In this Nov. 2, 2016 photo, players of Brazil's Chapecoense team pose before a Copa Sudamericana soccer match against Argentina's San Lorenzo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A plane carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional crashed in a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombian officials said Tuesday, Nov. 29.  (AP Photo/Gustavo Garello)

BOTNBlog Podcast – Episode 7 – All Hail Chape – Copa Sudamericana Champions!

In this edition of the pod, we look at developments in South America as the world rallies to help out Chapecoense who tragically had a majority of their squad wiped out in a plane crash last week. We also take a look at the FIFPro report into player working conditions around the world. Enjoy! Continue reading BOTNBlog Podcast – Episode 7 – All Hail Chape – Copa Sudamericana Champions!

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Jurgen Klopp – Making Liverpool Great Again

The appointment of Jurgen Klopp, the enthusiastic, charming, charismatic yet humble German symbolized better things to come at a suffering Anfield after a year of bitter disappointment and failure. The pragmatic German took the helm of a faltering, heartbroken team, haunted by their failures and separated from their Uruguayan Dream. His six-year contract symbolized the beginning of a long-term project – unlike other managers in … Continue reading Jurgen Klopp – Making Liverpool Great Again

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BOTNBlog Podcast– Episode 6 – Strachan’s Scotland Sorrows

We are back with another podcast and todays has a solo focus -the future of Scotland manager Gordon Strachan after a poor start to their World Cup Qualifying campaign. Should he stay or should he go? Can he pick a striker who can score? Will he drop Grant Hanley? Is Barry Bannan his lovechild? All this and more in this weeks pod! Enjoy! Continue reading BOTNBlog Podcast– Episode 6 – Strachan’s Scotland Sorrows

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Pampered Players Aren’t To Blame For England’s Failings

Following on from England’s embarrassing exit from the European Championships at the hands of Iceland, fans and pundits have been quick to blame the “washbag generation” of pampered England stars who don’t have the fight. Jamie Carragher in his excellent Daily Mail column has talked of how young players today have become babies and today’s mentality strips them of the character needed to succeed. He went … Continue reading Pampered Players Aren’t To Blame For England’s Failings

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Tactical Review – Arsenal vs Burnley

Arsenal have had an impressive run of form throughout their past five games, boasting an impressive, mini-unbeaten run. After dismantling their long-term London rivals Chelsea and securing a comfortable second place in their Champions League group after a win against Basel, it was time for them to refocus their attention on their league campaign, to ensure that they didn’t drop valuable points and allow their … Continue reading Tactical Review – Arsenal vs Burnley

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BOTNBlog – Episode 5 – The Fall of Big Sam

We are back with another pod and the big feature on this weeks episode is of course the fall of Sam Allardyce. What a week for Big Sam, one day he is England manager the next he is out following a tabloid sting. Allardyce fell on his sword after putting the FA in an uncomfortable position; his job as England manager was untenable. Elsewhere Scot … Continue reading BOTNBlog – Episode 5 – The Fall of Big Sam

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BOTNBlog – Episode 4 – The Old Firm is reunited, Donovan returns and Steve McLaren goes back to schhhhooooool.

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.

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Tactical Review – Arsenal vs Watford

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

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BOTNBlog – Episode 3 – Pep Rips Hart Out Of City As Maradona Opens His

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

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The Zlatan Effect – What next for PSG?

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?

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BOTNBlog – Episode 2 – Five Things We Learned This Week

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

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Predictions For the Premier League Season

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

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Back Of The Net Blog Podcast – Episode 1 Who Will Win The Premier League?

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?

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Shout Out From The Stands – Down To Business For Spurs

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

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England’s Hunt For A New Manager Takes An All Too Familiar Path

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

LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 19:  Granit Xhaka of Switzerland's ripped shirt during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group A match between Switzerland and France at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on June 19, 2016 in Lille, France.  (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Euro 2016 – Ten Takeaways From The Group Stage

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

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Beginners Guide to Euro 2016 – Part 2 – Groups D, E and F

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

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Beginners Guide to Euro 2016 – Part 1 – Groups A, B and C

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

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Key Challenges Facing Ronald Koeman at Everton

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

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Three Reasons France Will Win Euro 2016

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

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European Championships 2016 Review

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

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Rafa to Stay as Newcastle Rebuild For The Championship

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

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Stuttgart’s Demise Was Avoidable If Lessons Had Been Learned

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

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Where Next For The King As Zlatan Prepares To Leave Paris

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

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Tuchel Preps For Battle Of The Wits As Klopp Returns

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

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A River Runs Through It – How Relegation Reignited River Plate’s Fire

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

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New Dawn On The Horizon As Bilic Brings Belief Back To West Ham United

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