Scout Report: Moussa Dembele | French Striker lighting up the Championship

February 7, 2016

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“The last two seasons haven’t been very memorable for Fulham FC. They first got relegated from the Premier League after a 19th place finish, and their 13 year stay in the top flight was suddenly over. For a London based club like Fulham that has a fair amount of resources, relegation was an embarrassment. But then came last season, where they went from favorites to return to the Premier League, to being in the bottom half of the Championship all while losing wonder kid Patrick Roberts to Manchester City. Clearly Fulham haven’t had many positives in the last two years but there is positive that does surface from the pool of negativity: his name is Moussa Dembele and he is lighting up the Championship this season.” Outside of the Boot

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Atlético Madrid Without the Ball

February 7, 2016

“The famous analyst Leo Tolstoy once eloquently stated ‘Every great attacking team is pretty much the same; every team that isn’t great at attacking is not-great in their own, unique way.’ Powerful and flowing words. Why is this? Mainly because our statistical understanding of soccer is mainly shaped by the team with the ball. We can measure most of what teams do with the ball and while 10 years from now we will look back on the rudimentary stats and conclusions we are reaching with amusement, we are least on a track that will lead us to a robust understanding of the game. When teams don’t have the ball we are still generally foraging in the dark. It’s not easy to get stats that correlate at even a .4 level while attacking stats correlate at .7 or more routinely. This makes not-great attacking teams often fuzzily look somewhat similar.” Stats Bomb


How will Pep Guardiola assess Manchester City’s current squad?

February 7, 2016

“Predicting Pep Guardiola’s assessment of Manchester City’s current squad is a trickier task than might be expected. Across his time in charge at Barcelona and Bayern Munich there are common themes and obvious concepts he insists upon — the simple concept of possession football being the most obvious example — but his favoured type of player has varied dramatically. It’s worth remembering, for example, that when Guardiola took charge of Bayern three years ago, the consensus was that he’d struggle to find a place for Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben — wingers rather than the wide forwards with whom he’d worked at Barcelona.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Leicester 2 Liverpool 0: In-Depth Tactical Analysis

February 7, 2016

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“With Leicester not having any major injuries and Liverpool rotating heavily for their FA Cup game, both teams’ starting XIs were predictable. There were no surprises in Ranieri’s or Klopp’s selection decisions. The Foxes continued with their regular starting XI with Okazaki once again preferred as Vardy’s support up front in their usual 4-4-2 formation. Meanwhile, the Reds welcomed back every player that was rested in the West Ham game on Saturday with Lovren keeping his place at centre-back to resume his partnership with Sakho. Interestingly, Klopp decided to go 4-2-3-1 but with Henderson on the right flank.” Tomkins Times


Jürgen Klopp – A cup final achieved, but how is he really doing?

February 7, 2016

“The arrival of Jürgen Klopp at Anfield sparked a frenzy of optimism amongst Liverpool fans with some even believing they could claim the title. A promising 0-0 draw in his first game in charge and impressive away wins against Manchester City, Chelsea and Southampton might have given reds fans fuel for the fire. Despite those impressive away wins, Liverpool have also registered some abysmal performances in the losses against Crystal Palace, West Ham and Watford and were second best against high-flying Leicester City on Tuesday night. All things considered, it is fair to say Liverpool still have a long way to go before being considered genuine title contenders.” backpagefootball


Foreign Players Rule: Discrimination in football?

February 7, 2016

“The club versus country debate has become a major discussion in modern football, and at the heart of the debate is foreign player rules. Foreign players generally increase the standard of clubs and the league as a whole, but reduce the number of domestic players receiving first-team football, potentially decreasing the quality of the national team. The vast majority of football leagues across the world limit the amount of foreign players allowed per club, with various rules from simple restrictions on numbers of non-domestic players to the Premier League’s home grown rule. But are these rules fair on the players? Are they even legal? Using my area of expertise, Mexico, as a base, I evaluate foreign player restrictions.” Outside of the Boot


Why FIFA should hit Mexico with harsher penalties for ‘puto’ chants

February 7, 2016

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“Two years later, FIFA has finally fined Mexico for fans chanting puto at games. I already explained back in 2014 why this term is offensive and heterosexist. Yes, lots of Mexico fans say they don’t mean it “that way,” but recall the early 1990s when Americans used the word ‘gay’ to mean ‘stupid’? Yeah, that was offensive. It still is. Puto is no different. The LGBTQ community in Mexico finds the term offensive, has made that point well known, and the so-called ‘tradition’ is less than two decades old. It needs to go and the time is ripe to make it happen. Still, one problem remains: FIFA’s impotency.” Fusion