The right choice – Emery’s arrival at Arsenal

UNAI Emery was not a failure at Paris Saint-Germain, not by any means. But his time in Passy, the 16th arrondissement of Paris, was never going to last long given the impatience of PSG’s owner to become European champions. The taxi to Gare du Nord was ordered as far back as March 8, 2017. Impatience is not a quality you would normally associate with Arsenal, … Continue reading The right choice – Emery’s arrival at Arsenal

2017-18: A new script is needed

NEXT season, the British football landscape is going to have to find a new narrative. “Wenger out” has become “Wenger gone”, and therefore a considerable chunk of pundit and supporter dialogue has disappeared. With VAR likely to remove another slice of conversation – refereeing errors – you have to wonder what “your Linekers and Ferdinands” are going to talk about in a few years. As … Continue reading 2017-18: A new script is needed

Why we shouldn’t yearn for the ultimate team

MANCHESTER CITY are worthy champions, make no mistake. Inevitably, whenever any team is crowned as the nation’s best, comparisons are made with past winners and the new masters of the universe are duly benchmarked. It’s happening at the moment, with some journalists pronouncing the start of a dynastic period of domination, others pointing out the shortcomings of Pep Guardiola’s team of all stars. Some are … Continue reading Why we shouldn’t yearn for the ultimate team

Watford and Burnley – real people, real clubs

IT IS hard not to like Watford, a sentiment that dates back to the days of Elton John, Luther Blissett and John Barnes. Admittedly, their style of football under Graham Taylor wasn’t the most aesthetic – function over form, to be sure – but Watford also provided the football world with some genuinely warm moments. The club seemed to have a great attitude, connected well … Continue reading Watford and Burnley – real people, real clubs

Can the Spurs really go marching on?

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR have been receiving lavish praise for their stylish football this season, indeed the past few campaigns, but they still remain a team with a great future ahead of them. They have undoubtedly charmed audiences with their quality, not unlike Tottenham sides from the past, notably under the great Bill Nicholson. On the face of it, like so many Spurs line-ups from the 1960s, … Continue reading Can the Spurs really go marching on?

If it is Ancelotti, it’s a good fit

FIRST of all, Arsenal will have to get used to the idea their next managerial appointment will probably not be a dynastic move that changes the face the football. The problem is, they’ve had a guy in charge who created, to some extent, the shape of modern football in England. A cosmopolitan who was relatively unknown but had ideas that English football had never before … Continue reading If it is Ancelotti, it’s a good fit

Toffees couldn’t fudge the issue

EVERTON don’t generally act rashly when it comes to managers, but despite their poor form this season, the most relevant factor in the disposal of Ronald Koeman may just have been the shifting sands at the club. Everton are under new management in the boardroom, with Farhad Moshiri owning almost 50% of the club. Bill Kenwright may be chairman and 12.2% stakeholder, but Moshiri gave … Continue reading Toffees couldn’t fudge the issue

Missouri, we may have a problem: The Arsenal dilemma

THERE’S A VERY iconic album cover from 1975 that features a sunbathing guy surrounded by a world in chaos. It’s by Supertramp and the album is called, Crisis, what crisis?. It could well be used as a metaphor for the Arsenal condition. The club’s fans now believe the Gunners are in crisis, the media is now openly critical of the stupor that characterises the men … Continue reading Missouri, we may have a problem: The Arsenal dilemma

The perils of being promoted

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN have made a perfect start to the Premier League season, but as any cliché-spouting football manager will tell you, the competition is a marathon not a sprint. First-time success in the top flight in England – or any other major league – is hard to achieve and the likelihood is the Terriers will be thankful to have survived come the end of the … Continue reading The perils of being promoted

The weight of expectation on Huddersfield’s shoulders

IT IS remarkable that given the county’s considerable contribution to British sport, Huddersfield Town will be the only club from Yorkshire in the Premier League on 2017-18. The decline of the region’s football has been well documented, but clubs like Huddersfield have long since fallen away from the forefront of the game. Like many aspects of industrial England, their heyday coincided with a time when Yorkshire and … Continue reading The weight of expectation on Huddersfield’s shoulders

Hammers go for “jam today”

ON THE face of it, West Ham United’s transfer activity in the summer has been industrious and a proactive attempt at plugging some gaps. But look more closely and the average age of the signings they’ve made suggests a hint of panic and a short-term policy to ensure they have a better campaign than 2016-17. West Ham failed to build on a decent 2015-16 and … Continue reading Hammers go for “jam today”

The first signs of Conte’s departure may be evident

CALL ME cynical, but are the first signs of the departure of Antonio Conte already visible? Football managers are very movable objects, regardless of how successful they may be at some stage of their relationship with a club. But there is no other institution where you can go from “hero to zero” so quickly as Chelsea. Conte won the Premier League with largely the same … Continue reading The first signs of Conte’s departure may be evident

The Spurs need a trophy – soon

IT has been 56 years since Tottenham Hotspur last won the league title, less than Newcastle’s 90 and Sunderland’s 81, but longer than Chelsea had to wait between their first and second championships and significantly more than Arsenal’s current barren spell. Tottenham feel that they have a history that has been laden with trophies and a commitment to playing purist football. They still talk about … Continue reading The Spurs need a trophy – soon