Joel Oberstone

Joel Is an avid football and modern jazz fanatic. He sees the connection between the improvisational elements of each … the connection between Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi as well as Miles Davis and Bill Evans. He wrote a weekly column for the Wall Street Journal Sports Europe between 2010 and 2011 using a demystified style of sports analytics to explain the details of football performance. Joel is a professor of Business Analytics at the University of San Francisco, School of Management. He is also an ardent fan of writers Mick Dennis, Barney Ronay, and Jonathan Wilson and the never-ending word wizardry of former Newcastle United midfielder Ray Hudson in his La Liga match calls and commentary.

http://www.twitter.com/JoelOberstone

The Unrealised Potential of Theo Walcott

The Unrealised Potential of Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott is one of a few remaining members of Arsenal’s group of home-grown, British Golden Boys, plucked by Arsene Wenger as a teenager from Southampton in 2006 to join the Arsenal Academy and, presumably, be groomed for greatness. And like too many of the others, he never quite matured into the level of quality originally hoped for. Just this past transfer window, two more players from this vaunted youth group discovered by Wenger with these same high expectations left …
Mesut Özil is Weary of Playing Arsenal’s Scapegoat

Mesut Özil is Weary of Playing Arsenal’s Scapegoat

The once-magical number ten play of Mesut Ozil for the Gunners has soured. For the past two seasons, he has taken more than his fair share of blame for the Gunner’s downward spiral, end-of-season-collapses. Arsene Wenger and his ossified Board of Directors and American majority owner-Texas million-acre ranch owner-would-be cowboy - billionaire Stan Kroenke have been primarily satisfied with the Gunner’s overflowing coffers and seemingly unconcerned with their 13-year silverware drought. And now that they have spun out of the …
The 2017 Transfer Window Soap Opera: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

The 2017 Transfer Window Soap Opera: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Playing Musical Chairs - Exchanging Strikers with Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal It’s crazy time. The Welcome To and Exit doors are swinging in and out and the new are replacing the old. Clubs are scurrying in hopes of improving their position in last season’s table or, in Chelsea’s case, hanging on to that coveted top slot. Arsenal, for the first time in Arsène Wenger’s tenure with the club, has dropped out of the Champions League competition and, with the …
Olivier Giroud: Arsenal’s Unappreciated Goalscorer

Olivier Giroud: Arsenal’s Unappreciated Goalscorer

Last year, Arsenal were that close to signing Leicester’s Jamie Vardy for a £25 million transfer fee. But Vardy never put pen to paper. Upon reflection, between his tins of Thunder snuff tobacco and cans of Red Bull, Vardy made one of his better decisions. He realised that his limited, direct attacking skills did not fit well with Arsenal’s more intricate, build-from-the-back, short passing in tight spaces requirements. Vardy backed out of the move. Had the transfer been completed, the addition …
Leicester City’s Disappearing Act of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy: An Example of Regression to the Mean

Leicester City’s Disappearing Act of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy: An Example of Regression to the Mean

Last season, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy were two of the most exciting and prised properties in the Premiership. It was considered a tossup over which one was the most coveted. Vardy was named the Premier League Player of the Season and the FWA Player of the Year while Mahrez won the PFA Player of the Year Award as well as Leicester City’s Player of the Season. No surprise that during the summer transfer window Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy …
The Slow Fade to Black of Diego Costa: Football’s Shameless Villain

The Slow Fade to Black of Diego Costa: Football’s Shameless Villain

Diego Costa is a bad man. And he looks the part. He is simply one of the dirtiest, most disgraceful, at times brilliantly skillful, talented footballers who ever slithered into the English Premier League. But he may be making a return to La Liga much sooner than planned. Here are some of the reasons. Costa completed his £32M move from Athletico Madrid to Chelsea in July 2014. He wasted little time starting his EPL tenure by burning up the league …
Jamie Vardy: The Anatomy of a Goalscorer

Jamie Vardy: The Anatomy of a Goalscorer

Jamie Vardy and Leicester City have set the English Premier League upside down this season. From out of nowhere, the Foxes have sprinted into and stayed at or near the top of the table throughout most of the first 19 weeks of the season. And they’ve done it with style with some of the finest individual and team performances of any club in the EPL. And one of their top performers is Jamie Vardy. Three years ago, Jamie Vardy was playing …
The Broken Career of Abou Diaby

The Broken Career of Abou Diaby

Abou Diaby has, sadly, left the building. After nine years of an injury-riddled career with Arsenal, he was finally given his release. Diaby was once seen as the brightest new star to enter the Premier League in many years. Gunner manager Arsené Wenger referred to Diaby as the next Patrick Viera — except that he was viewed as having even more impressive attacking skills than the formidable, former Arsenal captain. But how accurate an assessment is this? Has Abou Diaby, …
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