Why Four Big Name Strikers At One Club Is Unsustainable

October 11, 2012 in Europe, Premier League

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Much has been made about Manchester United’s legendary system of the treble-winning four strikers, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and with good reason. That season was probably the pinnacle of Ferguson’s Manchester United fiefdom, yet few teams have attempted to copy the 4 star striker model in the subsequent seasons, in spite of the success it brought, particularly in the Premier League. And yet, this season we have two teams plying alternate versions of it; United, who in signing Robin van Persie this summer, now have a striking quartet of van Persie, Rooney, Welbeck and Hernandez, and Manchester City, who have one of Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko and Balotelli.

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The Redemption Of Carlos Tevez

August 16, 2012 in Premier League

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Breaking up is a hard thing to do. You try to maintain as much dignity as you can, but the pain can be too overwhelming, the sense of betrayal too close to home, and rationality and decorum are hard to maintain. In football, it is perhaps the hardest thing to take, in many ways harder than losing - having to watch one of your heroes turn into a villain. To see a player who’s taken your club to new heights, turn his back, disrespect and all out belittle a club you care about more than anything is a silver dagger to the heart. Losing is losing, there’s always another day, another game, another chance at salvation. But when a player leaves, spitting at the badge behind his back, then that’s an open wound forever. Arsenal fans, you know what I’m talking about, I can see the pain in your 3000 word screeds about how you never really wanted Robin van Persie in the first place, how he’s old, made of glass and nothing without Alex Song.

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Manchester City’s Signingless Summer

August 3, 2012 in Premier League, Transfers

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Manchester City are the only Premier League club yet to sign a new player. They have done some vital business in the window, like securing the signing the long term services of manager Roberto Mancini and captain Vincent Kompany. But City fans, since the sea of cash revolution of 2008, have come to expect a little Hollywood to their summer. We’ve come to revel in the disapproving glances and condemnation of football folk when we spend £25 million on someone or other. Last summer, it was Nasri and Aguero for a combined £60 million (for the record, you could get two and a half Olympic opening ceremonies for that shit), and just because we like the notion of throwing our money down the drain now and again, £10 million for Savic (argh). But this summer has been a rude awakening; outspent by Norwich, Swansea and West Brom, we spoilt ones have had to watch everyone else’s excitement and optimism that comes with new arrivals, and remember the glory days of summer ’11. Admittedly, a title win has eased this process somewhat.

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Lucky Number 7: Players and their Squad Numbers

August 2, 2012 in Features

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Michael Owen’s departure from Manchester United vacated the number 7 jersey, which was then handed to Antonio Valencia. So what’s the big deal? At the end of the day, it’s just a number on your back – it doesn’t improve your movement, passing or shooting accuracy. It doesn’t improve your fitness or your ability to read the game. What does it signify? Nothing, right? Wrong. The modern footballer will tell you that his squad number is as much a part of his identity as his surname. Just ask Thierry Henry, whose signature includes the number ‘14’.

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