Everything you need to know about the English professional league; who's on top, who's been traded, and what teams are dropping the ball.
What happend to Liverpool FC?
There are six weeks to go yet in the English Premier League, but while no one will say so openly, this strangest of strange seasons is more-or-less decided. Machester City will win the title, likely followed by Manchester United, while Fulham, Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion will be relegated to the second division.
All-Time Premier League: Everton
Now, our alphabetical journey takes us northwards, from the Blues of Middlesex to the Blues of Merseyside. Today, Bill Shankly’s joke about Everton being Liverpool’s second team seems to become truer every year; but it wasn’t always the case, and it certainly wasn’t true when he told it. In 1966, when Everton won the Cup and Liverpool the League, it was a joke between equals. For the last fifty years, Liverpool have been pulling further and further ahead, in public profile and in the honour roll, almost continuously; and every time Everton have threatened to emerge, the Reds have been present, on or off the pitch, to push the Blues back into their widening shadow.
In Praise of ‘El Loco’
The stories are legion. Here’s the funny thing, though. Most of them are true! There was the time when Marcelo Bielsa, 65, took over a struggling football club in the UK’s second division and the first question through his mind was: How long does the average fan have to work to be able to pay for a ticket to watch what was then a distinctly ordinary team of under-performers? How many hours does that supporter have to put in on their job to be able to buy that ticket? Using a weird, eccentric, unscientific calculation of metrics, he came up with the answer three.
Saying ‘No’ to Racism: Talk is Cheap
Racism in English football is the controversy that just won’t go away, it seems. Even as players throughout the English Premier League take the knee before every kick-off — as they’ve been doing for months now — online abuse keeps being heaped on players-of-color, regardless of how good they are at their chosen calling, no matter how much pride they bring to their adoptive city, or how much joy they bring to followers of their home team.
Do Match Officials and Referees Deserve Better Treatment?
Referee Darren Drysdale was involved in a controversial square-off with an Ipswich Town player in last month's fixture between The Blues and Northampton Town. It made headlines after the shocking images were released through various media outlets.
How Video Review is Wrecking Footy
They call it VAR, and you can be forgiven for wondering what the (heck) that is. Technically, VAR it stands for Video Assistant Referee, which you probably know better as “the guy in charge of video replay.” (And it’s almost always a guy.)
Leicester City FC
It was the 4th of April 2015, and the football club from the small city of Leicester, located in the East Midlands of England, was 20th in the English Premier League with just 22 points and only eight matches remaining. Manager Nigel Pearson was at the helm, and he led the Foxes to win six of their remaining matches to finish 14th in the final standings. It was not enough to save Pearson’s job, however, and a new manager was brought in. The choice, Claudio Ranieri, was ridiculed by the press at the time because of his previous reputation of not being able to achieve anything at any club. The rest, as you could say, was history.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
Are you an NBA or Major League Baseball fan? Not many sports fans in North America follow the machinations of the European soccer leagues — “football” to those in the UK — but citing the NBA or MLB seems the most effective way to tell sports fans here about a crazy new proposal called “the Super League” that has the potential to upend everything footie fans have grown to like and love about Premier League soccer in the UK — and La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 in other countries as well.
No Room for Racism
The ritual has become set in stone. Before each and every game, across the major leagues in UK soccer but most notably in the top-flight Premier League, players from the opposing sides kneel around the center circle. They kneel partly in homage to Colin Kaepernick, the one-time NFL quarterback who sacrificed his career to show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, but mostly as a statement against racism in general, not just in soccer but at every level of society.
No Fans? No Fun.
The banner at Old Trafford stadium is easy to spot even in good times, and these are not good times. ‘Without Fans, We Are Nothing,’ it reads.
Life Lessons From Fergie: The Greatest
"I’ve never played for a draw in my life" - Sir Alex Ferguson I am obsessed with football coaches. I adore the game itself, and am in awe of its greatest players. To be frank, even the very, very bad ones fascinate me.
Transfer Deadline Day - The Guiltiest of Pleasures
It is Transfer Deadline Day across Europe. What is Transfer Deadline Day, I hear you ask? It's exactly that - the last day in which football clubs can either bring in (or ship out) players before the transfer window closes.