MattA

A fan of all things footy, Matt has written on everything from tactics to socio-cultural aspects of the beautiful game. You can check out more of his work at sites such as InBedWithMaradona and AnfieldAsylum.

Podolski & Flanagan Amongst Title Race X-Factors

Podolski & Flanagan Amongst Title Race X-Factors

At the end of the Premier League’s first trimester, we had Gooners occupying first place and basking in the euphoria of a long-awaited “marquee” signing.  Four points across town, Chelsea lurked in second with Manchester City and Liverpool rounding out the top four.  Now, having (almost) completed 26 rounds of play, we have the same first four crew – though Chelsea and Arsenal have swapped seats and City’s game-in-hand could see the Citizens leapfrog the pair. As we head into …
Konoplyanka Madness Proof Liverpool Missing Transfer Plan

Konoplyanka Madness Proof Liverpool Missing Transfer Plan

As Brendan Rodgers takes the podium for the post-match presser after Sunday’s clash with West Brom, he’ll know what’s in store for him and he’ll be ready to handle it.  We’ll get the thin smile with sparkling white veneers as he patiently explains just how hard the club worked to bring in the right players but they just couldn’t be had at this time.  It’s a difficult window, you see, and as much as the club would have loved to …
The Kids Are Alright | Lukaku, Januzaj Amongst Prem's Best Youngsters

The Kids Are Alright | Lukaku, Januzaj Amongst Prem's Best Youngsters

Few quotes have been repeated as often as Alan Hansen’s famous line, “you can’t win anything with kids.”  If you hail from the red part of Manchester, you’re mocking the former Liverpool man because the ’95-’96 squad that provoked the remark went on to win the title.  Then again, over the past few years, Gooners from North London have found themselves screaming the phrase in anger down the terraces at Arsene Wenger. Of course, the real truth is that age …
Brendan Rodgers Liverpool Centerback Options Compared | Stats

Brendan Rodgers Liverpool Centerback Options Compared | Stats

Brendan Rodgers has gone through several tactical phases during his time at the Liverpool helm.  Having dogmatically stuck to his 4-3-3 possession-oriented approach during his first half season, Rodgers has since toyed with a strict 4-2-3-1, a 4-2-2-2/4-2-3-1 hybrid, and, finally, the 3-4-1-2 he’s used over the past six or so weeks this season. Rodgers’s switch to a three-man central defence has been a double-edged sword.  It has created a platform for the prolific partnership of Daniel Sturridge and Luis …
Is Key Villan Fabian Delph the Next Moussa Dembele?

Is Key Villan Fabian Delph the Next Moussa Dembele?

Up in the West Midlands, Paul Lambert’s crew of Villans is comfortably perched mid-table despite playing one of the toughest early fixture lists in the division.  The former Borussia Dortmund star inherited an amorphous mess from Alex McLeish, and has since molded Aston Villa into the Premier League’s pre-eminent counter attacking side. At the heart of Villa’s steady play lies long-heralded prospect Fabian Delph, winner of the club’s Player of the Month award two turns running.  Here, we’ll examine Delph’s …
Time for Phil Jones to Replace Rio Ferdinand | Stats Analysis

Time for Phil Jones to Replace Rio Ferdinand | Stats Analysis

There is an unfamiliar angst hanging in the air around Old Trafford as the Red Devils try to get used to life without Sir Alex Ferguson.  A period of transition was inevitable, for whoever stepped into the Scots' giant shadow, but that hasn't stopped new boss David Moyes from facing intense scrutiny.  With Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City forming three of United's first five EPL fixtures, Moyes could have been forgiven for expecting a bit more patience while he tries …
Best of Promoted Clubs: Jedinak, Brady & Whittingham | Stats

Best of Promoted Clubs: Jedinak, Brady & Whittingham | Stats

Promotion to the Premier League is the goal of any club slugging it out in the subterranean chambers of English football.  The cold truth of the matter however, is that reaching the top flight is the easy part – maintaining your status amongst the heavy hitters is the real challenge. Some clubs try to stave off the executioner with expensive summer investment, others by sticking with the crew that achieved promotion success in the first place. In the current fledgling …
Stuttering Signings: Altidore, Anelka, Aspas & Graham Stats Compared

Stuttering Signings: Altidore, Anelka, Aspas & Graham Stats Compared

In a sport defined by the slimmest of margins, there is no commodity more precious than goals.  Whether sweetly struck from 30 yards out or unknowingly bumped in off the backside, the scoreboard does not discriminate and the table shows no sympathy.  With goals at a premium, clubs spend the summer months searching far and wide for any warm-blooded vertebrate that can send the ball in the back of the net with some kind of regularity.  In the case of …
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