Talking Points: A big weekend for Torres, Hernández and Bielsa

September 12, 2014

“With the international programme officially over Andy Brassell, James Horncastle and Julien Laurens bring you their Talking Points ahead of this weekend’s action” Guardian


The sale of Bryan Cristante: AC Milan’s moment of darkness in an otherwise brilliant transfer window

September 10, 2014

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“While AC Milan have begun their season on the tail-end of a surprisingly successful transfer campaign; acquiring the likes of Menez, Alex, and Diego Lopez, there is one piece of business which was a huge disappointment for Milan fans around the world: the sale of 19-year old Bryan Cristante. Over the past few seasons, Cristante has been the shining gem of Milan’s youth set-up and it seemed that this year would be the one where he would get the opportunity to showcase his talent. Technically he will be doing just that, but not with Milan. Cristante will be plying his trade in Portugal this season with Benfica. There was plenty of speculation regarding the future of the midfielder at the start of the transfer window, with both Benfica and Sassuolo seeking out the services of the player. However these rumors were quickly put to bed by Galliani who stated that Milan had no intention of selling Cristante, much to the relief of the fans.” Outside of the Boot


Five transfer window bargains

September 4, 2014

“It was another record-breaking transfer window in terms of money spent, but sometimes the most intelligent transfers cost extremely little and clubs that take a chance on overlooked players are frequently rewarded with fine performances. Here, then, are five of the bargains of this transfer window…” ESPN – Michael Cox


Tactical Analysis: Roma 2-0 Fiorentina | Giallorossi overcome Viola

September 4, 2014

“Roma 2-0 Fiorentina | A match that was about discipline and pressing culminated in the home side grapping their first 3 points of the Serie A 2014/15 season. With the result, Vincenzo Montella’s record in the Olympico as a coach reads an uninspiring 8 matches, 0 wins, 2 draws and 6 losses.” Outside of the Boot


Serie A preview: Juventus face new challenges for fourth straight title

August 29, 2014

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“Last season, Juventus won Serie A by 17 points. The season before, Juventus won Serie A by nine points. The season before that, Juventus won Serie A by four points. Juventus is the best-placed Italian club (ninth overall) in the 2014 Deloitte Money League, a ranking of Europe’s top-earning clubs. It’s Italy’s biggest club and recent record suggests it has the best squad. The only question in Serie A is whether anybody can prevent Juve making it four in a row.” SI – Jonathan Wilson (Video)


The end of the Rafa Benitez revolution at Napoli?

August 29, 2014

“At the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao there’s an olive tree. Tourists write down their wishes on pieces of paper and tie them to its branches. Before the second leg of his team’s Champions League play-off on Wednesday night, Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis made one of his own. His wish? ‘That Napoli win against Athletic.’ No Italian team had ever claimed victory at San Mames but Napoli coach Rafa Benitez was defiant before the game: ‘We aren’t here to be the victim,’ he said on the eve of the game, which began with the two sides level 1-1 on aggregate.” ESPN


Plenty on the line in Napoli’s UCL playoff tie

August 19, 2014

“‘It’s not long now until we hear that tune again,’ tweeted Napoli’s stadium announcer, an excited Decibel Bellini. The emcee known throughout the world for his spine-tingling call and response routines when the likes of GON-ZA-LO HI-GUA-IN sgonfia la rete [make the net bulge] wasn’t referring to the latest summer hit to emerge from the city’s flourishing rap scene. Nothing from the likes of CoSang’s Luche, nor Rocco Hunt. Instead, Bellini was alluding to a piece of classical music — George Frideric Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest,’ the Champions League anthem.” ESPN – James Horncastle


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