Carlos Tevez: Football for the People

  This piece first appeared on 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 […]

Ronaldo sets new standards as a goal-machine

It was a strange bit of footage, certainly. Alvaro Arbeloa slid in to tap home a goal for Real Madrid, their third, against a beleaguered Almeria. And there, arriving just a few moments too late, was Ronaldo. As Arbeloa peeled away in joy, Ronaldo kicked the ball back into the net, frustrated. Then, later, he […]

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 […]

The Big Money Benchwarmers

Let’s wind our minds back to the moments before the opening game of the 2014/15 Premier League season, those fabulous days of yore where possibilities were endless and potential was tantalisingly unrealised. Hull City’s strangely flamboyant playing roster was immediately going to click, Southampton were bracing themselves for a certain relegation scrap, and Liverpool and […]

The Grateful Head: The Best and Worst Football Follicles

Andrea Pirlo: Majestic. Flowing. Elegant. And his football’s not bad either. When the world is graced by the lustrous presence of such a glorious mop, such a awe-inspiring collection of man-string, it’s easy to see why the modern footballer is as much a model as he is an athlete. In Pirlo’s case, only his work […]

Raheem Sterling: About a Boy

In most of the articles written about Manchester United’s 3-0 victory over Liverpool, much has been made of the marked difference in the quality of the two teams’ finishing. Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Juan Mata, all seasoned goalscorers of proven pedigree in this league, made sure that Manchester United, still so perilously lopsided […]

The 2014/15 Premier League So Far Awards: Part 3

All right, football fans, here we are, mercifully, arriving at the final station on this apocryphal little journey. Along the way there’s been tears, there’s been jeers (we’re all looking at you, Arsenal fans) and let’s all hope that, after their short sojourn around the sights of the Champions League, Liverpool got some souvenirs (the […]

The 2014/15 Premier League So Far Awards: Part 2

Welcome back, and in the time we’ve been at break, Chelsea unbeaten run has indeed ended, Sergio Aguero has indeed been cut down by a serious injury, and, with that sort of prophetic start, I think we can safely assume that Roberto Soldado has started banging in the goals, let’s just check Spurs’ latest results… […]

Manchester United overcome Stoke

Louis van Gaal’s team were excellent in their last match, beating Hull City 3-0 without fuss or worry. That victory made it three wins on the trot for Manchester United, although it was the first emphatic result in that run, with the victories over Crystal Palace and Arsenal less lustrous, to be sure. But, on […]

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 […]

Courtois and de Gea growing together

Resisting, somehow, the tides that dragged most of Manchester United’s players down last season, David de Gea was a shining light, continuing his steady progress and confirming his reputation as one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers. Under David Moyes in 2013/14, every United player, bar de Gea, regressed, playing well below their base talent. […]

Could David Moyes Replace Alan Pardew?

Newcastle and Swansea drew 2-2 on Saturday, and Mike Ashley rubbed his chin as the final whistle sounded. An obscured supporter filing out of the stadium said something to Newcastle’s unpopular owner on his way past, and Ashley raised his eyebrows and smiled in that falsely-interested way you do when people you don’t know talk […]

Going Out In Style

Sport is full of happy endings. There is a reason the old line about headlines writing themselves is so well-worn, a reason why beaming around the commentary box and saying “You just can’t make this stuff up!” is likely to inspire a round of heavy eye-rolling. But, even if they’re laced with sickly sweet clichés, […]

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 […]

Leicester shock Manchester U-nightmare

Stunning. Simply astonishing. You wouldn’t have been surprised had Manchester United failed to repeat a performance like the one that led to the thrashing of QPR, such was Rangers’ pitifulness. Leicester City were always going to be a different opponent entirely, having already, in just the first few games, showed mettle, grit and the ability […]

There and Back Again: 5 not-so-jolly English Holidays

Kostas Mitroglou scored a very tidy goal in Olympiacos’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Spanish champions Atletico Madrid last night. The Greek striker made it a night to remember for the Superleague title holders, and in doing so, he may have let these new, happy memories force out the harrowing ones from last season. Mitroglou is […]

Defensive paucity could derail United and Arsenal

There is an American sporting expression ‘offence wins games, defence wins championships’. The idiom was typified to a degree perhaps never achieved before when the impregnable, stoic Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl last season. That season theirs was a story of success that had been built upon the most formidable defence in recent league […]

Revitalised United Thrash QPR

It was like watching a different team entirely. Rojo and Blind added a couple of new names to the starting line up, but the way Manchester United beat Queens Park Rangers made it seem like a brand new team was in front of us, or rather, it was the United of old that had taken […]