Inter stay top of Serie A as Roma’s home struggles continue

December 17, 2015

“Inter solidified their position at the summit of the Serie A table, Bologna continue to fly under Roberto Donadoni while Juventus registered their sixth victory on the spin. It was, as always, a frenetic weekend in Serie A. And below are this week’s talking points.” backpagefootball


Maurizio Sarri – A tale for hipsters and dreamers alike

December 17, 2015

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“The latest instalment in one of the most extraordinary football stories of recent years is currently playing itself out in Serie A – the wonderful tale of Maurizio Sarri, manager of Napoli. I’ve always been a sucker for those managers who without stellar football careers behind them have risen by dint of their coaching and inspirational qualities, their intelligence and their sheer perseverance to some of the top jobs in the game.” backpagefootball


2016 UEFA Championship: Host France gets favorable draw

December 15, 2015

Host-France-gets-favorable-dra
“The 2016 European Championships draw was made in the Palais des Congres in Paris Saturday. UEFA president Michel Platini was not present—he is currently suspended from his duties by FIFA—but there was support for the Frenchman when footage of player-turned-politician helping France win Euro 1986 was met with applause in the draw auditorium. It was Platini who instigated this new-look Euros format: there are now 24 teams in the tournament, eight more than in previous competitions.” SI (Video)


Tactical breakdown: How Ranieri’s Leicester City has overtaken the EPL

December 15, 2015

“Leicester City sits on top of the Premier League table after 16 rounds in one of Europe’s biggest stories nearly halfway through the season. New manager Claudio Ranieri has sharpened Leicester’s focus, harnessing his players’ scrappiness to become a formidable defensive side paired with England’s in-form striker, Jamie Vardy. Unlike its results, the team’s tactics are fairly typical. The Foxes line up in a standard English 4-4-2, with Riyad Mahrez’s tendency to drift inside and next to the front two passing as their most complicated wrinkle.” SI


Power Rankings | Top 5 Managers (November 2015): Klopp joins Enrique at the top

December 10, 2015

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“A new mini-feature on the site for the new season is the introduction of the manager Power Rankings, where every month we list out the Top 5 tacticians from across Europe’s top leagues. October’s Power Rankings features five managers who’ve played key roles as the table begins to take shape.” Outside of the Boot


The Outsiders, Part 5: AP Campionese

December 10, 2015

“‘And this is Campione d’Italia’, she’s the Italian comune in Switzerland, you know, she’s an Italian enclave and exclave surrounded by Switzerland but still in the Province of Como, Lombardia, in the Swiss canton of Ticino’. Introducing the small town of Campione d’Italia, is much like describing a distant relative at a very large family celebration. She’s both vaguely recognisable and completely unfamiliar. She has the same plump and contented face as aunty Giulia, yet she’s definitely got the nose of grandpa Müller.” Football Pink

The Outsiders, Part 6: FC Andorra
“As countries go, there are few that can match the sheer stunning beauty of Andorra. Nestled firmly in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, Andorra is the sixth smallest nation in Europe in terms of size, its population could fit inside Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium. It has a rich culture stretching back over a thousand years and is a constitutional monarchy with an official language of Catalan, though French and Spanish are widely spoken too.” Football Pink

The Outsiders, Part 7: The New Saints
“Around the globe, football teams that have incorporated their sponsor’s name are common place. Of course, Red Bull have taken on teams in New York, Leipzig and Salzburg, aptly named the New York Red Bulls, RB Leipzig and FC Red Bull Salzburg whilst Bayer Leverkusen in Germany have taken their founders’ name since their emergence in 1904, as did PSV Eindhoven in 1913. Hyundai have taken on two teams in South Korea, Jeonbuk and Ulsan whilst Toyota even got in on the act in Japan.” Football Pink


The 10 Young Stars of 2015: Paulo Dybala (South America)

December 10, 2015

“Paulo Dybala is an Argentine striker currently playing for Juventus. The youngster made the move to Juventus this summer from Palermo for 32 million euros, in one of the blockbuster moves of the summer. He’s also a full Argentine international, making his debut in the recent World Cup qualifier against Paraguay, when he came on as a sub for Carlos Tevez. The striker started out at Argentine club Instituto de Cordoba, playing in the second division, where he broke all sorts of records, including some held by the legendary Mario Kempes.He played 38 consecutive games there, scored 2 hattricks, and scored in 6 consecutive games. After some controversy about the paper work, he completed his move to Palermo, and in his time there, made enough of an impact to be signed by Juventus for a massive transfer fee.” Outside of the Boot

The 10 Young Stars of 2015: Ryan Thomas (Oceania)
“Ryan Thomas is a 20 year old New Zealander currently bearing the colours of PEC Zwolle. The youngster was signed from a youth academy in New Zealand in 2013 after Zwolle took him on trial and were impressed with what he had to offer. The player is usually deployed as a winger, but can also fill in in the middle of the park, a position he was deployed in during his youth days. Thomas is the only Kiwi in the entire Eredivisie, and indeed, The Netherlands aren’t really a well trodden path for his compatriots. Despite this though, he’s settled in well, and made a huge impact on the league, and his team. His greatest success has come in the cup final in 2014, where he scored a brace to help his side beat the mighty Ajax and lift the trophy.” Outside of the Boot


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