Abdul Rahim

Football Writer. I chronicle the growth of football in India at my blog, Flying Goalie.

https://flyinggoalie.com

Manchester United Shirk The Limelight To Good Effect

Manchester United Shirk The Limelight To Good Effect

It has been a strange, quiet pre-season for one of the biggest clubs in the world. When the curtains came down on Manchester United’s shambolic 2018-19 campaign with defeat at home to already-relegated Cardiff City, a summer of upheaval seemingly lay in wait. There was an entire squad of under-performing prima donnas to jettison away and the summer back pages were expected to be littered with transfers in and out of Old Trafford.  It has been anything but and Ole …
Where Will Chelsea’s Goals Come From?

Where Will Chelsea’s Goals Come From?

It is not clear if Marina Granovskaia was aware that André Villas-Boas was back in the market after a year and a half out of the game, but the Portuguese former manager would have allowed himself a wry smile on learning about Frank Lampard’s appointment this summer.  Installed as manager by struggling Marseille a month before the Chelsea legend was announced as the Blues’ new boss, Villas-Boas famously tried and failed with his youth integration policy at Stamford Bridge eight …
Disruptive Pre-Season For Top Two An Opportunity For Chasing Pack?

Disruptive Pre-Season For Top Two An Opportunity For Chasing Pack?

There’s never been a summer quite like this one. Clubs and national teams are increasingly testing the limits of player work-loads but since the Champions League final brought down the curtain on the European club season, we have had the privilege of watching the inaugural Nations League Finals, Euro 2020 qualifiers, the UEFA U-21 Championships and three senior continental competitions over the past month.  Rested players have already begun to make their way back to their clubs for the start …
Sanchez’s Chile Form A Red Herring For United?

Sanchez’s Chile Form A Red Herring For United?

Two of the fiercest competitors in football took to the field last week at the legendary Maracanã in Brazil. Luis Suarez did what he normally does; putting in a shift while also finding it in himself to instinctively appeal for handball when the opposition keeper handled the ball inside the box (as you do) and also trying to get Gonzalo Jara sent off for tripping a pitch invader. The Uruguayan did not get his way with the referee but still …
What Liverpool And Manchester City Need To Go Again Next Season

What Liverpool And Manchester City Need To Go Again Next Season

The top two sides in English football had barnstorming seasons in 2018-19. Manchester City retained the Premier League title in style, garnering an astounding 98 points in the campaign, after scaling the 100-point mark the previous season. Liverpool recorded the third highest points tally ever in finishing second with 97 points and capped an incredible year off by winning their sixth European title.  There will be no letting up in intensity from both sides though. In a season-ending interview with …
Champions League Final A Catch-22 Situation For Spurs

Champions League Final A Catch-22 Situation For Spurs

The Champions League final next weekend leaves me in a position I would rather not be in. It pits Liverpool, the club I have supported since 1988 against Tottenham, a team I have an immense soft spot for. I wrote a piece a couple of years back about Spurs being the poster-boys for sustainable spending and have long maintained that they deserve a trophy to show for their efforts.  I will be rooting for a Liverpool win come the first …
The Salah Worry Before Champions League Final

The Salah Worry Before Champions League Final

Mohamed Salah is a very good footballer. A move to Liverpool in 2017 and fine performances in his first season at the club catapulted him almost instantly into the upper echelons of elite footballers. His third-place finish at the FIFA Men’s Player Of The Year awards in 2018 was the first time a Premier League footballer had featured in the top three in a decade.  It was no surprise then that he was quickly embraced by the league and especially …
Bernardo Silva In A League Of His Own

Bernardo Silva In A League Of His Own

Watching the games between the best teams in the league by a country mile this season, one player stood out over both fixtures. No, it wasn’t the Professional Footballers Association and Premier League Player of the Year, Virgil Van Dijk of Liverpool. Nor was it the player football writers deemed to be the best in Raheem Sterling of Manchester City.  While Bernardo Silva didn’t exactly warm the bench last season, his minutes were limited in the Premier League and Pep …
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