Hasenhüttl’s house of horror

WHAT CAN you really say after a 9-0 drubbing except sorry? You had to feel some sympathy for pale-faced Ralph Hasenhüttl, facing the TV cameras after a seismic home defeat that extended Southampton’s current run to one point from five league games. Southampton have said they have no interest in sacking Hasenhüttl, but look at the fixture list and see what’s on the horizon – … Continue reading Hasenhüttl’s house of horror

Big city clubs remain dominant

LEICESTER CITY’s 2015-16 Premier League victory was remarkable in many ways, it was a rare moment in time when the status quo in English football was challenged and the most surprising title win since Nottingham Forest won the old first division in 1978. It also reminded football fans there is still some romance left in the game, that high finance does not govern absolutely everything … Continue reading Big city clubs remain dominant

The Premier League reflects the modern soccer syndrome

LIVERPOOL kicked-off the Premier League season in emphatic style, underlining their own credentials and also reminding everyone of the competitive imbalance that exists in the top flight. While it looked like business as usual for the Reds, Norwich City, for all their enterprise in the early stages of the game, now know that life may be harder than expected in the next nine months. Even … Continue reading The Premier League reflects the modern soccer syndrome

2019-20: Look to the Midlands for the element of surprise

SINCE the second world war, the Midlands have provided the Football League/Premier League champions six times, the last occasion being Leicester’s triumph in 2016. From 1992-93, when the Premier was launched, only 11 times has the region had a top six club. Last season, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City finished seventh and ninth respectively, decent placings but still way behind the top six. However, if … Continue reading 2019-20: Look to the Midlands for the element of surprise

UEFA Champions League – different models, similar aims

THE LAST EIGHT of the UEFA Champions League includes some of the usual suspects, but also highlights the achievements of some of the less celebrated European clubs. The new paper from KPMG’s Football Benchmark, The Elite Eight,  highlights the different business models of the quarter-finalists, but also underlines the progress of clubs like Leicester City, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid. These three clubs are in … Continue reading UEFA Champions League – different models, similar aims

Leicester makes you weep for the modern game

SO, LEICESTER CITY, feeling good now? A 3-1 victory over Liverpool, displaying the sort of form that won the club the Premier League, suggested that they had this sort of performance in the locker all along. Et tu Claudio. This whole episode leaves a bad taste in the mouth, but should we really be surprised? This is just the latest example of how the modern … Continue reading Leicester makes you weep for the modern game

Ranieri – don’t be surprised at all

IT IS sad when a good guy gets the axe, particularly when public opinion is so positive about his achievements, but there should be no surprise about the sacking of Claudio Ranieri. Leicester City, in their current position, would probably be parting company with any manager, let alone one that led them to the most unexpected title win since Ipswich Town’s triumph in 1961-62. The … Continue reading Ranieri – don’t be surprised at all

Here’s another reason why Leicester should be applauded

IF THE FAIRY-TALE wasn’t enough, Leicester City’s board and management should be given credit for building a squad that has more Englishmen in it than any other champion side since 2013. Claudio Ranieri’s regular squad has half a dozen English players, more than the last two Premier League champions (Manchester City and Chelsea) combined, who had five between them. Today’s Premier League giants assemble teams … Continue reading Here’s another reason why Leicester should be applauded

Leicester can now look ahead to UEFA paydays

ENGLAND will have a new entrant in the lucrative UEFA Champions League (UCL) next season after Leicester City confounded the experts to won their first major title in more than a century of trying. The UCL continues to be the financial “holy grail” in European football and with its economic “clout” and glamour now challenging the World Cup, Leicester are about to enter a new universe, one that over … Continue reading Leicester can now look ahead to UEFA paydays

Love it or loathe it – Leicester go long

THE ABSENCE of Jamie Vardy from the Leicester City line-up is being heralded as Tottenham Hotspur’s big chance to leapfrog the long-time Premier League leaders in the final weeks of the season. There’s no doubt that Leicester’s success can be attributed to the way they have played to Vardy’s strengths. But it is also down to a long-pass approach that has paid dividends. Before Leicester … Continue reading Love it or loathe it – Leicester go long

Defeat may knock the Gunners out of contention

THE latest midweek games proved to everyone that this season’s Premier League really is up for grabs, but the contenders are all having a few wobbles. If the season was just a few weeks longer, you might see a late attempt to retain the title from Chelsea! It’s very clear now that Leicester City are trying to hold their nerve but Arsenal are talking themselves … Continue reading Defeat may knock the Gunners out of contention

Q: Who has the stomach for a title bid? A: Tottenham

INTERESTING comments emerging from the Premier title race. “Leicester will wilt, their players are not used to chasing the title.” Interesting because history has nothing to do with it. It’s the current players that count and quite frankly, Arsenal and Tottenham are scarcely better equipped to stay the course than Leicester City. Leicester were beaten with almost the last kick of the game at the … Continue reading Q: Who has the stomach for a title bid? A: Tottenham

Weak or just in transition? – the Premier League

SOMETIMES you have to wonder what people really want from their football. As 2015 became 2016, critics were calling the Premier League one of the poorest in memory. The reasoning behind their thinking? Aside from the odd poor game – although TV broadcasters would have us believe that there are NO poor matches in the Premier – that view is founded on the fact that … Continue reading Weak or just in transition? – the Premier League