Premier League: Three individuals who stepped up on gameweek seven


Having already gone past seven games so far this season, the Premier League table is now shaping up in an ideal and realistic way, where the top four spots are already dominated by the main teams in the league whilst the relegation zone continues to excite the English supporters week in and out.

Looking at gameweek seven, the most popular game was between Chelsea and Liverpool, where both sides shared out the point. Other than that, majority of the league fixtures were actually quite straightforward, especially the one that saw West Ham beat an out-of-form Manchester United side.

With no further ado, here are the three players that we felt were on top of their game…

Declan Rice – West Ham

At the age of 19, Declan Rice came up with a comfortable and dominant display against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. Although it did not take much in doing so, the London-born defensive midfielder showed his ability to read the game as well as his way of timing his interception and tackle to perfection. Also, his range and types of passing are an underrated aspect of his game.

Over the last couple of weeks, a large number of West Ham supporters have been worried that a contract extension has not been offered yet to Rice, whose current contact ends in June 2019. In the mean time, the Hammers will most certainly enjoy his performances as a deep-holding midfielder, where he provides protection to the backline whilst helping his side to move forward on the ball.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – Everton

Gylfi Sigurdsson experienced an interesting evening at Goodison Park, as he missed a penalty early in the second half but made amends for it by finishing the game with two beautiful goals. The former Swansea and Tottenham Hotspur player has made a name to be an individual like this over the last couple of years, where he struggles to score goals in the box but is a huge threat from set-pieces.

A lot of questions are still asked about the £40million figure that Everton had paid for the Icelandic playmaker in 2017. However, he achieved two goals and created five chances against Fulham, clearly showing that he is starting to thrive in Marco Silva’s system. Once Everton have an aggressive and clinical striker in the team, there is no doubt that Sigurdsson will be bagging goals and assists for fun.

Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur did not get off to a strong start to the season like they normally do so, but the monumental victory over Huddersfield Town has allowed Mauricio Pochettino’s men to return into the top four of the table. The match between the two sides was exciting and very end-to-end from time to time, but it was the brace from Harry Kane that helped his side to receive the three points.

The England international has been harshly criticised regarding to his goal-scoring mentality, but it seemed like he was simply drained out, after having a huge summer at the World Cup that led him to earning very little rest before the Premier League campaign had started. Now, Kane once again looks hungry for goals, which should allow his side to confidently finish in one of the top four spots.

AC Milan breathe a sigh of relief after big win against Sassuolo

As requested by the fans and management ahead of the game, Milan managed to grab all three points away at Sassuolo, quite convincingly as well. 

Even though the Rossoneri’s previous results had taken a major toll on their confidence, this only showed during a few periods of today’s game: which must be considered as an upgrade. Struggling to close games and convert their opportunities, the players were eager to get out and break the negative trend.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round 7


An action-packed Serie A round is almost completely in the books, here is what happened in the fantasy world.

Standings implications: Juventus downed Napoli in convincing fashion, extending their lead over the pack to six points. Roma are now fully back after triumphing in the Derby della Capitale. Inter extended their winning streak to four games by topping Cagliari. Milan finally played a complete game in Sassuolo. Fiorentina were not that great on Sunday but escaped with a win on a pair of set pieces against Atalanta. Genoa and Torino blitzed Chievo and Frosinone on their own turfs, while Bologna and Parma got two quality home wins versus Udinese and Empoli. Continue reading

Paul Pogba is the mouthpiece for majority of the Manchester United players


Another weekend has arrived where Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have been dominated and outplayed by a mid-table opposition. This time around, it was away to West Ham, a side that have had a poor start to the season and were totally in control of the match from start till end.

During the match, Mourinho made the decision of taking off both Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba in the 71st minute whilst bringing on Fred and Juan Mata. It seemed like a bizarre move from the manager to take off two individuals who were trying to impact the game whilst the others could not.

The substitutions did not lead the team to a potential comeback and nor did it improve the side’s style of play or urgency of pressing down the opponents and moving the ball quicker. However, the decision of taking Pogba off had more meaning to it than many would think, as it silently implied to the player and to the rest of the squad that Mourinho has the power to do whatever he wants.

Mourinho and Pogba have been at each other’s throats since the middle of last season, possibly around the time when the latter was subbed off by the former during the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. At the time, the choice of taking off the central midfielder was more than ideal, but not a lot of the Manchester United supporters had predicted that it would start a war between the two.

Looking at the pair, they have actually been bad as each other, from flirting with a potential move to other European clubs to showing lack of consistency and serious development since moving to Old Trafford in 2016. The saying which states that no player is bigger than the club is certainly true, but the manager has to also remember that he only manages the players and not the club as a whole.

The important question now is, who do the board and Ed Woodward have faith in more between Mourinho and Pogba. One is one of the most successful managers in the world who is on the decline and has failed to adapt to the modern style of football, whilst the other is one of the best central midfielders in Europe but is not consistent enough within a team that does not have a system.

Overall, the Frenchman does not always speak for himself, and it would not be a surprise to see him being used as the main mouthpiece for the rest of the squad. Given that the manager has had issues with the likes of Martial, Andreas Pereira and Eric Bailly, Pogba speaking openly about the club’s football style and how it needs to improve could show that Mourinho has lost the dressing room.

With how the team have been doing so far in the calendar year, the questions of which way the club is heading under Mourinho was bound to be asked, and it just happened to be indirectly from Pogba. The board have invested a vast amount of money into the squad as a whole, yet there has been no clear improvement to the side’s style of play for them to go on to becoming true title contenders.

Pogba’s leadership quality and individual brilliance is constantly doubted, on the other hand, a large number of people are forgetting the pivotal role he played for France that led them to winning the World Cup. Although Didier Deschamps’ style was pragmatic, he still had a straightforward system that allowed all of his players to play at a comfortable level, even the main man Paul Pogba himself.

In the end, it is totally up to the board and Ed Woodward on how long they will allow the dire performances and results to continue under the 55-year-old Portuguese International. Personally, having experienced the David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal era, the decision to sack Jose Mourinho may only come once the club are out of the Champions League or are making a huge financial loss.

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Unai Emery must loan Eddie Nketiah out as strikers prove undroppable


Arsenal have scored 21 goals across all competitions since their opening-day defeat to Manchester City. Their strikers, unsurprisingly, have been on fire, with three of them combining to bag 11 goals. Continue reading

Lack of depth in defense could prove costly for Unai Emery’s Arsenal


Unai Emery isn’t one to undermine cup competitions. His winning three Europa League and two Coupe de France trophies in five consecutive seasons before joining Arsenal must highlight his view on cup tournaments, so it wasn’t surprising when he fielded a strong second-string side in the recent third-round Football League Cup fixture against Championship team Brentford. Continue reading

Why the Premier League could possibly go to Liverpool or Chelsea

Last Sunday’s display from Chelsea and Liverpool could be christened as the best game so far this season. Both teams exhibited creativity in attack and resilience at the back. The season is still young, but on the evidence of what we witnessed could any of these two beat City to the league title this season?

Liverpool probably made the best recruits in the English Premier league this summer, bolstering their midfield with Naby Keita and Fabinho and another creative option in Xherdan Shaqiri. The Merseysiders have a world class goalkeeper in Allison Becker, who continue to provide great reflexes in the post. Liverpool have enough quality to compete against anyone for the league title this season and they’ve shown that in their last seven league games.

We saw how they conquered Tottenham Hotspurs at Wembley. It wasn’t just about the results, but the football on display has been mesmerizing. And talk of performance their 3-2 victory over Paris Saint Germain was a testament of their mental fortitude.

Not only have Jurgen Klopp reinvigorated the side that lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League finals last season, there seems to be an oomph about them this season. Established players James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum, Roberto Firmino, and Jordan Henderson et al are playing at a level a notch higher that we saw in the previous campaign.

This season Mohammed Salah is not showing the same sophistication with opportunities that have come his way. The Egyptian has scored three goals from a total of 20 shots on target. But Sadio Mane seems to have taken much of the responsibility when it comes to goals. So far adorning the number 10 jersey has yielded four, with Roberto Firmino on two.

James Milner has proven that he still cut it for the premier league with his tireless work in midfield, but Gini Widnaldum is currently Liverpool’s most improved player so far this season. The Netherlands international is playing with a lot confidence, hardly giving the ball away. And guess what, he doesn’t look flustered by the presence of Naby Keita on the bench.

The decision to bring Daniel Sturridge back from loan has proven to be an astute one. In the absence of Roberto Firmino, Sturridge can step up and play an important part in Liverpool’s campaign this season as we’ve seen him score vital goals against PSG in the Champions League and Chelsea in the league.

One significant decision by Kloop, is the center back partnership between Van Dyke and Gomes. The pair have started all seven of Liverpool league games and have conceded just three so far. They share the tag of the best defense with the league leaders, Manchester City.


The great thing about Chelsea this season is the arrival of Mauricio Sarri. His style of play is one that Eden Hazard thrives in, and the Belgian is currently in red hot form as he is beginning to replicate his 2015 performance that won him the PFA player of the year. Also, Hazard is buoyed up his inclusion in the FIFPro World Eleven. The Chelsea forward had a great World Cup tournament with his country, winning the bronze medal.

Chelsea meanwhile occasionally telegraphs fear at the back as Antonio Rudiger and David Luis sometimes struggle against quicker attackers. But in midfield enforcer Jorginho, Matteo Kovacic and Ngolo Kante, Chelsea should be able to dominate and control games. There are still concerns about how Sarri is using a Kante’ in midfield. Despite the French man’s reputation as being destructive, the Italian manager prefers a ball playing holding midfielder in Jorginho who currently top the charts for the number of passes in the league and the most in a game.

Willian and Pedro are great attacking outlets for Chelsea. The Spanish forward has found the net three times while the Brazilian ability to carve open compact defense is proving crucial for Chelsea in when in search of a goal. Chelsea do not boost a striker with the quality of Sergio Aguero as both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud are not quite reliable. Sarri may require a proven goal scorer in the January transfer window.

Manchester City are favorite based on their performance last season and Pep Guadiola’s reputation for winning back to back league titles, but the Citizens look beatable this season and it’s hard to envisage them go on a winning run as we saw last season. It will take a Miracle for Manchester United to win the league this season as tensions between Mourinho and Pogba is beginning to have a debilitating effect on the other players. The red devils will probably be fighting a Champions League spot.

Meanwhile Arsenal seems to have turned the corner after their earlier struggles, but despite winning their last four games are not convincing given the defensive vulnerabilities and how wasteful they can be in th attack. Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to maintain fourth spot by the end of the season.

As it stands Chelsea and Liverpool look set to deny Manchester city a second straight league cup.

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Jadon Sancho: The Englishman topping the assists chart

It appears every weekend we’re talking about Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho but there’s a reason for it. The Englishman once again grabbed the headlines in BVB’s 4-2 win against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday evening after Lucien Favre’s side fought back from two goals down. Just 70 seconds after his introduction in the second-half, Sancho assisted Marco Reus for the important equaliser before Paco Alcacer added two late goals to win it for Dortmund. Continue reading

Spalletti shakes off demons to lead Inter back into contention


Over the course of the past 16 months or so, it has often been said that Luciano Spalletti is the best coach Inter have had since the legendary José Mourinho led the club to an historic treble in the 2009/10 season. Indeed, despite enduring a difficult spell during the early months of this year, the 59-year-old successfully guided the Nerazzurri back into the UEFA Champions League group stage after a six-year absence from Europe’s premier club competition. Continue reading

Thomas Meunièr: PSG’s marauding right-back


iThe footballing world is like a maze which keeps throwing new dimensions and nuances for all those who love the game with all their heart. Just when you believe that you finally know it all and have mastered the game, there is something which the game throws up at you leaving you in a state of daze and confusion.

How many of you are familiar with the fact that one of the greatest legends of the game- Ian Wright almost opted to give up on the game at one stage in favour of a regular profession? That’s certainly accurate although it seems unbelievable in nature. Wright almost decided to become a plasterer at one stage before his heart reigned supreme over the min gifting the footballing world an absolute genius.

Continue reading