Posts Tagged ‘John Stones’

Light Red

As promised yesterday, here is the continuation and conclusion of our look at the central defenders who feature the most for the top six Premier League clubs.

We haven’t looked at all the different permutations which are available at the big clubs where they will usually have four centre backs competing for the two places in the team, we have just looked at the two who have started the most games this season for whatever reason.

It should also be remembered that many good centre-backs nowadays can play in more than one position which greatly enhances their value to the team and gives them a better chance of playing. (more…)

Advertisements

4

The first thing to point out is that Paul Pogba’s injury, which may keep him out for a month or even six weeks depending upon your daily rag of choice, is not the end of the world.

Yes, he is one of the first names on the teamsheet and has been in good form recently, even scoring a couple of goals in the opening games, and yes, he will be missed.

He will probably be replaced, however, by Ander Herrera in some games and Marouane Fellaini in others and, occasionally, by both. The way the pair have been playing recently means that the loss of Pogba will not be felt quite as much as it might have been at a different time of the season. (more…)

IMG_1247

Maybe the manager’s expectations weren’t too high. Maybe the fan’s expectations WERE too high. Either way, for Pep Guardiola or José Mourinho, if the season was to end now, then it hasn’t been that bad.

City would qualify for the Champion’s League through their Premier League position and United would qualify for the Europa League because of their EFL Cup triumph and their position in the Premier League. This may not be exactly how the supporters envisaged it at the start of the campaign but it would still represent a decent season for the two. (more…)

img_1172

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…)

Processed with Snapseed.

What is the significance of a local derby game to a Premier League team? In the cases of Manchester United, City, Everton and Liverpool it is, basically, six points and bragging rights for a few days. Gone are the days when it really was a “local” derby.

With the possible exception of Marcus Rashford, who may or may not play in the upcoming game this weekend, the Manchester United player born closest to Manchester will probably be Wayne Rooney, who is a Scouser, not a fact which particularly endears him to the fans. Of the rest, it is quite possible that Luke Shaw will be the only other Englishman in the team! (more…)

Processed with Snapseed.

The operative word here is “inherited” as any player can be deemed surplus to requirements by a new coach and, as long as he is new, he will be forgiven virtually anything he does with the team.

A perfect example is Pep Guardiola and his decisions at Manchester City. He has, no doubt, ruffled a few feathers. That is no surprise, Guardiola always ruffles feathers.

Joe Hart has gone out on loan to Torino having been replaced by a shorter Chilean version who, according to Pep, can play football. (more…)

image

In driving rain at the KC stadium in Kingston-upon-Hull, Zlatan Ibrahimović discovered, if he didn’t already know, what the Premier League is all about.

Hull City who, against all the odds, had won their opening two games at home to Leicester City and away to Swansea City gave it everything and came very close to taking a point from this game.

Ravaged by injuries, surrounded by confusion over a supposed takeover and with a caretaker manager with no previous experience in the role, they almost deserved a draw. The only reason they didn’t fully deserve it was because Manchester United deserved to win. (more…)

image

Despite a long injury list and a manager who has only been with the club for three weeks, Sunderland were rather unfortunate not to take a point from the Etihad. It isn’t that they really deserved anything from the game, it’s just that City hardly ran away with it.

Whilst it is true that City were also without players as new signings Leroy Sané and Ilkay Gundogan were both injured, it is also true to say that City have never missed these two players before, so shouldn’t do so now. They were bought to add something to the team not take something away when they don’t play! They were also without Vincent Kompany, as usual, and Nicolas Otamendi, so John Stones made his debut alongside new centre back Aleksander Kolarov. (more…)

image

As of the very near future, the football population of Manchester will increase by at least two. John Stones will move the very short distance from Merseyside, assuming that he doesn’t already live in Cheshire, while Paul Pogba will re-locate from Turin in a return to his spiritual home.

There are similarities between the two but only in their situations, not in their football talents.

Stones is 22 years of age and, being English, has undoubtedly cost Manchester City a premium for this fact alone. He is not yet the finished article and was wanted by Chelsea and, reportedly, Manchester United, but he preferred to remain in the North West with City, showing a remarkable amount of common sense for one so young. (more…)

image

The result may have been a resounding 5-2 victory for United but Jose Mourinho should be more concerned about the two than he should be happy about the five.

Both the Galatasaray goals came in the first half when the two central defenders were Eric Bailly and Daley Blind. Both goals were very preventable, one coming from a set piece which resulted in a free header from five yards out while the second was well worked although the defensive tackles were conspicuous by their absence, allowing Bruma a free shot from the edge of the area.

However, in fairness to the first half defensive partnership, the fact that United did not concede in the second half, with a different pairing, was more down to their consistent attacks and greater possession than to any good defensive work. (more…)