What’s Happening with Liverpool’s Pressing?

Liverpool have begun the defence of their Champions League title in reasonably good shape – despite a 2-0 reverse away to Napoli, two wins on the bounce, and an upcoming home tie against the bottom side in the group, Genk, should put the Merseyside team in a strong position before they host Napoli and face […]

Manchester United, Liverpool & the Battle for Asia

It was coming up for 2.30am local time when Manchester United against Liverpool entered stoppage time. The street cleaners were getting to work on roads that already looked spotless. The subway had already closed for the night. Tokyo always seems more exciting when the neon lights are throbbing. But now it was time for the […]

Erdoğan: Football and Power in Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s sporting career has become part of his mythology, reinforcing his image as a salt-of-the-earth leader in tune with the masses. Over the last ten years, Turkish football has experienced great change. It has become bigger and louder, more commercialised and polarised, entwined ever more with business and politics. So central has Erdoğan […]

Iran’s New Billionaire Football Club

In August 2018, Tractor Sazi, an Iranian club from the city of Tabriz, went to Tehran to play local giants Esteghal at the Azadi national stadium. In the stand behind the goal, a few thousand Tractor fans with red shirts sang: ‘Death to the dictator! Death to the dictator!’. The chant echoes themes heard during […]

What if Football Stopped for a Year?

As Arrigo Sacchi so memorably put it, football is “the most important of the unimportant things in life.” Following football is essentially a full-time job now. The endless blur of Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday thrums through the calendar like a bassline and – with press conferences, transfer news, twitter, and fantasy football, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. This […]

Martin Ødegaard: Real Madrid’s Once “Wonderkid”

It’s been almost four years since Real Madrid signed Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard from Strømsgodset. He was 16 at the time, and throughout the past few years, despite just being a teenager, Odegaard has suffered heavy criticism for his ‘slow progress’. Even before he was 19, media outlets called began referring to him as a […]

Tottenham Hotspur’s Tactical Issues Explained

Tottenham Hotspur have not started the Champions League well. Last season’s beaten finalists were held to a draw away at Olympiakos before crashing to a 2-7 defeat at home to Bayern Munich. The Premier League season has started in similarly poor fashion. As these stats from OneFootball show, Spurs have significant ground to make up […]

The History of the Football Transfer System Explained

Transfers have become an integral part of the entertainment product that football is today. The excitement over the movement of players used to fill the back pages in the summer when domestic football had a break. Now, transfer gossip columns are updated on a daily basis. While we are familiar with the processes that lead […]

Would Less Football Improve Football?

Son Heung-Min played 78 games of football between 25th May 2018 and 13th June 2019. He benfitted from just 22 days of rest during the summer, 6 less than the minimum (28-42) recommended by medical professionals. And as a Premier League player, he missed out on a winter break, for which the recommendation is 14 […]

What’s Gone Wrong at Tottenham?

October has been a nightmare for Tottenham Hotspur. They have conceded 10 goals in two games,turning a shaky start to the season into a crisis Spurs look nothing like the team they were and Mauricio Pochettino is under more pressure than he has been at any other point during his time at the club. Is […]