Why a back three is the future for PSG and Brazil

David Luiz, equally loved and hated throughout the footballing world. When he is busting a gut to get back and make a desperate sliding tackle, hair waving, all passion, it is impossible not to find David Luiz endearing. The fact that he is probably making that charge back into defence because he gave the ball away out of position and high up the pitch is what makes him so frustrating.

In this post for Purely Football, I argue how a back three could well be the way forward for both Brazil and PSG, and the key to getting the best out of the inconsistent David Luiz. Read the full article at the link below:



After a brief sojourn in Poland, AWIF is back and ready to seek its teeth into a new season of Premier League football. Like so many football fans, last Saturday evening, the blog was settling into a sofa, cracking open a beer, excited for the first Match of the Day of the season. The blog is not usually a fan of Alan Shearer’s less than cogent, state-the-obvious style of punditry, but surprisingly, AWIF found itself nodding in agreement with the former Newcastle United hitman. What Shearer suggested was that the Premier League has become a division of two tiers, with seven closely matched sides whom will never be relegated, with a gulf between the other closely matched thirteen teams who must all look over their shoulders.

Read the full article over on Stretty News at the link below:




A Week In Football – Despite receiving large fees, Southampton leave Koeman with an impossible rebuilding task

After their remarkable rise through the leagues using a core of young, home-grown talent, Southampton were always going to receive interest in their players. Arguably Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the first of the current crop to leave, signing for Arsenal before the Saints even made their return to England’s top tier. With that sale, Southampton had to make the decision whether to continue to reap the benefits of Oxlade-Chamberlain, or to cash in on their asset. The day was always going to come when the Saints would have to make that same decision with their other young stars. What fans, nor anyone else for that matter, could have anticipated is that Southampton would choose to sell almost all of their assets in a single transfer window.

Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Calum Chambers, Luke Shaw and Dejan Lovren have all now left the club with more possibly to follow, read the rest of my thoughts on this extraordinary exodus over at Stretty News:


From Buenos Aires to Rome and back via Birmingham – Mauro Zarate

Fans of the Premier League, cast your minds back to April 12th, 2008. It was the day that Mauro Zárate truly caught the attention of English fans, following up goals in March against Reading and Manchester City, with a sumptuous free kick to equalise late on against Everton for relegation threatened Birmingham. Zárate’s brief cameo in England’s second city was just one of several unusual stops in what has been an intriguing, frustrating and often perplexing career. 

The maverick Argentine is returning to the Premier League with a move to West Ham United, learn more about the new Hammer in my first article for inbedwithmaradona at the link below:


World Cup Wild Cards

There have been enough column inches devoted to the likes of Neymar, Messi and Christiano Ronaldo, so for Four Four Tweet, I have compiled a list of wild cards, players that are not necessarily in the spotlight playing for the world’s top clubs, but whom could nevertheless prove crucial for their nation’s World Cup hopes and propel their own careers forward. A summer transfer looks likely for everyone on this list and how these individuals perform in Brazil could just dictate how high they climb and what fee they demand.

Read the full article at the link below:



José Mourinho’s whole career has been marked by mind games. His press conferences have become an event in themselves and have largely been successful. From the moment Mourinho introduced himself to England by declaring himself “the Special One”, the former Porto boss has shown a near unparalleled aptitude to use the media to his advantage. Able to go toe to toe with the likes of Wenger, Benitez and even the master of the art Sir Alex Ferguson, Mourinho has frequently used mind games to get in the heads of his opponents and gain a competitive edge.

This season though Mourinho hasn’t had things his way, often his jibes haven’t quite had the desired effects. Criticism of Manchester City’s spending was met largely with bemusement, very much a case of the pot calling the kettle black. As was Mourinho’s attempts to paint Chelsea as underdogs even as they led the league, if it was meant to heap pressure upon Liverpool and Manchester City, this ploy missed the mark somewhat. Liverpool and City remained largely consistent, if anything the constant writing off of his own side’s chances seemed to play on the Chelsea players’ minds, leading to such slip ups as the disastrous loss to Sunderland last week.

This weekend though in the huge title race encounter with Liverpool, Mourinho not only got his tactics spot on, but also his pre-match theatrics. In my weekly column for Stretty News, I take a closer look at where this crucial fixture was lost and won and what lessons Brendan Rodgers can learn from his former mentor turned rival.

Read the full article at the link below:



After a terrible season, Moyes has got the sack and pundits and fans alike have all suggested that for Manchester United to be competitive once again they will need to clear out as many as 12 players and spend upwards of £200 million! In my latest article for Stretty News I argue that MUFC’s best move now is to remain calm and act quickly. With Van Gaal not available until after the World Cup, here are the three players United should sign ASAP for less than half that huge figure.

Read the full article at the link below:



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