The Come Up: Six Down, A Way to Go in the Premier League


Photo: AFP

The first six weeks of the Premier League season have come and gone in a blur, taking nearly a sixth of the long and arduous campaign with them. Already, the table has taken a specific shape — and unlike last season, when a league deprived of any legitimately top-tier quality sides provided the vacuum for Leicester City’s unforgettable triumph, the moneyed hegemony that has traditionally dominated English football has already assumed its place at the top. Continue reading

Slovakia 0-1 England: Get Thee Behind Me, Hodgson

Slovakia v England - 2018 World Cup Qualifying European Zone - Group F

Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters

The notion of “character” as an imperative characteristic in a successful soccer team has taken outsized importance in the contemporary dialogue that surrounds the sport these days. In post-match interviews after a hard-fought result, former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers would often note that his side had displayed character. By the end of Rodgers’ reign at Anfield, fans on Twitter and observers in the media had adopted the term as a stick to beat Rodgers and his team with — right up to the point when a sequence of relinquished 1-0 leads, apparently indicative of a flaw in that character, led to him losing his job last October. Continue reading

The Gamer: Citius, Altius, Fortius

(Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

On a weekend that saw league football commence in Spain and Italy and witnessed the Premier League in full, unpredictable swing, the football that mattered was played on an entirely different continent. Brazil, to be exact — the spiritual home of the very concept of the beautiful game, where the eyes of the world have been fixated over the past two weeks during the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. Continue reading

Euro 2016: Welcome to the Terrordome

Photo: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Photo: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Saturday was undoubtedly overshadowed by the terrible scenes in Marseille’s Old Port and, later, the famed Stade Velodrome itself — an all-too-vivid reminder that the violent elements of European football’s past are far from condemned to the pages of history.

But as for the football itself, the second day of the 2016 European Championship was nothing short of compelling, and offered hope that what some have predicted will be a bloated tournament, diluted of quality and sure to skew toward staid and defensive tactics, could prove anything but. Continue reading

What’s Next For Joe Gomez

Photo: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda

Photo: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda

Originally published on The Anfield Wrap.

So this is what potential looks like — 6-feet-2-inches and still growing at 18 years old, a slender frame packed with deceptive strength and a startling turn of pace. Liverpool went out this summer and got themselves one of the most sought-after young English defenders in recent years, a teenager coveted by Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund and who knows how many other top-flight European clubs. Continue reading

Christian Benteke: Can Villa’s Thriller Be Liverpool’s Love?

Photo: PA Images

Photo: Nick Potts/PA Images

Originally published on The Anfield Wrap.

Christian Benteke’s move to Liverpool is all but sealed, with Brendan Rodgers finally landing a player who, by many accounts, he’s coveted for years. After a dreadful season featuring an anemic attack unrecognizable from the Luis Suarez-led unit that once dominated the Premier League, Rodgers has signed a player he believes will get his team back among the goals — and all for a cool £32.5 million. Continue reading

So we beat on…

London bound with @alex_gerrard8 🚙 #newchallenge 🇺🇸😧😮😬 😉 see ya all real soon ….😛

A photo posted by Steven Gerrard (@stevengerrard) on

Tell me this photograph doesn’t fill you with an enduring sense of hope for the future. Like no matter who you are or what you’ve been through in this life, there’s always a way forward — another day, a new experience, a road not yet taken. Continue reading

The Men Who Decide: Brendan Rodgers, FSG and the future of Liverpool Football Club

Photo: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda

Photo: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda

Originally published on The Anfield Wrap.

First, a little history lesson.

Yankee Stadium, October 2003. The Boston Red Sox are playing their hated rivals, the New York Yankees, in the semi-finals of the Major League Baseball playoffs. It’s game seven of a seven-game series to determine which team will advance to the World Series to play for the title — a title that the Red Sox haven’t won in 85 years. Continue reading

Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United: A Post-mortem


Photo: Jon Super/AP

Originally published on Premier Punditry.

After a week spent watching film of the great triumphs of the past in this fixture, in preparation for what felt like the most important match of the season, so came the inevitable gut punch. I should have known better: it’s stupid to tempt fate, especially when these two giants of the game are involved and things rarely, if ever, go according to plan. Continue reading