Welcome to the fourth episode of the BackofThenetBlog Podcast! It’s been a busy week so we look back at some of its highlights including the first Old Firm league derby in over four years. Will Rangers really be able to challenge Celtic for honours this season? Not likely based on this performance. There was a shock return for Landon Donovan who has come out of … Continue reading BOTNBlog – Episode 4 – The Old Firm is reunited, Donovan returns and Steve McLaren goes back to schhhhooooool.
Arsenal had suffered a slow start to the season after enduring a painful loss to Liverpool in the opening fixture, and drawing against last season’s champions. Leicester City. Even at this early stage of the campaign, the masses decided to take the evidence into account and convict Arsenal to failure. Many had written them off, stating that they lacked the competitive edge and squad depth required … Continue reading Tactical Review – Arsenal vs Watford
Welcome to the third episode of the BackofTheNetBlog podcast! This week we look at Pep’s decision to dispense with England stopper Joe Hart, Big Sam’s first England squad, Oliver Burke’s transfer to Germany, who the British clubs will face in the Champions League and Europa League and finally Diego Maradona’s scoring ability off the pitch! Listen below, download via Soundcloud, ITunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or on … Continue reading BOTNBlog – Episode 3 – Pep Rips Hart Out Of City As Maradona Opens His
Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The name, in itself, is considered to be legendary. Over the years of his playing career, the towering Swede has made a name for himself in various countries – Sweden, Italy, France and finally, is attempting to prove himself in the English top flight with a rejuvenated United under his one of his favorite managers, Jose Mourinho. For the majority of his playing career, … Continue reading The Zlatan Effect – What next for PSG?
Welcome to the second episode of the BackofTheNetBlog podcast! This week we discuss the five things we learned this week from Arsenal’s failure to learn from past mistakes, Real’s continued dominance, Canada’s Olympic Gold dreams, FC Twente’s nightmares and the sad news around the death of former Aston Villa striker Dalian Atkinson. Listen below, download via Soundcloud, ITunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or on all good podcast … Continue reading BOTNBlog – Episode 2 – Five Things We Learned This Week
So the first weekend of the new Premier League season has been and gone. Today I’m going to run through my predictions for the coming season and to preview what i think will happen. So here goes: Champions – Manchester United This might be a controversial choice but i feel that Utd have a manager in Mourinho who has done it all before. He has … Continue reading Predictions For the Premier League Season
Welcome to a brand new feature on Backofthenetblog – podcasts! Yep, if it wasn’t bad enough that you had to read what i thought, now you get to hear me as well. This is the first one I have done and is far from perfect (note the sound changes throughout) but everything is a learning process. Today’s podcast is on the Premier League race for … Continue reading Back Of The Net Blog Podcast – Episode 1 Who Will Win The Premier League?
Down to business. New season. Team. Players. In out. Go. Something to build on. Tottenham made progress at a remarkable rate last season, both as a team and in terms of the individual players. This is Pochettino’s finest achievement – every one of them were better players in May than they were in August. As for the team, stratospheric improvement. Some, like Kane and Dembele, made … Continue reading Shout Out From The Stands – Down To Business For Spurs
With the 2016 season in full swing and things starting to heat up with the race to get into the later stages of the MLS cup, today i am going to give a review on how i think the season has shaped up so far. Team of the season – FC Dallas Standout performers across both conferences sitting top of the standings with 41 points. … Continue reading Major League Soccer -Season So Far
Growing up in Scotland, football was my life. When I wasn’t at school, sleeping or eating I had a ball at my feet. Summers were spent at one of three places that kids in my hometown of Largs could play the beautiful game – Barrfields, Bowen Craig and Inverclyde. From early morning to the streetlights coming on signaling it was time to stop, I played … Continue reading No More Excuses For Sorry Scots
Transfer fees are at an all time high this summer with increased TV money flowing into the Premier League following a new deal with Sky and BT Sport who have agreed a £5.1 billon deal for the rights to show domestic football over the next 3 years. Throw in the overseas rights and you’re looking at a total cost to show games coming in nearly … Continue reading Will The £50 Million Player Become The Norm?
Abject failure, catastrophe, disaster beyond repair, calamitous. All over exaggerations heard about the current problems facing the England national team following their disappointing exit from Euro 2016. Yes, it was a surprising exit at the hands of Iceland, but one that truthfully those closest to the game would know was coming for some time. It all started during the qualifying campaign. England qualified for France … Continue reading England’s Hunt For A New Manager Takes An All Too Familiar Path
1. Let’s not get shirty Generally one of the quietest men on the technical bench is the kit man but that wasn’t the case for the Swiss representative who was kept extra busy during the France vs Switzerland match. In a fairly heavy handed and tempestuous match the Swiss kit man was called upon not once, nor twice, but five times to replace ripped strips. It … Continue reading Euro 2016 – Ten Takeaways From The Group Stage
Group D – Spain, Croatia, Czech Republic + Turkey Q: Who should top the group? – Spain Q: Who are the dark horses – Turkey Q: One to watch: Emre Mor (Turkey) Having won back to back Euro’s in 2008 and 2012, Spain are looking to make history by completing the treble and lifting the trophy in Paris on July 10th. However a poor performance … Continue reading Beginners Guide to Euro 2016 – Part 2 – Groups D, E and F
Watching the European Championships or any major international tournament with your friends is generally highly enjoyable. That is until your so-called friend starts spouting stats and facts about each team making you feel simply like you don’t know anything about football. But fear not, we are here to help. Below is your group by group cheat sheet which should help impress your friends and shut … Continue reading Beginners Guide to Euro 2016 – Part 1 – Groups A, B and C
Ronald Koeman’s move from Southampton to Everton may have come as a bit of a surprised given his recent comments rebutting any notions of such a switch but in fairness it makes a lot of sense. Whilst just over 238 miles separate the two clubs geographically and five positions part them in the most recent league standings, the differences between the two clubs are few … Continue reading Key Challenges Facing Ronald Koeman at Everton
Along side World Cup winners Germany, former winners Spain and Italy and outside bets England and Belgium, France enter Euro 2016 as one of the early favourites and rightly so. This will be the 15th time the European Championships have taken place and the third time France has hosted (1960 and 1984 the other two). In 1960, France reached the semi finals losing out to … Continue reading Three Reasons France Will Win Euro 2016
The European Championships in France are vastly approaching and with less than two weeks until the tournament starts. It may be time to consider the contenders for the tournament and what footballers may impress. Here are five potential winners to consider. France When host nation France kick off the tournament on June 10th 2016 at the iconic Stade De France stadium in Paris, expectations will … Continue reading European Championships 2016 Review
In what is viewed as a major coup for the club, Newcastle are set to announce that Rafa Benitez will remain in charge as manager despite the clubs relegation to the Championship. The 56 year old former Liverpool, Napoli and Real Madrid boss was widely expected to activate a break clause in his contract but has decided to stay in the role after being given … Continue reading Rafa to Stay as Newcastle Rebuild For The Championship
Failure to learn from ones mistakes often leads to the same mistakes being committed over an over again. In football, poor decision-making and lack of hindsight are a deadly combination as German side VFB Stuttgart found out this the hard way. Their relegation from the Bundesliga for the first time in 41 years is a hard pill to swallow for a side that had regularly be … Continue reading Stuttgart’s Demise Was Avoidable If Lessons Had Been Learned
It was an ending fit for a king, so grand that even a self-proclaimed one such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be humbled. Pausing a game in mid flow after only ten minutes to applaud a player is remarkable but for Zlatan it was likely expected. Having given his all for the club and firmly rebooted a faltering French top division, Ligue 1 over the past four … Continue reading Where Next For The King As Zlatan Prepares To Leave Paris
Liverpool’s European quest continues tonight as they face Borussia Dortmund in their Europa league quarterfinal first leg clash. The game marks a return to the Signal Iduna Park for former boss Jurgen Klopp, now in charge at Liverpool. For seven years, this stadium deep in the heart of the north Rhine Westphalia was his domain that he ruled with a great deal of purpose and … Continue reading Tuchel Preps For Battle Of The Wits As Klopp Returns
The date of June 27th 2011 is firmly etched into the memories of all River Plate fans but for the wrong reason. On that day, River Plate who are widely considered as one of South America’s greatest clubs faced its darkest hour – riddled with debt, facing and uncertain future and now relegated from the Argentine Primera Division for the first time in their history. … Continue reading A River Runs Through It – How Relegation Reignited River Plate’s Fire
With Leicester City stealing the limelight with their unprecedented run, the revival of West Ham United has gone somewhat unnoticed. The Hammers are in fifth place and chasing a Champions league spot and on current form look like strong contenders for it. The arrival of former favourite Slaven Bilic as manager replacing the reliable but uninspiring Sam Allardyce has sparked life back into the East London … Continue reading New Dawn On The Horizon As Bilic Brings Belief Back To West Ham United
Despite giving his all, Gary Neville’s Spanish excursion has ended in failure. It was widely expected that the former Manchester United and England defender would depart Valencia at the end of the season but the club has decided to part company with Neville now so that they can start the build for next season. Manchester City’s exiting manager Manuel Pellegrini has already been installed as … Continue reading Wrong Move, Right Time As Neville Accepts Defeat In Spain
In late March 1916, the battle between the British and Ottoman empires for control of the town of Kut in southern Iraq was reaching its deadly conclusion with the Ottomans eventually breaking the Brits and gaining control of the garrison. Known as the Siege of Kut, it would later be described as the most abject capitulation in British military history. On April 29, exactly 147 … Continue reading Garde Loses The Battle As Villa’s War Continues
On the morning of November 10th 2009, Hannover 96 goalkeeper Robert Enke kissed his wife goodbye and said he was off to training. Two years later, Wales’s manager Gary Speed said farewell to his colleagues at the BBC after filming Football Focus, saying he would see them next week. Unfortunately it would be the last time that anyone would see these men alive again … Continue reading Raising Awareness Of The Silent Killer Affecting Football
In an era when genuine legends of the game are few and far between, the death of one of its best is a hard pill to swallow. Johan Cruyff was more than just a player, he was an iconic figure in the game whose influenced stretched further than most can imagine. His exploits on the pitch put him firmly into a unique club alongside Pele, … Continue reading Total Football Mourns The Passing Of Johan Cruyff
Twenty years ago on a cold December morning in a dusty court room a decision was made that would fundamentally changed football as we know it. On December 15th 1995 in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, the Bosman ruling came into effect. Named after former player Jean Marc Bosman who brought the case to the court following a contractual dispute with Belgian side … Continue reading Bosman Twenty Years On – The Ruling That Changed Football
Winning the Champions League (formerly known as the European Cup) is a difficult task that only a few clubs have managed to do. Since its start back in 1955, only 22 teams have won Europe’s premier club tournament with Real Madrid leading the way with ten wins. Some of Europe’s biggest clubs have lifted the prized trophy including Barcelona, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, AC Milan and … Continue reading Where Are They Now – Steaua Burcharest 1989 European Cup Final Team