James and the Giant Poppy

October 28, 2015

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“As we enter, once more, into the depressingly-inevitable annual period of more-widespread and focused moral outrage reserved for poppy-refusenik James McClean, it is refreshing to encounter a more considered contribution to the debate from a proponent of the Remembrance symbol, as opposed to the usual abusive, outraged, reactionary and knee-jerk bully-boyism we have come to expect in relation to the matter. The author of this contribution, ‘DowntheMannyRd’, offers sincerity and good will in encouraging James McClean to reconsider his refusal to wear a poppy this November.” backpagefootball


Premier League’s limitations shown by dull Manchester derby draw

October 28, 2015

“Everyone who watched Sunday’s Manchester derby agreed it was a largely terrible game of football. Well, almost everyone. The counter argument was launched by Gary Neville, Britain’s finest television pundit, who has genuinely helped change perceptions of football through his brilliant Monday Night Football slot. Neville was a fine defender during his playing days, the type of footballer who became top-class because his intelligence was built upon experience, rather than through incredible natural talent. It’s not surprising, therefore, that he’s a fine commentator and marvels at good defensive organisation.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Positives for both sides as Real Madrid topple Celta Vigo

October 28, 2015

“Sooner or later, reality bites in football – especially for football clubs like Celta Vigo. Unbeaten in La Liga up to last Saturday, the humble Galician outfit had found themselves sharing top spot on merit with visitors Real Madrid. But sooner or later, despite your dash, your verve, your high intensity pressing, reality bites.” backpagefootball


DFB Pokal 2nd Round Continues Tuesday and Wednesday

October 28, 2015

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“Midweek German football action will see 32 clubs try to advance to the Round of 16 in the DFB Pokal. The 16 scheduled matches include some very tasty and intriguing draws for fans of German football to enjoy. The marquee match among the eight games played on Tuesday has to be the VfL Wolfsburg-Bayern Munich match, a contest between last year’s Pokal champion and the club that has dominated the competition, Bayern Munich, with 17 Pokal titles. Bayern lost their first game of the season last week in Champions League action when they were beaten in London by Arsenal, but they came back strong Saturday against 1.FC Koln, while Wolfsburg have won three in a row (including their CL win against PSV Tuesday) and will be set for revenge for their late September spanking administered by the Bavarians and also looking to prove that they are an elite club following the Kevin De Bruyne departure.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Tactical Analysis: Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City | Man-oriented defences on top

October 28, 2015

“Manchester United hosted City in the 170th Manchester derby. In this fixture last season United dominated the midfield battle with Mata’s central roaming creating an overload that was key to United’s victory. Furthermore Toure was played as one of City’s two deep midfield players despite his well-documented defensive shortcomings and this contributed to their resounding defeat.” Outside of the Boot


Russian football’s European performances suggest a new commitment to fitness foundations

October 28, 2015

“The English-speaking football world shone its semi-interested light on Russian football last week, yet, as is the norm, the subjects scrutinised were narrow – ‘The Normal One’, ‘LVG and Roly Poly Rooney’ and many other pressing subjects. The question as to why a league like the RFPL should see its teams be competitive in Europe wasn’t brought up. Rather the Sky-BT-Insert Sponsor Name here League was studiously studied. Wiki searches for players with funny names were de rigeur for pundits.” backpagefootball