The 10 Young Stars of 2015: Loris Karius (Keeper)

December 6, 2015

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“In the land of overflowing goalkeeping talent, Loris Karius is one of the men to be taken seriously as competition to the undisputed number 1- Manuel Neuer. The 22 year old currently plays for Mainz, but was on the books of Manchester City for 3 years. He made his debut in trying circumstances, coming on as a substitute after the first choice goalkeeper was sent off. Karius started off among the youth ranks of Stuttgart, before moving to Manchester City. He couldn’t really get a break through there, and ended up making the move back home with FSV Mainz.” Outside of the Boot

The 10 Young Stars of 2015: Andy Najar (North America)
“Andy Najar is a Honduran International who came through the DC United academy. Najar moved to America at the age of 13 and was soon part of DC United’s academy. He wasted no time in impressing and quickly moved up the ranks making his first team debut at just 17. The Honduran International hit the ground running winning the MLS Rookie of the Year award in his debut season. After pledging his allegiance to Honduras, Najar impressed in the 2012 Olympics to earn a move to Europe in the form of Anderlecht. Mainly deployed as a right-winger, but capable of filling in at right-back, the Honduran International has acquitted himself well as he continued his development on European soil.” Outside of the Boot


Ability v technique – Barcelona strike perfect balance

December 6, 2015

“The great Tostao, centre forward of Brazil’s 1970 side and the wisest voice in his country’s game, recently tried to clear up a basic confusion in football – the difference between ability and technique.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


Flawed EPL favorites leading to congested table, fascinating title race

December 6, 2015

“This is a most unusual Premier League season. Fourteen games in, none of the expected title favorites has settled into any kind of consistent form and the result is a league table that is extremely tightly bunched, with four teams separated by two points at the top of the table, Tottenham two behind that group and Liverpool two behind Spurs. Most tellingly, the leaders, Manchester City and Leicester City, have 29 points: only once in the past 17 years has the leader had a lower total with 14 games of the season gone.” SI – Jonathan Wilson


100 2015

December 6, 2015

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“12 months ago the expectation was that Pierre-Emile Højbjerg was on the verge of breaking into the Bayern Munich first team. We felt sure that the young midfielder would start to feature more regularly after a handful of Bundesliga and Champions League appearances to end the year had gone reasonably well. Instead he has spent 2015 on loan at Augsburg and currently Schalke, and admittedly he is a better player for it even though he’d clearly have preferred to have had the same experiences with his parent club.” In Bed With Maradina – Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Pione Sisto, Etc.

100 2015


Tactical Analysis: Napoli 2-1 Inter Milan | Fluid Neapolitan Football But Inter’s Energy Almost Alters Result

December 6, 2015

“Napoli went atop the Serie A standings for the first time since April 1990, with a win over Inter Milan decided by the narrowest of margins and some Gonzalo Higuain striking brilliance. Higuain’s brace took his goals tally to 12 this season, and only a fine save from goalkeeper Pepe Reina denied Inter a share of the points. Roberto Mancini’s Nerazzurri played the entire second half with ten men, but it was a case of too little too late for Inter, who lived to rue their defensive mistakes on the night.” Outside of the Boot


Ratings: Man Utd 0-0 West Ham: No goals and few ideas as Fellaini and Zarate go close

December 6, 2015

“Old Trafford played host to what was ultimately an underwhelming clash between Manchester United and West Ham United as neither side were able to score any goals despite a few promising chances and passages of play. The approaches of the two sides were perhaps best summed up by the individuals they channelled the majority of their play through: Marouane Fellaini for the hosts and Mauro Zarate for the visitors.” Squawka