Andy Wales

Football writer and podcaster. Family man and Liverpool fan.

Middlesbrough Need Goals, and Fast

Middlesbrough Need Goals, and Fast

It was at the start of this season that I wrote about Middlesbrough and how I felt they stood a good chance of staying up in their first season back in the Premier League after an extended hiatus. Well, here we are, now half way through the campaign and Boro stand in reasonable stead to do just that. Under Aitor Karanka, Middlesbrough have had a respectable campaign thus far; they have been resolute defensively and tough to break down. At this mid-point, …
N'Golo Kante - Difference Maker

N'Golo Kante - Difference Maker

It's fair to say that the first half of last season was a blip for Chelsea, albeit a serious one that cost Jose Mourinho his job. Going from Premier League champions to strugglers in a matter of months was never about the standard of the squad; something evident after Guus Hiddink took over temporary charge and the Blues form improved, with them eventually finishing tenth in the Premier League. As the season drew to a close, Diego Costa and Eden …
Wenger and The Blame Game

Wenger and The Blame Game

After an impressive run of form that saw Arsenal remain unbeaten in the Premier League since their opening day defeat to Liverpool, the Gunners suffered back-to-back defeats away at Everton and Manchester City. Some critics have been quick to suggest Arsenal are "bottling" a title challenge already, but it is surely far too early to make that kind of suggestion as even title winning teams have suffered dips in form at some point. Only time will tell if this is …
Conte, Guardiola and Tactical Victories

Conte, Guardiola and Tactical Victories

Something that has never failed to astound me is the level of ignorance that exists in certain sections of the UK media when it comes to the likes of Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola. I believe there remains a level of desperation from some for Guardiola to fail, simply so they can dismiss his accomplishments at Barcelona and Bayern Munich because they were not in the Premier League. As if their primary function is to prove to all and sundry …
Steven Gerrard's Opportunity to Shape the Future

Steven Gerrard's Opportunity to Shape the Future

On announcing his retirement from football, Steven Gerrard spoke of heeding the advice of those he respected by calling it quits whilst there is still something in the tank. I would consider that sound advice and wise of Gerrard to follow it. As a Liverpool fan, there was reason to be excited about Gerrard from the very beginning and not just because he was a local lad and life-long fan of the club. It was immediately clear that this was a player …
Arsenal - A Progress Report for 2016/17

Arsenal - A Progress Report for 2016/17

Despite eventually finishing second in last season's Premier League, a position that no fan would have been confident enough to use Free Super Tips with 5 or so games left to play. It's fair to say that expectations were not that high for Arsenal this campaign. Many fans were happy with the signing of Granit Xhaka to address the timely issue of an imposing deep lying midfielder of proven ability. However, kicking off the season with a home defeat to …
Pep Guardiola: Innovative Genius or Over-rated Fraud?

Pep Guardiola: Innovative Genius or Over-rated Fraud?

Manchester City are on a run of no wins from their last six matches in all competitions, which is poor. This has prompted claims in some quarters over the past week that Pep Guardiola is not actually that good. Some ignoramuses going so far as to proclaim he is actually a fraud. Just to put that six game winless run into perspective, City won their opening ten matches of the season in all competitions. Their overall record this season is …
Is There Mour to Come From Jose?

Is There Mour to Come From Jose?

Stamford Bridge, once the scene for success and adulation for Jose Mourinho, became the setting for his Manchester United team to be soundly beaten by Chelsea. Arguably, not just beaten, but demolished in a match that highlighted how good Chelsea can be on their day and how much work is still to be done at Old Trafford if they are to reclaim the Premier League trophy. There was a visibly added vigour in some of the Chelsea players; a level …
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