


Lyon – All The Young Punks

July 11, 2015

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“At the beginning of the 2014/15 season very few analysts expected Lyon to be among the front-runners in Ligue 1, given that they had just changed their manager, replacing Rémi Garde with Hubert Fournier, and spent virtually no money. However, their exciting young side led the table for a lengthy period before finishing in a highly creditable second place behind the expensively assembled Paris Saint-Germain, thus qualifying for the Champions League. Expectations were on the low side, as Les Gones had endured much disappointment in the previous two seasons, failing to reach their previous heights by only finishing 3rd and 5th in the league.” The Swiss Ramble


France must make a decision on Didier Deschamps before it’s too late

June 18, 2015

“There was no retribution from France on Saturday evening. A trip to Albania, six days removed from their 4-3 humbling at the hands of Belgium, was on the cards; a side that France have yet to taste defeat against in their lifespan as a footballing nation. Apt given the national side’s current predicament, France departed Albania late Saturday evening on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline. ‘I am particularly annoyed and disappointed because I’m responsible,’ remarked France coach, Didier Deschamps, post-match.” backpagefootball


Tactical Analysis: France 3-4 Belgium | Belgium’s fluidity in midfield and France’s shift to a 4-2-3-1

June 11, 2015

“Drawing ‘big picture’ conclusions from friendlies, especially after a long and gruelling European campaign, can often be an exercise in futility. This is doubly true with top teams such as Belgium and France, most of whose players were involved in additional 10-20 matches in lengthy European and cup campaigns. With key players such as Paul Pogba, Patrice Evra, Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany and Kevin de Bruyne missing from both sides, one might have hoped that rather than playing for the result, both teams might be given to a bit of experimentation on the day, with a chance to see some new faces or perhaps a bit of tactical innovation. After all, despite France being qualified as hosts of Euro 2016 and Belgium topping their group, neither have been as scintillating as one might expect.” Outside of the Boot


2014/15 Ligue 1 End Of Season Awards

May 27, 2015

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“An exciting Ligue 1 season came to an end with a bit of an anti-climax. After Lyon & Marseille both held their own as potential challengers to Paris Saint-Germain’s domination in France, the capital club showed their experience and retained their title, now making it three successive championship wins having gone 18 years without one. For manager Laurent Blanc, it was a fantastic response to all his critics, with an impressive showing in Europe as well and also the possibility of winning a domestic treble, something never done in France earlier. But he isn’t the only one to have impressed both domestically and in Europe, with a few others deserving as much credit as French domestic football begins to set itself up on the footballing map.” Outside of the Boot


The season that was in Ligue 1

May 24, 2015

“At the beginning of every season in Ligue 1 ever since the takeover of Qatari ownership of Paris Saint Germain, the running gag in France isn’t who will win the Ligue 1 title, but when will PSG clinch it and how many points will they win it by. It’s a blessing and a curse to have a club who talent wise are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Sadly one of the curses is that the domestic races involving PSG have involved the Parisian club finishing on average 10.5 points ahead of second place over the past two seasons.” backpagefootball


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