Showing posts from August, 2023

Europe's Most Open Title Race

 Serie A Preview It’s time to lay to rest one of football’s biggest myths. “Italian football is boring.” Four different title winners in the last four seasons suggests otherwise. No other top European league can boast that kind of competition. Whilst Serie A had three European finalists but no champion, we were given the opportunity to see the Champions, Napoli, tear apart both Ajax and Liverpool in the group stage in devastating fashion. We saw Inter Milan push Man City all the way and on any other night would have won in Istanbul. The competition in Italy has never been so intense. As Fabio Capello proclaimed in the spring: “ Calcio is back”.   Napoli There’s nowhere else to start this preview other than with the champions, Napoli. The perennial “nearly guys” of Italy finally broke their hoodoo last season and did so in spectacular fashion, guided by the charismatic Luciano Spalletti. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, playfully nicknamed “Kravadona” by the Napoli faithful, was electric o

Bundesliga & Ligue Un Preview

  We’re underway in the UK. Friday Night Football, Super Sunday and Monday Night Football are back. Hell! We even have Saturday Night Football this weekend! If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, Europe’s top leagues also return this weekend (with the exception of La Liga which started last weekend). Here is the Lowe-Down on the other top European Leagues.  Part 1. Bundesliga: There’s a saying in Germany called “Bayern-dusel” which translates as Bayern-luck. The sentiment behind it is pretty self-explanatory. Whenever Bayern needed a last minute goal, or something to go their way, it happened. Again and again. The Bavarians’ knack of pulling a rabbit out of the hat was evident in their dramatic title win last season. Going into the last game of the season they needed Dortmund to slip up at home to Mainz and to win against FC Koln. With 11 consecutive home wins, Dortmund were stunned as Mainz went 2-0 up after 24 minutes. As the afternoon progressed, Bayern took the lead but

Premier League Preview - Part 2

  Pushing the boundaries Brentford: Brentford have become a club that your club hopes to emulate. Smart, data driven signings, rarely flattering to deceive as they continue to punch above their weight in the middle of the pack in the Premier League. This will be their third season in the top flight and yet, they belong. No one deserves more praise than their mastermind, the man who took them into the promised land, and that is Thomas Frank. Brentford are a master of set-pieces with only Liverpool scoring more than their 16 goals from set pieces last season. Frank has spoken about the need to evolve his Brentford team “towards Brentford 2.0” and will no doubt be referring to the fact he will be without top scorer Ivan Toney who is suspended until January 2024. In his absence, Bryan Mbuemo looks best placed to fill the void but Toney’s absence will mean Brentford could adapt their game to be less direct. For any Fantasy Football fans out there, I’m sure he’ll be a popular pick. T

Premier League Preview - Part 1

  Here it is. Screenshot it. Bookmark it. However you intend to take a picture of this and recite it to me throughout the season, just do it. It’s every writer and pundit’s worst nightmare, prediction time. Here is the Lowe-Down on my Premier League predictions. Part 1. Mid-table safety West-Ham are the embodiment of a story where the ending outweighs the plot throughout. West Ham’s Europa Conference League triumph was an incredible achievement for the club and a message to other Premier League clubs to try and follow suit. After what had been a disappointing domestic season, where Moyes was on the brink a few times, the win against Fiorentina saved their season. It certainly cemented Moyes’ legacy as one of tremendous success at West Ham. Hook or by crook, Moyes will have taken West Ham into Europe for three seasons in a row. That’s a tremendous achievement. However, new season planning has not been going well. West Ham knew Declan Rice would be leaving the club this summer, yet