Arsenal must show they are not prisoners of Arsène Wenger’s stubbornness

February 11, 2016

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“Arsène Wenger is 66. He cannot go on forever. He has not won a league title for 12 years and while a championship would offer redemption of a kind, the second half of his reign is in danger of being regarded by history as a time of drift. Deep down, he must know, as everybody else does, that Arsenal may never get a better chance to win a league title than they have this season as rivals falter. Sunday could be decisive.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

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Crystal Palace – Mind Over Money

February 11, 2016

“Despite a fair degree of managerial upheaval, the 2014/15 season turned out just fine for Crystal Palace, as they finished in 10th place in the Premier League, an improvement from 11th the previous year. Tony Pulis unexpectedly resigned just two days before the first game and was replaced by Neil Warnock who returned to the club for a second spell as manager. This didn’t work out very well, so in early January the Eagles brought in former Palace player Alan Pardew, who guided the club to the upper half of the table.” The Swiss Ramble


Leicester City – the New Romantics?

February 11, 2016

“Romance died in the Premier League on Sunday 27th April 2014. That was the afternoon Liverpool rested on top of the division, needing only a point at home to Chelsea to keep the advances of Manchester City at bay. Fuelled by the passion of Steven Gerrard and the brilliance of Luis Suarez, Liverpool had surged ahead of the pack on the back of eleven straight victories. The Gods of Football had decided that Stevie G, Anfield legend, would have the fairytale ending to a career that had so far been missing a Premier League medal. Significantly too, this would come in the year and months of Hillsborough’s 25th anniversary. After two decades, the natural order of British football was to be restored. The pretenders to the throne had been swept aside one by one.” Football Pink


Leicester City keep getting better as Premier League title race heats up

February 11, 2016

“We should no longer be surprised by Leicester’s continued excellent form, but the manner with which they defeated previous title favourites Manchester City on Saturday was quite staggering. Having taken the lead following the game’s first significant incident, Leicester continued to counter-attack dangerously and only looked under serious pressure in the final 10 minutes, perhaps when they thought the game was already won. Is complacency really going to be the factor that allows other sides back into the title race?” ESPN – Michael Cox


Familiar Story for Thai Soccer as an Election Prompts ‘a Civil War’

February 11, 2016

“Surawut Maharom was looking stressed. His job had seemed simple when he had first arrived: to oversee an election on Thursday to choose a new president of the Football Association of Thailand. But nothing is simple when it comes to soccer in Thailand. ‘This is a civil war,’ Surawut said. ‘It’s the most difficult case that I’ve dealt with.’ In October, FIFA, global soccer’s governing body, dismissed the executive committee of the Thai soccer association after its president, Worawi Makudi, was suspended pending an ethics investigation.” NT Times