The Grey Neutral: Does continuity always bring success?

ASTON Villa may have been beaten by Manchester City this past week but their most fielded 11 players have accounted for 86.9% of their playing minutes this season, the highest figure in European football. Villa have certainly had a stable line-up in 2020-21 and they’ve enjoyed some success, notably their 7-2 victory over Premier League […]

Return of the kings: Europe’s revivalist clubs

GLASGOW Rangers, Sporting Lisbon, AC Milan and Atlético Madrid are all top of their respective leagues in 2021, challenging the clubs that have swept aside their rivals for the best part of a decade. These are all big football institutions with rich histories, but they have found themselves in the shadows of clubs that have […]

Financial challenges maybe, but AC Milan seem to be cautiously smiling again

THE MILAN derby was a personal triumph for fit-again veteran Zlatan Ibrahimović – two goals and victory over one of his former clubs, but it was also affirmation of the Milanese renaissance that appears to be  gathering momentum at the San Siro. AC Milan ended Inter’s unbeaten run, their first league defeat in those crazy zig-zag […]

Juventus financial performance – the bubble starts to deflate

WHEN a club of Juventus’ size has financial issues, then we should all be concerned about the future of top level professional football. The dominant force in Italy, regular Champions League participants, the most popular and visible club in their home country and a team of big-name players. How does a club like Juventus get […]

Juventus are champions – but the Sarri doubters emerge once more

JUVENTUS clinched their ninth consecutive Serie A title with two games to go, beating Sampdoria 2-0, but not many people seem convinced about the club’s latest success. As in London, when Maurizio Sarri led Chelsea to the Champions League and picked up the Europa League trophy on route, the fans, media and pundits are all […]

All hyped up – the myths and legacy of Italia ‘90

WE ALL look to the influences of our childhood or formative years as being the “best of times”. The things that informed our thinking, philosophy, social position, relationships and work ethos act as benchmarks later in life. The exception is fashion, where we all cringe at what we used to wear, mainly because what was […]