Five things we learned from Manchester City v Liverpool

August 26, 2014

“A fully fit Stevan Jovetic will be exciting to watch. Those who knew Stevan Jovetic before he joined Manchester City in the summer of 2013 would have been fully aware of the reasons why he commanded a fee of £22 million. However, his first season at the Etihad Stadium was badly interrupted by injury with the Montenegrin forward playing just 16 times in all competitions, mostly as a substitute. It didn’t take long for the gutter press to label Jovetic a flop but the 24-year-old worked hard to get back to full fitness and was arguably City’s standout performer during preseason. With Sergio Aguero still overcoming his own niggles, Jovetic has been given the nod to play alongside Edin Dzeko up front to start the season and, after a strong showing against Newcastle United in City’s opening game, he showed exactly what he is capable of against Liverpool.” backpagefootball

Tactical Analysis: Manchester City 3-1 Liverpool | Efficient champions pounce on errors
“Manchester City 3-1 Liverpool | The top two from the previous campaign met for the first time this season. The two fixtures between them in 2013/14 were at crucial moments of the season. This result doesn’t mean much at the moment, but could be a potential 6 point winner for City come the end of the season.” Outside of the Boot

Get Familiar: Manchester City Crush Liverpool With Continuity
“Big games this early are weird. Does anybody remember last year, when José Mourinho went into Old Trafford and turned the game into mud in Week 2? He was happy to walk away with a road point against mighty Manchester United. A month later, United lost to West Bromwich Albion at home, and the wheels started to come off. It’s August. The transfer window is still open, pieces are still coming together, or falling apart. Mario Balotelli is still sitting in the stands showing off his scarf game.” Grantland

Van Gaal’s tactical evolution

August 26, 2014

“Louis van Gaal has begun his time in charge of Manchester United by playing a 3-4-1-2 formation, an alignment with which he enjoyed success as Netherlands manager at the World Cup. ‘Success’ must be qualified, of course — the Netherlands came third. However, it was a dramatically better performance than was expected, as many tipped them to finish behind Chile and Spain in the group stage. In the end, only a defeat to Argentina on penalties denied them a second consecutive appearance in the final.” ESPN – Michael Cox

Commercialisation, PR stunts & bullying. Are Barcelona still ‘more than a club’?

August 26, 2014

“Translated to English to mean ‘more than a club’, Mes Que Un Club is a phrase proudly printed across the seats in the middle tier of the Nou Camp stadium, and one that has become globally renowned as Barcelona’s mantra. In the era of modern football where money has become an increasingly key factor in whether a team is successful, Barcelona certainly were deserving of this ‘more than a club’ tag.” Outside of the Boot

10 Potential Olivier Giroud Replacements – It Ain’t Pretty

August 26, 2014

“Olivier Giroud is likely out for three months with a hairline fracture. Yaya Sanogo has often been injured in his short spell at the club, but might just be healthy enough to participate in the midweek Champions League Qualifier. The entire world is on the fence about whether or not Alexis Sanchez can succeed playing through the middle in the Premier League. This leaves Arsene Wenger in a huge bind. He has zero healthy, recognized center forwards in his squad right now, Olivier Giroud is probably out for a minimum of three months, and the transfer window closes in under a week. This is a better situation than if the transfer window had already closed, but there is some desperate shopping to be done.” Statsbomb

Eight Talking Points from Match Day 1

August 26, 2014

“The Bundesliga is back for a new season and there was already plenty to talk about after the first round of matches. Bayern München unsurprisingly started the season off with a tricky victory against Wolfsburg while Borussia Dortmund disappointed after losing at home to a promising Leverkusen side. Meanwhile, SC Paderborn recorded their first ever Bundesliga point with a draw against Mainz. Here are eight talking points from match day One. The Bundesliga is back!” Bundesliga Fanatic

Five things we learned from Ligue 1 this week

August 26, 2014

“Sagnol’s Bordeaux make it three wins out of three. It appears that a complete turnaround is on the cards at Girondins de Bordeaux, thanks to the changes ex-France under-21 coach Willy Sagnol has brought to the club since his appointment. The 2013-2014 season was at times completely dismal for the six-time French league champions, with the club winning just over a third of their matches and suffering the most embarrassing of Coupe de France exits when they went out on penalties against CFA 2 (French football’s fifth tier) side FB Île-Rousse on penalties after a stalemate.” backpagefootball