The rise of the decoy penalty taker

February 18, 2022


“You may have noticed a slightly unusual event during the final of the Club World Cup between Chelsea and Palmeiras. After Chelsea were awarded the extra-time penalty that would eventually seal the trophy, Cesar Azpilicueta grabbed that ball and stood by the spot, for all the world looking like a man who was about to take the kick. Around him swarmed mild chaos, with the Palmeiras players vehemently protesting against the VAR-awarded penalty while also doing their best to put off the man with the ball in his hands. …”
The Athletic


Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

February 18, 2022


Douglas Luiz midfielder Aston Villa
“… 4) Gerrard seeks Villa midfield spark. Steven Gerrard has lost more matches than he has won as Aston Villa manager. There were redeeming qualities in the defeats to Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, but nothing to admire in last week’s awful performance at Newcastle. The centre-backs performed competently but their attackers were hardly involved, principally because Villa’s midfield allowed Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton to run the show. That is damning of John McGinn and Douglas Luiz and helps explain why Gerrard was so keen to sign Brighton’s Yves Bissouma in January. …”
Guardian


The road to Arsenal runs through the community

February 18, 2022


“Even in his wildest dreams Nico Manduzio couldn’t have imagined how great things would pan out for him when, ambitiously, he began sending his CV around the world in 2020. The then fitness coach of Hout Bay United in South Africa was on the hunt for a new job during tough economic times. He endured several rejections before English giants Arsenal came with the offer of a role as one of their community coaches. …”
New Frame