The Academy Series | 10 best Ajax Amsterdam products: Bergkamp, Sneijder & Vertonghen feature

November 1, 2015

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“It’s no surprise that the greatest Dutch club in history, and one of the most successful clubs in European competition, has arguably the best youth academy on the planet. No other club has produced more players to play in Europe’s top five leagues than Ajax Amsterdam. With a list both long and distinguished containing a ludicrous amount of incredibly gifted players (most notable of all, Johan Cruyff), the inventors of ‘Total Football’, its famed 4-3-3 system and it’s emphasis on ‘TIPS’ (Technique, Insight, Personality, Speed) will forever remain at or near the top of the youth pipeline discussion.” Outside of the Boot


No Messi, No Problem: Neymar Becomes a Superstar

November 1, 2015

“… Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you went down the Neymar highlight rabbit hole and never came back. Of course, soccer matches aren’t highlight reels, and if there’s been one criticism of Neymar, it’s that you wouldn’t be missing much just by watching his YouTube clips. He’s the latest member of a long line of (mostly Brazilian) players — stretching from Garrincha to Robinho — whose sizzling ability was (rightly or wrongly) said to not translate into wins on the field.” Grantland (Video)


Ratings: Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool: Coutinho piles on the pressure for Mourinho

November 1, 2015

“It was hyped as a match that Jose Mourinho couldn’t lose but even after taking an early lead through a Ramires header, Chelsea sunk to defeat as Coutinho scored twice to hand Jurgen Klopp his first win in the Premier League. Although the hosts took an early lead, they lacked resolve and crumbled as the Reds grew into the game, with an equaliser before the break giving the visitors the platform they needed to push on in the second half, with Christian Benteke later coming on to create a second goal and then score the visitor’s third and final strike to win the game.” Squawka


Mourinho out, Slutsky in for Chel-sky?

November 1, 2015

“One of the better stories to emerge in the Russian sports media after Chelsea’s exit from the League Cup was a pure floater (in every sense of the word). Poor old Jose Mourinho will be replaced by Leonid Slutsky. Given the vile abuse meted out weekly from English terraces, what they’ll do with a person whose family name is ‘Slutsky’ does not need thinking about on a chilly Moscow morning.” backpagefootball


High hopes of Italian glory for Napoli

November 1, 2015

Napoli's Jose Maria Callejon looks at the ball as he runs during their Italian Serie A soccer match against Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence October 30, 2013. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito (ITALY - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) Picture Supplied by Action Images
“So far this season in the Serie A, there has been several highly impressive team performances coming from the highly renowned Italian footballing giants, alongside a few surprise starts to the campaign from teams such as Sassuolo who find themselves in fifth place, and Fiorentina who have been very good so far this season, currently in third place place behind Napoli and league leaders Roma. However, if there is one team that has been showing just how good they are this season; it’s Napoli. Maurizio Sarri’s men have been in fine form, both in their domestic campaign and in the Europa League, winning every single European game they have been faced with.” backpagefootball


Goal Analysis: How Yannick Ferreira Carrasco’s goal announced himself at Atletico Madrid

November 1, 2015

“Atletico Madrid vs Valencia. Without a spare seat in the house, we were in for a real battle in what promised to be a mouthwatering clash between two historic Spanish giants that both came into this one having boasted wins in the Champions League days earlier. True to their trademark, the hosts were out of the blocks like greyhounds and within minutes Valencia goalkeeper Jaume Domenech was forced into several top drawer saves to keep Simeone’s men at bay. The heat was turned up further and Atletico’s Rojiblanco fans greeted every one of their player’s challenges with deafening cheers of encouragement which made for a ‘hairs on the back of the neck’ atmosphere in the famous Vicente Calderon stadium that lays beside the Manzanares river in the working class district of Arganzuela, south Madrid.” Outside of the Boot


Should CONCACAF Champions League change its schedule?

November 1, 2015

“With the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) group stage coming to an end last week, it’s a good time to address whether or not the North American governing body should change the schedule of their premier club competition, something which has been discussed for a while now. The suggestion is to alter the competition to run spring to autumn, rather than autumn to spring.” Outside of the Boot


Jose Mourinho: Is this the end of the road for Chelsea manager?

November 1, 2015

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“Chelsea’s meeting with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge was billed as the game manager Jose Mourinho must not lose if he wanted to keep his job. Now, after a 3-1 defeat that sent Chelsea towards the bottom of the Premier League after their sixth loss in 11 games and left Liverpool fans singing ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’, the grim statistics and questions are piling up around Mourinho.” BBC


Wolfsburg Take Care of Business Saturday

November 1, 2015

“The highlight contest of MatchDay 11 was Saturday’s clash between Champions League clubs VfL Wolfsburg and Bayer 04 Leverkusen. With Bayern Munich dropping their first points of the Bundesliga season Friday in their 0-0 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt, there became the rare opportunity for Bundesliga title contenders/pretenders to make some ground on the record title-holders in Saturday’s matches, adding more importance to the clash of the Wolves and Die Werkself. It was VfL Wolfsburg, though, rebounding from a midweek Pokal loss from Bayern to down Bayer Leverkusen, taking care of business in garnering all three points in a 2-1 victory, gaining the third spot in the Bundesliga table in the process and demonstrating that success after the departure of Kevin De Bruyne can continue.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Getafe CF 0-2 FC Barcelona: Match Review

November 1, 2015

“With Real Madrid winning earlier on Saturday, it was important for Barcelona to match Madrid’s result against Getafe and stay level with their rivals. With it also being a Champions League midweek on the horizon, coach Luis Enrique would’ve been hoping to see the game off as quickly as possible.” Barca Blaugranes