Ballsy Banter Roll Of Honour 2012: Player of the Year

December 21, 2012 in Awards

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We come to our fifth day, and it’s the big one. The category that sorts the men from the boys, the people that have risen above the rest to have the best year of their respective careers.

This category, is ‘Player of the Year’.

Let’s see who our esteemed panel have chosen in this instalment of this year’s ‘Roll Of Honour’.

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How do UEFA solve a problem like Europe?

December 3, 2012 in Europe

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The Champions League is arguably the greatest club competition in the world; a tournament steeped in history, graced by the world’s best players from years gone by, and has offered up some truly memorable games in its 57-year history, if we count the European Cup. It still offers that today, despite being bloated by the group stage. The Europa League, in comparison, has always been the problem child, the one who has not achieved the dizzy heights of its brother, and instead of being loved, it’s seen as a waste of time by both managers and fans. Michel Platini, the head of UEFA, has seemingly noticed this and has had some thoughts about the future of both competitions and has mooted the possibility of combining the two. Is this a good idea? And what else could they do to shake things up a bit?

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Sympathy for the Devil: Di Matteo’s sacking a disgrace

November 21, 2012 in Europe, Premier League

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Yesterday evening began with the rumour that Chelsea were playing a catenaccio. Literally translated as the “door-bolt”, you’d probably know it better as the 5-2-3, or a super defensive version of Wigan’s formation. Clearly Roberto Di Matteo returning to his roots.

But there was no truth to it: Chelsea played with the 4-2-3-1 like everyone was expecting them to, and lost. Not for lack of trying, they were simply not good enough.

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Serie A Round-up: Juventus looking good as Milan lag behind

October 15, 2012 in Serie A

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The new Serie A campaign is only seven games old, but already, the league table has a very familiar feel to it. Predictably, Turin giants Juventus top the league, with Napoli a place behind them on goal difference. However, one standing that looks very unusual is AC Milan in eleventh place. Admittedly, many pundits predicted the Rossoneri to have a tough season, but it is still unusual to see the side so far off the pace.

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Serie A Starts Again!

September 6, 2012 in Serie A

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Another Serie A campaign has kicked off after another bizarre summer. Match fixing still looms large over Italian football as the Scommessopoli scandal will affect yet another campaign. Not only has former Siena defender Emanuele Pesoli chained himself to the Italian FA headquarters in protest at being banned, four clubs have started the season on minus points. Even more astonishing is that in Serie B, nine clubs kicked off with a numerical disadvantage. Not only have clubs been docked points because of match fixing, but last season’s unbeaten title winners Juventus will be without manager Antonio Conte after he too was suspended for ten months.

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