Abdul Rahim

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

https://flyinggoalie.com

Holding Midfielders The Talk Of The Town

Holding Midfielders The Talk Of The Town

The importance of the holding midfielder to any Premier League title challenge has never been doubted. While flashier proponents of the footballing art have rightly been serenaded by fans, there has always been place for the likes of Patrick Vieira, Roy Keane and Claude Makalele in a discussion about modern-day giants. Having the right player in the middle of the park has often proven to be the difference between ending a campaign as league winners or also-rans. Michael Essien’s injury …
Will United Keep Their Nerve With Solskjaer Decision?

Will United Keep Their Nerve With Solskjaer Decision?

The international break has made an untimely appearance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Manchester United’s limp defeat at the hands of Newcastle on Sunday will allow for two weeks of negative sentiment to fester before the side face Liverpool on resumption of league hostilities. Given that defeat against the Reds last year brought Jose Mourinho’s tenure to an end, speculation is rife that a similar fate awaits the Norwegian on the 20th of October should United suffer a similar fate.  Reports …
Arsenal The Team To Fear For The Top Two

Arsenal The Team To Fear For The Top Two

It seems like every defeat these days ushers in the latest round of crises at three of the four clubs that have dominated the Premier League era. Manchester City have been relatively new entrants to the party, but having won only two league titles in their history until 2011, they have added four more in quite a hurry and do not look like stopping anytime soon.  Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal however are at differing stages of upheaval and with …
Time For Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain To Step Up

Time For Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain To Step Up

Five games, five wins and five points clear at the top of the table. It is all going rather swimmingly for Liverpool at the moment. The win against Newcastle was their fourteenth in a row in the top flight and they became the first team ever to do so scoring at least two goals in each of those fixtures.   The stat does hint at attacking riches and that sure is the case. The Reds are blessed with a front …
Is Everyone Missing A Trick With Marcus Rashford?

Is Everyone Missing A Trick With Marcus Rashford?

Gareth Southgate had a few interesting thoughts on Marcus Rashford after England’s 4-0 defeat of Bulgaria. The manager admitted that he had, like so many others, almost willed the player to develop as a number nine since the then-teenager burst onto the scene in 2016. However, the presence of Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane in those positions for club and country respectively meant that Rashford was shunted onto the flanks in time.  Southgate now believes that the player is most …
Spurs’ Eriksen Dilemma Could Derail Campaign

Spurs’ Eriksen Dilemma Could Derail Campaign

Mauricio Pochettino has made his displeasure around England’s closed transfer window known yet again, and with good reason. Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are all into the final year of their contracts, leaving Spurs vulnerable to bids in the European transfer market, the window for which closes only on the second of September. Given the lack of defensive cover, the club may still hang onto the two players on the wrong side of thirty and let them run …
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 …
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