All posts by Charlie Roberts

Top 10 players of the decade

With the decade that brought 7-1 wins and title winners that defied all odds, we’re going through the top 10 players of the last 10 years.

Lionel Messi

How could you not put this man in? Labelled one of if not the best player of all time, the Argentinian has been hugely influential. Messi has two Champions League titles and a Golden ball at the 2014 World Cup to his name. He also scored ninety-one goals in one calendar year, a record that hasn’t been equalled in recent years.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Another who is impossible to miss, Ronaldo has done everything a player can do. You name it, the Portuguese has won it. Two La Liga’s, two Copa Del Rey’s, four Champions League’s and a winners medal at Euro 2016 to name just a few team trophies. Real Madrid’s all time top scorer has also won five Ballon d’or.

Neymar

The Brazilian burst onto the scene with Santos in 2013 which earned him a move to Barcelona for around seventy million. After being a crucial part of the deadly MSN trio that lead the Catalonian side to a Champions League, Neymar moved to Paris Saint German for a record breaking two hundred million.

Andreas Iniesta

The first of four midfielders in this list, the magic Spaniard has been included in the Ballon d’or top three twice since 2010. He was also an influential part of the Spanish World Cup winning side in 2010 and he even scored the winning goal in the final.

Xavi

Iniesta’s midfield partner for club and country, Xavi is you dream midfielder. One of the best ball players in recent years, Xavi has been in the top three of the Ballon d’or once and was another who was crucial to Spain’s World Cup wining team. In 2015, he moved from Barcelona, the club where he’d played for over fifteen years to join Quatrain side Al Sadd. After four years of making everyone around him look like fools despite being in his mid thirties, he became their manager at at the start of this season.

Andrea Pirlo

The third magic midfielder in this list, Pirlo is the definition of majestic. The Italian could always find a pass and didn’t just pass. Some of his passes defied physics with him being able to make the ball go where ever he wanted. The fact that he has very little individual credit to his name is outrageous being one of the most underrated players of our decade.

Luis Suarez

After announcing himself to the world with Ajax, the Uruguayan moved to Liverpool where he formed a deadly partnership with Sturridge. After scoring sixty nine goals over four successful seasons, he moved to Barcelona for seventy million. Despite a decline in recent years, Suarez has been brilliant at the Blaugranes.

Luka Modric

The last of the midfielders in this list and unsurprised the only Croatian. He was labelled the ‘worst signing of the summer’ by Real Madrid fans after his move to the club in 2013. He’s proved the haters wrong since then and after an impressive 2017 and 2018 he finally picked up an individual award. He won the Ballon d’or in 2018 and won the golden ball at the 2018 World Cup after helping his nation get to their first ever final on the world stage.

Sergio Ramos

One of the biggest (and dirtiest) characters in the footballing world makes it into our list. Ramos isn’t afraid to voice his opinion or go in for a tackle meaning he has accumulated twenty five red cards (the most in Europe). He has won everything their is to win with Spain and Real Madrid so you can’t not put him in.

Manuel Neuer

Another who’s declined in recent years, Neuer has undoubtedly been one of the best goalkeepers of our decade. He has so much agility and he was probably the best ball playing goalkeeper in his prime. The World Cup winner has also kept Barcelona first choice keeper Ter Stegan to only twenty three Germany caps.

Norwich 0 Watford 2: Match Report

Carrow Road was the host to a game that, by the end of the season, could prove decisive in terms of Premier League survival.

Before the game, Norwich sat in nineteenth, losing six of their last eight games whilst the visitors were propping up the table but were on slightly better form. Three draws in their last five games meant the Vicarage Road faithful had something to cheer about.

The Canaries were unchanged from their 2-0 loss to Brighton which meant they still had clumsy defensive midfielder Tettey partnering Godfrey in defence.

As for Watford, they made three changes to the team that lost to Chelsea. The disappointing Masina was dropped and versatile Holebas came in. As for the Hornets other two changes, Gray and Chalobah were taken out of the side and in their place Capoue and Hughes.

Watford, boosted by the presence of Deeney on the bench after over a month out, took an early lead through former Barcelona fringe player Deulofeu.

Godfrey made an early burst forward, passed to Pukki who toe poked the ball to Buendia just inside the Canaries half. Buendia tried to Cruyff turn Deulofeu but he nicked the ball and the Spaniard had acres of green space for him to exploit, which he did. Once in the box, the winger come striker cut inside and shot past the despairing Krul.

The Hornets got off to the best possible start – silencing the nervous home crowd. The Canaries responded well with most of the play being inside the Hornets half.

Through ball after through ball fed Hernandez who was causing the Hornets defence havoc all night.

Despite all their dominance, the home side struggled to create chances in the opening half but did create one. Steipermann pushed the ball through to Hernandez who couldn’t quite get to it and Foster smothered the ball but it landed at the feet of Pukki who shot but Kabasele blocked.

The Canaries were pushing and pushing which was leaving huge wholes in the defence which the Hornets exploited on occasions.

The half ended 1-0 so a response was needed by the home side, the game went the other way though and Watford killed the game of just a few minutes after the restart.

Deulofeu skipped past Tettey who dived in and he put in a ball which initially got blocked. The ball rebounded straight back to him, he had another go and this time he was on the money putting in a delightful ball for substitute Gray to attack. Gray, who’s struggled for form in recent months backed heeled the ball bottom corner from six yards out. Krul was completely flat footed.

Wave after wave of disappointing Norwich attacks came and went without them creating any meaningful chances. Long shots from Lewis and McLean tested Foster but that’s about as much as they could muster.

The before mentioned havoc that Hernandez was causing the Hornets defence proved to be fatal for Kabasele as it meant the end of his night.

The defender kept fouling the winger and finally in the second half Kabasele got a yellow card for holding the pacy winger back with his shirt. Then twenty minutes later, Drmic and the Belgium found themselves in a race for the ball, a race which the fresher legged substitute won and in an attenpt to reach the ball fist, the clumsy centre back brought down Drmic for his second yellow.

The red card will matter more in the coming matches than it did against the Canaries as they still couldn’t create anything.

The match ended 2-0. A damaging loss for the already confidence lacking Canaries but a huge first win of the season for the visitors.

(Photo – Daily Mail)

3 possible candidates for the Bayern job

Bayern München have sacked manager Niko Kovac following their 5-1 loss away to Frankfurt on Saturday. But who should replace him?

Bayern sit forth in the Bundesliga and top of their group in the Champions League so it has been in no way a failure of a season. With this in mind, who ever replaces him won’t have the biggest job on their hands to turn the Bavarians fortunes around. 

Arsene Wenger

The former Arsenal Premier League winner is one of the favourites to take the job. After spending twenty-two successful years at the Gunners, the seventy-year-old has spent the last few years being a pundit. But the mastermind that lead Arsenal to a whole season unbeaten could go back into management with one of the best teams in Europe.

Max Allegri

A more realistic and probably conventional option for the Bundesliga champions is Max Allegri. After being sacked in early 2019 by Juventus, Allegri has been without a job which is surprising considering his known quality. Allegri started his managerial career at Serie D side Aglianese and has never ventured out of Italy but with more experience of modern football and a more nailed down football style, he would be a much better acquisition. 

Jose Mourinho 

The Champions League winner is the bookies favourite to take the job but he has also been linked to the Arsenal job if Emery gets the sack. The former Manchester United man has publicly implied that he is looking for a job and Mourinho would fit the bill at the German club well.

 

Who ever takes the job has a great platform to build from. Bayern sit just four points behind top spot which isn’t a big deficit to make up over the rest of the season. Add in the form of Lewandowski and the arrival of young defenders Pavard and Hernandez and you’ve got some very big players with a bright future.

Nikola Kovac sacked! Who should replace him?

Bayern München have sacked manager Niko Kovac following their 5-1 loss away to Frankfurt on Saturday. But who should replace him?

Bayern sit 4th in the Bundesliga and top of their group in the Champions League – so it has been in no way a failure of a season. With this in mind, who ever replaces him won’t have the biggest job on their hands to turn the Bavarians fortunes around. 

Arsene Wenger

The former Arsenal Premier League winner is one of the favourites to take the job. After spending twenty-two successful years at the Gunners, the seventy-year-old has spent the last few years being a pundit. But the mastermind that lead Arsenal to a whole season unbeaten could go back into management with one of the best teams in Europe.

Max Allegri

A more realistic and probably conventional option for the Bundesliga champions is Max Allegri. After being sacked in early 2019 by Juventus, Allegri has been without a job which is surprising considering his known quality. Allegri started his managerial career at Serie D side Aglianese and has never ventured out of Italy but with more experience of modern football and a more nailed down football style, he would be a much better acquisition. 

Jose Mourinho

The Champions League winner is the bookies favourite to take the job but he has also been linked to the Arsenal job if Emery gets the sack. The former Manchester United man has publicly implied that he is looking for a job and Mourinho would fit the bill at the German club well.

 

Who ever takes the job has a great platform to build from. Bayern sit just four points behind the top spot which isn’t a big deficit to make up over the rest of the season. Add in the form of Lewandowski and the arrival of young defenders Pavard and Hernandez and you’ve got some very big players with a bright future.

Southampton concede nine on home turf!

Have you ever played one of your ‘non-football’ friends on FIFA..?

Leicester ran riot in the torrential rain last night as the Foxes put nine past Southampton at the St Mary’s stadium, sending shockwaves through the world of social media.

Southampton have one of the leakiest defences in the Premier League, and after last night’s mauling they’ve conceded twenty-five goals this season. That dreadful defence was exposed to the full as Leicester’s exiting, attacking football tore the Saints defence to shreds.

Southampton started with a 3-5-2 formation which turned into a 5-4-1 almost instantly. It was clear from the first whistle that the home team’s game plan was to defend, aiming to get a vital point. However, Leicester had no trouble breaking down Southampton’s defence.

Leicester’s quick one touch football, which has been refined to perfection under Brendon Rogers, dominated the game, not letting Saints venture out their own half.

From the kick off, the Foxes were straight on the attack with Tielemans on the edge of the box. The Belgian tried to win a free kick but referee Andre Marrinner saw nothing and Leicester were away with the ball.

Not long after, Leicester scored their first through the unlikely source of Chillwell. After Bertrand lost the ball to Perez, Ndidi picked the ball up and played it square to the eighteen yard box to Maddison who let it run to Chillwell. The left back fired the ball in from the edge of the box to Barnes who shot but Gunn saved. The keeper parried the ball right into the path of Chillwell who had an open goal.

The goal also saw VAR executed to perfection for one of the first times this season. Bertrand put in a static tackle with his studs going straight into the side of Perez’s leg. It was undoubtedly a red card and a quick check later, the red card was shown. Quick and the right outcome without debate – finally it appears that the Premier League have sorted VAR ou…lets try not to speak too soon.

Seven minutes later, Tielemans hammered home the nights second after super play on the wing by Barnes. The young winger put a ball in most likely intended for Maddison but Valery intercepted but the ball landed at the feet of Teilmans and from fifteen yards out, he wasn’t going to miss, and didn’t.

Not even two minutes later, Perez netted for the first time in a Leicester shirt. After a quick one two with Tielemans, the Spaniard shot low to Gunn’s left and despite the keeper getting a touch, it ended in the back off the net. The game was beyond Southampton after just twenty minutes.

Twenty minutes later, Perez grabbed his second of the game. He found himself unmarked at the back post and he could hardly miss after a beautiful cross by England left back Chillwell.

The Foxes weren’t even finished for the first half yet though. Leicester aren’t going to get a hat full of goals without Vardy joining the party. The cross came in from Chillwell, again, and Romeu headed the ball right to the feet of Vardy who after some pretty footwork, beat Gunn easily.

Hassenhuttl’s men were having a nightmare losing 5-0 at half time. The Saints manager could have shut up shop and stopped it from being a mauling but he stayed with the same system and it definitely didn’t work.

With a half empty stadium at the kick off of the second half (mainly due to people leaving, not missing kick off due to queues at the food kiosks) Leicester were in the mood to make this a night to remember.

It only took ten minutes of the second half for Perez to bag the match ball. Poor defending from Yoshida keeping the run of Perez on side, Perez has the six yard box to himself to pick his spot and he did just that.

Less than a minute later, number seven came. Who else but Chillwell crossed straight to the head of Vardy who bagged his second of the night.

It was starting to get boring for neutrals, but not for the Leicester fans who were celebrating every goal like their first. Empty seats outnumbered the the occupied ones by this point in the home end. The game was getting beyond embarrassing.

After a time without the Foxes finding the net, Maddison got the pick of the bunch. A free kick from twenty yards out buried top corner. Gunn didn’t even get close.

One more for the Foxes to equal the record for the biggest Premier League win and Vardy grabbed it. After a brilliant through ball, Vardy was through and looked certain to make the record. He was brought down in the box – penalty. And we all know Vardy doesn’t miss penalties – he became the second to grab a hat trick.

It ended 9-0, a Brendon Rogers masterclass. You could call it pathetic fallacy for Southampton – a poor performance on a horrible night. A big job for Hasenhuttle to turn this poor form around as the Saints currently sit in the bottom three on goal difference.

A poignant night for Leicester as it marked the one year anniversary of the death late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

The Foxes are now firmly resting in the UCL qualification places, and quickly found themselves in second place before Manchester City defeated Aston Villa.

(Photo – Planet Football)