Interesting little piece in the Spanish newspaper Marca on Thursday that Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has met with club president Florentino Pérez to find out what the club’s intentions are for next season.
Mentioned in the newspaper that since Ronaldo arrived at the Bernebeu in 2008 he has scored 223 goals, an average of 37 per season, yet has only one La Liga title and one champions league trophy to show for it.
Reading between the lines it appears that Ronaldo thinks that Real Madrid have became a one-man team, and that they cannot compete with Barcelona and their Messi/Neymar/Suarez triumvirate unless Bale and Benzema can chip in 30 goals each next season. Read more... (396 words, 1 image, estimated 1:35 mins reading time)
Despite qualifying for the Champions League this was a very up and down season for Manchester United. It started with the question over whether Louis van Gaal had actually improved the side from David Moyes’ time, and what those changes were, before all the fuss over long balls and then finally the obsession with possession and its ultimate purpose. So, how did it end up? The team certainly got attuned to Van Gaal’s idea of possession, with that shooting up from 56% under Alex Ferguson to 61.1%, which was the highest in the Premier League.
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For all Jose Mourinho’s argument that Chelsea’s absences from January to May were going to affect Cesc Fabregas’ output, it’s still hard to escape the fact his season conformed to the general trend of a career: there was a distinctive drop-off. It’s not even about the assists, which fell from 13 in 18 games to five in 16, but also the key pass: going from 3.39 per game to 2.13.
This is not something new with Fabregas as we saw they same thing at both Arsenal and Barcelona. The question that the Chelsea medical staff will be trying to answer this summer is why does Fabregas’s form drop the second half of the season? Is is a fitness issue or something else?
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The only problem with all the optimism at the Emirates right now is that, really, we’ve been here before. All the talk about being the best team in a given year is reminiscent of what happened in 2013.
There is that perpetual sense of the club self-correcting itself: never suffering the true kind of crisis that would bring them below fourth, but never enjoying the genuine evolution that would lift them to a proper challenge. For the latter to happen, there needs to deeper development of performance. The excellent recent run needs to be an indication of structural improvement, rather than just a streak. Read more... (192 words, 1 image, estimated 46 secs reading time)
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Can Arsenal Launch A Title Challenge Next Season?
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Football’s most controversial transfer saga turned nasty on Thursday when England star Raheem Sterling’s agent launched an extraordinary attack on Liverpool and the club’s former players.
In an interview in the London Evening Standard, Sterling’s agent Aidy Ward said that his client would not sign a new contract even if Liverpool offered ‘£700, £800 or £900,000 per week’.
Following the publication of those remarks, Liverpool cancelled a planned meeting between Sterling and his advisors and manager Brendan Rodgers and Chief Executive Ian Ayre that was scheduled for Friday. Read more... (427 words, 1 image, estimated 1:42 mins reading time)
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Sterling Saga Turns Nasty As Agent Hits Out At Liverpool And Their Ex-Players
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The Manchester United v Liverpool rivalry is so strong that no player has moved between the two clubs since Phil Chisnall joined Liverpool from United in 1964. But United boss Louis van Gaal is determined to rewrite history as United on Wednesday launched a sensational bid to lure Raheem Sterling away from Liverpool.
United have made an enquiry to Liverpool about contract rebel Sterling who is determined to quit Anfield this summer. Liverpool told United that Sterling, who has two years left on his current Reds deal, is not for sale. Read more... (326 words, 1 image, estimated 1:18 mins reading time)
Once again Arsenal huffed and puffed against a lesser opponent at home but could not find past Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, as Dick Advocaat’s side got the point they needed to ensure that they will be playing Premier League football next season.
Despite Arsenal having plenty of chances to put the match beyond Dick Advocaat’s side and so secure third place, the hosts were left frustrated following a resolute display by Sunderland, which leaves Newcastle and Hull City now alone in facing the scrap for survival on Sunday. Read more... (637 words, 1 image, estimated 2:33 mins reading time)
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Sunderland Gets Draw At Emirates To Avoid Relegation
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Serie A champions Juventus beat Lazio 2-1 after extra time on Wednesday to win their record 10th Coppa Italia, keeping alive their dreams of a historical treble.
Inter Milan are the only Italian team to have won the treble, completing the feat under Jose Mourinho in 2010 and the Bianconeri will try and match that when the meet Barcelona in the Champions League final in Berlin on June 6.
Ahead of the match, security was heavy outside the stadium – in a response to last year’s final when a Napoli fan suffered gunshot wounds away from the stadium and later died. Read more... (351 words, 1 image, estimated 1:24 mins reading time)
A fascinating new study from Sporting Intelligence and ESPN The Magazine looks at wages across 333 top teams in the world.
What was most interesting for soccer fans here in North America was a look at how the 2015 wages by MLS club looked as that information has not been released to the public yet.
According to the study, Toronto FC have the biggest wage bill in MLS at $20.5 million with the LA Galaxy second at $15.4 million.
To put TFC‘s wage bill in perspective, you could take the Toronto‘s payroll and pay the wages at the Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake, DC United and the Columbus Crew and still have $4.1m left over! Read more... (314 words, 1 image, estimated 1:15 mins reading time)
While New England struggle to get even one soccer specific stadium, it looks Los Angeles area is about to get its second. MLS expansion club Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), unveiled its plans for a new stadium Monday that it promised would be a “cathedral” for soccer while helping to revitalize what has traditionally been one of Los Angeles’ more troubled neighborhoods.
The privately financed $250 million complex on the site of the Los Angeles Sports Arena, next to the Coliseum in Exposition Park, will include a 22,000-seat stadium that the Los Angeles Football Club, its current name, although that could change, will call home when it kicks off in 2018. Read more... (440 words, 1 image, estimated 1:46 mins reading time)