European football: 7-1 scorelines, fluke goals and more

September 1, 2015

“It was a busy weekend across Europe, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich winning, Roma shocking Juventus and transfers galore. But what are the stories you might have missed? Several former Premier League strikers on the scoresheet, freak goals and stadium problems and more – BBC Sport takes a look.” BBC


Louis van Gaal’s quest for control brings scant consolation at Swansea

September 1, 2015

“If only Club Brugge were in the Premier League. But they are not and, when you strip out the seven goals Manchester United scored in two games against them, they have scored just three in four this season. For all the talk of progress and of Louis van Gaal’s methods slowly being assimilated by his players, his 50th game in charge ended with the same result as his first: a 2-1 defeat to Swansea.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week #4 — Matthias Ginter, Raheem Sterling, and Nabil Fekir feature

September 1, 2015

“A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled into an XI from across Europe’s top six leagues. You can read this for all details on Talent Radar, who is eligible under it and what else we publish within this feature.” Outside of the Boot.


James Rodríguez – the future of Real Madrid

September 1, 2015

James-Rodriguez-Officially-Unveiled-At-Real-Madrid
“The result of this weekend’s drubbing of Real Betis by Real Madrid not only relieved some early season pressure off new manager Rafa Benitez, but also heavily showcased the future stars of Los Blancos. The media loves mentioning Gareth Bale and his two goals and that he is (probably) just a few mental roadblocks away from becoming the main star for Real. However, James Rodríguez’s scintillating display and classy brace this past weekend was a real sign of what we will soon come to expect on a weekly basis from the young Colombian star. When James Rodríguez first made his ‘appearance’ in Brazil 2014, everybody knew him as the up and coming young Colombian partner of Joao Moutinho at AS Monaco. Yes, he was an exciting talent, but how many players shine at the World Cup only to flop for big clubs soon after?” backpagefootball


Euro 2016: How two wins in four days could make history for Wales

September 1, 2015

“Fever-pitch excitement surrounds Gareth Bale and the rest as Wales are on the brink of appearing at their first major tournament finals since 1958. But, in the week of Euro 2016 qualifying matches away against Cyprus on Thursday, 3 September and Israel at home on Sunday, 6 September, the big question appears to be – will it take four days or four games?” BBC


From Ice Station Zebra to the Promised Land – Oldham’s golden era

September 1, 2015

“Former Everton and Manchester City star Joe Royle had been in the job for just a few weeks shy of five years, maintaining Oldham Athletic’s place in English football’s second tier without previously threatening to end their 64-year exile from the First Division. By the end of the 1986/87 season though, the Latics were pushing hard for one of the two automatic promotion places having become more adept at turning defeats into victories, primarily through a much tighter defence than in previous campaigns. Their chief rivals were Portsmouth – managed by Royle’s former Everton team mate and World Cup winner Alan Ball – and the soon-to-be Robert Maxwell-bankrolled Derby County.” Football Pink (Video)


Champions League draw analysis: Picks to make it out of each group

August 29, 2015

UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, left, and UEFA Competitions Director Giorgio Marchetti, right, remove the balls containing the names of the soccer clubs, during the draw for the Champions League 2015/16 play-offs, at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
“There was a twist to the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco Thursday. UEFA’s new seeding regulations meant that only reigning champions would be picked from Pot 1, leaving some dangerous contenders in the lower pots. And so it proved, as Manchester City was drawn with Juventus and Sevilla while Real Madrid drew Paris Saint-Germain and Shakhtar Donetsk. The draw resulted in some intriguing individual storylines, powerhouses going up against one another and the first steps on the road to the San Siro.” SI (Video)


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