O90 – What We Learned – Manchester City 1 West Ham United 2

Manchester City fielded nearly £300 million in talented personnel – the most expensive line up in Premier League history – and while David Silva was injured in the warm up, they were still heavy favourites to beat their giant-killing opponents. Yes, West Ham were on a remarkable away run, but they were to face a […]

Will West Ham benefit from Manchester City’s European schedule?

Manchester City were halted, with a heaving shudder, by Juventus in Europe this week. The Italian giant had yet to win in Serie A, but were oozing with exactly the sort of aristocratic nous that wins you these heavyweight, ding-dong European affairs. Manchester City’s feathers, which were standing at full height thanks to their perfect […]

Carlos Tevez: Football for the People

  This piece first appeared on TheseFootballTimes.com THERE’S NOTHING GLAMOROUS about him. His body, hunched and taut, is soaked in a different kind of perspiration, a dirty, greasy sweat, not the type Cristiano Ronaldo is wetted by, and uses like a de facto hair gel. This man’s hair falls in lank, ebony strands over his face […]

Premier League managers find fortune fickle

How we would have laughed in November if we’d been told that, just a few months later, Brendan Rodgers would be breezily having to quash rumours linking him to the Manchester City managers position. How Manuel Pellegrini would have laughed along with us, back in those breezy, rose-tinted days of late 2014. Today, however, it […]

The ethics of the top EPL shirt sponsors.

It now seems utterly unremarkable, as much a part of the make up of the game as the ball, or the shin pads, or the hair gel. But when you think about it, having the name of a corporation emblazoned across your chest does seem a little strange. Grand old teams in the Premier League […]

For City, Toure’s is a damaging absence

The results don’t lie. Yaya Toure has been absent from Manchester City’s line up in 5 of the last 6 matches. City have failed to win all 5. Though 2 of those 5 matches were against top-end rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, the other 3 were against bottom-half Burnley, Hull City and Everton. It’s difficult to […]

Manchester City’s club colonies in uproar

As Frank Lampard continues to prove his enduring, rather remarkable, quality at the very zenith of football, his current employers have something of a double mutiny on their hands. Manchester City, now not just a football club, but a global corporation, are not only occupied with chasing the Premier League title, but they’re also having […]

The 2014/15 Premier League So Far Awards

Certainly, it would be a misstep to construct too loquacious a narrative while only a third of the way through this current Premier league season. Even more misguided would be to conduct a fictitious awards ceremony at this point; it would be silly in the extreme to do this, to figuratively present some small, gold-plated […]

This year’s sack race open to all

Usually, by this point in the Premier League season, if a manager hasn’t already been shown the door, we at least have some forlorn figures that we can just about nail on as being ripe for the sack. Last November, Ian Holloway and Paolo Di Canio had already been disposed of, and by the time […]

United in chaos

As Chris Smalling slid inaccurately towards James Milner, an act rightly described later by his manager as “stupid”, his mind, and those of the fans in red who were watching, must have been a frenzied tempest of confusion and regret. How Smalling must have flagellated mentally in the showers (steady) over his decision to firstly attempt […]

VIDeconstruction: Alexandre Song v Manchester City

West Ham’s run continues, and looking at the way they beat champions Manchester City on the weekend, it shows no sign of slowing. At Upton Park, as Sergio Aguero, David Silva et al strode out onto the pitch, the fans (and presumably the team) were keenly aware that this would be the ultimate heat-check. Lose […]

Hammers making their own luck

A more cynical observer of the current league standings might well scoff, review West Ham’s last two matches, matches they won, and smugly utter some dripping, tepid arrangement of syllables the gist of which indicates that Sam Allardyce’s team are “lucky” to be holding such a lofty position on the table. They would scour the […]

Champions League: The best goals and misses this week

Liverpool laboured again against supposedly lesser opposition, prompting some very perturbed looks to ripple around the Kop. Madrid eventually overcame Ludogorets, who have been much stiffer opposition than many thought they would be, despite losing twice. Dortmund and Arsenal rollicked to victory, and PSG and Roma each forced through one-goal wins for themselves against tough […]

Can Football Manager really unearth a superstar?

Earlier in the year it was revealed that the Prozone Recruiter, a tool for scouting prospective young talent, would be basing it’s database on the immaculately compiled reservoir belonging to Sports Interactive, the company responsible for the Football Manager video game series. Miles Jacobson, SI’s studio director: For years we’ve heard stories of real-life managers […]

Worries rise as City target Barkley

It’s been reported that Manchester City are looking Everton’s Ross Barkley as a potential target to fill the homegrown player requirements under which all English clubs have to operate. The fact that this is the headlining reason for City’s interest, when his talent as a player is, at best, only given equal billing, is depressing […]

5 things we learnt from the Premier League weekend

1. Mourinho can handle the cat-calling, and so can his team. This was to be Chelsea’s first elite test. After strolling through their first four games, Mourinho’s team were yet to face a title contender. City are certainly that, and in their own ground they exploded out of the blocks. Aguero, Silva, and Dzeko were […]

The Worst of the Best

Thank God football is a team sport. And generally, the best teams are rewarded, in that, as the old adage goes, ‘a team of superstars doesn’t make a superstar team’. The clubs that aim the highest, that expect to be permanent residents sipping brandy in the chalet at the very summit of the sport, tend […]

Aleksandar Kolarov: Man City’s Mr Dependable

When he was bought for £16 million in 2010 from Lazio, a lot of Manchester City fans, spoilt lavishly as they were by the concurrent arrivals of Yaya Toure and David Silva, probably saw the signing of Aleksandar Kolarov as a little less than sensational. He’d only had two appearances for Serbia at the World […]

The Opening Premier League Weekend: 5 Talking Points

Van Gaal and Manchester United should be offered no sympathy for a lack of creativity Most Red Devils fans will take Manchester United’s 2-1 loss to Swansea as a good omen, keeping in mind David Moyes’ 4-1 victory over the Welsh team on the opening day last season. Van Gaal however will not be one […]

Liverpool V Manchester City: The Title Decider Match Report

When you think about the absolute thrashings that Manchester City and Liverpool have handed out this season, the expectations for this clash, maybe the title decider, were right to be sky high. And did it ever deliver. Liverpool won in a breathless encounter, one where the swings in momentum where extreme so as to be […]