xG - a Ferrari not a Fiat, but you have to drive it right

xG - a Ferrari not a Fiat, but you have to drive it right

The term expected goals (xG) gets thrown around a lot these days and people tend to take it as gospel truth, but should its value be in question? Before looking further into this matter, we need to know exactly what xG is and just as importantly – what it isn’t. A single expected goal value represents the statistical chance that any given goal scoring chance will go in. It’s based on goal statistics from other chances from similar distances and …
Manchester United & The Importance of Business Acumen in Football

Manchester United & The Importance of Business Acumen in Football

“You don’t spend £50 million on someone that you’re never going to play” remarked Julien Laurens when speaking on The Totally Football Show about Fabinho’s gradual integration into Liverpool’s first team. “Unless you’re Man United” quipped James Richardson in reply, to which the panel sniggered and jeered in agreement. How the mighty have fallen. The days of Sir Alex Ferguson posing an ominous figure on the touchline tapping away at his watch with sweeping attacking football and visiting teams fearing the …
Alvaro Morata could revive Chelsea career before 2019

Alvaro Morata could revive Chelsea career before 2019

Alvaro Morata has had a difficult time at Chelsea since arriving at Stamford Bridge during the summer of 2017. It was considered the striker's best opportunity of proving that he belongs as a starter for an elite club. This came after spells with Real Madrid and Juventus. During this period, he gained a reputation of being an excellent substitute, capable of turning a game in favour of his team. However, his inconsistency and poor overall contribution meant that he couldn't …
The Benefits Of The Newly Pragmatic Liverpool

The Benefits Of The Newly Pragmatic Liverpool

You wait all season for a four-goal romp and two come in the same week. Typical. The opening game against West Ham’s glacial midfield aside, the Reds have been strangely reticent in front of goal this term and it was beginning to get to people. Why I know not. Last season we were spoilt. Seven goals salvos here, five-goal lead in European Cup semi-finals there. The front three went mad. A lad who most didn’t want came from Arsenal and …
Spurs need to abandon Europe and prioritise the Premier League

Spurs need to abandon Europe and prioritise the Premier League

Man City and Spurs emerge from their midweek matchups in widely differing fashion. The two teams return to English shores one with their heads held high, while the other has to question its own integrity. City have the deserved honour of becoming the first English team to defeat Shakhtar Donetsk at home, while Spurs faltered in the final minutes against an in-form PSV Eindhoven outfit. The two teams go up against each other on Monday night when Spurs welcome the …
Liverpool 4 Red Star Belgrade 0: The Midfield - A New Hope

Liverpool 4 Red Star Belgrade 0: The Midfield - A New Hope

These things come with caveats. Four goals and a clean sheet are never to be sniffed at, particularly in Europe, but you have to look at the opposition. Vladan Milojevic’s Red Star Belgrade set a high bar with a point against Napoli in the opening game of Group C, but it proved to be something of a false dawn. Following a drubbing in Paris and ill-disciplined performance at a 100% Red Anfield, it’s easy to see why they were a …
Can Rafa Benitez Save Newcastle from the Drop Again?

Can Rafa Benitez Save Newcastle from the Drop Again?

A little under three years since he left the biggest club in the world, Rafa Benitez finds himself stuck in a Premier League relegation battle for the second year running. Last season, the Spanish coach steered the Magpies to safety with some astute tactical performances and it seemed the only way was up. But then came the summer transfer window. The three promoted clubs all outspent Newcastle. Fulham splashed £105m, Wolverhampton Wanderers spent £59m and Cardiff, favourites for the drop, …
VAR and the Law

VAR and the Law

In the aftermath of VAR’s shambolic outing in Tottenham’s FA Cup meeting with Rochdale in February, Mark Thompson (@EveryTeam_Mark) penned a thought-provoking piece on the need to look at the laws of the game in the same way as the laws of the land. It argued that the rules laid down by the FA are open-textured, and that different valid interpretations are possible within the broad ‘statutory’ limits. This is perfectly true – as the famous professor of jurisprudence H.L.A …
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