Posts Tagged ‘Dele Alli’

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(Harry opens the scoring but it isn’t Kane, it’s Maguire!)

So the final match in England’s bid to reach their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 got underway today. After a cagey opening twenty minutes or so England grew into the game. Sweden didn’t really threaten at all in the first half and it was no real surprise when an Ashley Young corner was headed powerfully into the net by Harry Maguire.

They would have scored at least another goal, if not more, had they had someone other than Raheem Sterling on the pitch. He dithered, dallied, lost the ball, made the wrong decisions and was almost personally responsible for the score only being 1-0 at half-time.

He hasn’t yet scored at this tournament and, on the only occasion he was dropped in favour of Marcus Rashford, the United player looked a lot better in the role. (more…)

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Where does all that money keep coming from? Reports from Madrid are now suggesting that Real are prepared to offer Cristiano Ronaldo £28.5 million per year to stay at the club, something which he was probably always intending to do but we all know how he likes to play his little games at the end of every season.

He is actually reaching the stage of his career where he has to be careful with his annual shenanigans because, at 33 and getting older, there will come a time when he will pretend to throw his toys out of the pram and Real Madrid will run a truck over them! (more…)

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In the early game, Stubborn Old Man sent his Arsenal team out to face Stoke City knowing that a win was the only acceptable result. Three points would move them to within five of Chelsea in fifth and ten of Tottenham in fourth. It wouldn’t disguise what a terrible season The Gunners are experiencing but it would give a little cheer to the few fans expected to turn up at The Emirates for this one.

Stoke City, on the other hand, needed the points for different reasons.

Paul Lambert has done a reasonable job since arriving and the team were unbeaten during his short reign. Unfortunately, they have drawn far too many games through a mixture of bad luck and bad finishing and are still in grave danger of relegation. So anything gained from this game would be welcome. (more…)

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Manchester United lie second in the Premier League, but eight points off Manchester City who, at present, are running away with it.

City, even with a couple of injuries to senior players don’t appear to have anybody who could be said to be letting the side down and Eliaquim Managala and Fabian Delph, when called upon, have performed admirably. The same cannot be said about some of the other teams.

United, for example, persisted with Henrikh Mkhitaryan for about two games more than they should have done. He “went missing” as José Mourinho would say, in a couple of games before being dropped and was guilty of losing possession almost every time he had it! (more…)

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Regular readers could be forgiven for thinking that this has to be the easiest question we have ever posed. Why? Because it has to be the Manchester City midfield based purely on the fact that they have scored more goals than anyone else, and by quite a distance.

Whilst there is an element of truth to this argument, the City midfielders are assisted by the fact that they are currently the best team in the league and also that most of the chances they are creating are being converted into goals, which is a testament to how good their strikers are. (more…)

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Good old Arsene. He never lets you down. Well, not very often anyway. OK, quite a few times in recent years. But give the guy a break, after all he keeps having to play teams like Bayern Munich in the Champion’s League. Quite why this appears to faze both him and his players so much is a mystery. He can come up with tactics to beat the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea in knockout tournaments, he just can’t seem to do it when it’s a foreign team, (or Manchester United in Europe). (more…)

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It is a question which has been raised once or twice in the past. Of the current top six only Tottenham Hotspur have been buying anybody English from the lower divisions, that being Dele Alli, who arrived from MK Dons for £5 million a while ago.

Chelsea went down the tried and tested route by buying N’Golo Kanté from Leicester, shortly after he had become a Premier League winner, so no risk there.

Liverpool went for the unknown foreigners who have yet to prove themselves in the top flight, and Sadio Mané, who hasn’t. (more…)

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The Premier League is beginning to take shape. The top six are starting to pull away from the rest and all that remains now is to see in which order they finish.

This is all a little better than in previous years when the top four has usually consisted of Manchester United, City, Chelsea and Arsenal, not necessarily in that order.

Other than last season when Leicester City gatecrashed the party there is a familiar look to four of the top six but two new arrivals are threatening the natural order of things. (more…)