The best football team in Europe? It’s not necessarily the Champions League winner

WHEN Bayern Munich won the UEFA Champions League in 2020, it was fairly clear they were the best team in Europe. After their defeat in the quarter-final to Paris Saint-Germain this year, it is reasonable to ask if the French champions are a better side than Bayern. They are not, but it could be that […]

Busby, Shankly and Stein – the three kings bearing gifts and wisdom

FOOTBALL films invariably disappoint, but the documentary about three legends, Matt Busby, Bill Shankly and Jock Stein, is a chapter from the rich history of the game that reminds us it has not always been about corporatisation and hubris. Three humble men in many ways, confident of their own ability but very clear about to […]

Defending a title – why Liverpool’s season may just be human nature

SOME fans are talking about a Liverpool decline, claiming Jürgen Klopp’s side are not making a very good job of defending the title they won so impressively in 2019-20. That’s a little of an over-reaction, Liverpool may have lost some of their momentum, but the long-awaited triumph – accompanied by premature and over-zealous claims the […]

The United renaissance will be tested by two clashes with Liverpool

A FEW week ago, after Arsenal had won at Old Trafford, the backside seemed to be dropping out of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s world. Manchester United had been beaten by Crystal Palace, Tottenham and Arsenal at home and the knives were out. Now, some 11 games later, United are top of the Premier League, they are […]

Win rates, goals and placings: Liverpool up, Arsenal down

ARSENAL are having a tortuous 2020-21, a season that could end with inexperienced coach Mikel Arteta being sacked after little over a year in charge at the Emirates. Arsenal’s decline started long before Arteta was given the job, the club’s fall from Champions League regulars to Thursday night European football has been gradual, but their […]

Liverpool v Spurs: Why “the best team lost” is a matter of opinion

JOSÉ Mourinho, typically, told his opposite number, the dentist’s dream that is Jürgen Klopp, that the best team had been beaten in the top-of-the-table clash at Anfield. Klopp, still grinning, was mystified and made light of it, and thanks to his perpetual bonhomie, the flame of controversy was extinguished.  He’s a big fellow, is Klopp, […]