The Greatest Teams in Football History - Week Three: France (1998-2000)

The Greatest Teams in Football History - Week Three: France (1998-2000)

On the 26th and 29th of August, 1944, flanked by French and American soldiers, thousands of Parisians flooded the Champs Elysees celebrating the liberation of France from Nazi control.

Not until 54 years later would the French once again flock to the streets in celebration. Only this time, they were not celebrating the end of a brutal occupation – this time, they were celebrating victory on football’s biggest stage: the world cup.

Read More

League Cup Semi-Final: 3 Talking Points

League Cup Semi-Final: 3 Talking Points
  1. Sarri’s Changes Paid Off

After a fuming press conference following Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat against Arsenal last Saturday, Maurizio Sarri tore his team apart insisting that they lacked motivation and the desire for victory. Criticized heavily by much of the media who insisted he was digging his grave at Chelsea, Sarri refused to pamper to the personalities of the locker room – the same locker room that has effectively pushed out Mourinho and Conte after breakdowns in their relationship.

Read More

Football Analytics: An Informal Education

Football Analytics: An Informal Education

In the United States, “sports analytics” is no longer the taboo subject it used to be. The days of scoffing at spreadsheets while favoring the raw and undefined “tools” of the prospect have finally disappeared over the horizon. “Sabermetrics” in baseball and “APBRmetrics” in basketball have transformed their respective sports. Scouts no longer judge players solely on how fast they look or whether they have the infamously undefinable “it” factor. Instead, they can quantify the players' potential through analytics.

How efficient was that left-fielder's path to the fly ball? 74% or 92%. Such seemingly insignificant disparities could be the reason a player is called up Majors or is discarded to Minor League purgatory.

Football or Soccer, however, has been slow to embrace the push for analytics. Though some clubs have adopted them into their scouting networks, many clubs are wary of changing their system. For a sport with hundreds of professional leagues throughout the world, the potential database for a football-based prediction system is tremendous. With games like Football Manager producing frighteningly accurate predictions of future Ballon d’Or winners, the hesitation from many boards to alter their boardroom habits baffles many analytics enthusiasts

Read More

The Greatest Teams in Football History - Week Two: Bayern Munich (1967-1976)

The Greatest Teams in Football History - Week Two: Bayern Munich (1967-1976)

This is the second in a series of articles, released weekly, counting down the 10 greatest teams in the history of football. The teams were selected based on the trophies they won, the cultures they created, and the effect they had on the game of football.

Throughout the first half of the 20th century and into the late ‘60s, Bayern Munich were the Fredo Corleone of German football. The team that would go on to dominate Europe as a bastion of German efficiency, refinement, and strength was not even able to compete in the Bundesliga’s inaugural season of 1963. 

Read More

Sunderland 'Til I Die: A Show Worth Shouting About

Sunderland 'Til I Die: A Show Worth Shouting About

Emotion and entertainment cross paths on rarer occasion that the promoted content on Twitter, Youtube, and Netflix lead us to believe.

How often do shows make us empathize with what we are watching? The days of shouting at the TV screen are over. Instead, we set our undead gaze on our phones and laptops. As the screens shrink, so does our investment in digital entertainment.

Sunderland ‘Til I Die, however, is worth shouting about.

Read More

Premier League Predictions: Matchday 23

Premier League Predictions: Matchday 23

Chelsea will take the bus across London to face Arsenal at the Emirates this Saturday in the marquee matchup of the weekend. Chelsea enters the match as favorites having extended their 4th place cushion above 5th place Arsenal to 6 points following a 2-1 win against Newcastle. Also, the Blues are coming off of their first week without a midweek game since November.

Read More

Why Signing Higuaín Reflects a Changing Chelsea and Why the Argentine's Performance Will Determine the Club's Season

Why Signing Higuaín Reflects a Changing Chelsea and Why the Argentine's Performance Will Determine the Club's Season

As I type these words out on my laptop, Chelsea are in the final stages of negotiations with Juventus over the loan deal that will send Gonzalo Higuaín, “El Pipita” to Stamford Bridge for the remainder of the season.

Both Dominic Fifield of the Guardian and Matt Law of The Telegraph have written on the specifics of the deal that will see the Argentinian forward move from his current loan at AC Milan to Chelsea. Chelsea will have Higuaín on a 6-month loan with the option to make the deal permanent if certain goal incentives are met by the player. Also, reports speculate that Chelsea will have an option to extend the player’s loan for the entirety of the 2019/2020 season.

Read More

Honoring a Legend: Petr Cech's Best Moment in Blue

Honoring a Legend: Petr Cech's Best Moment in Blue

“Drogbaaaaaaaaa!”

“They’ve pulled the rabbit out of the hat again! Can you believe it! Chelsea will just not let go in the Champions League.”

On May 19th, 2012, Chelsea won their first and only Champions League victory in the stadium of their opponent, Bayern Munich. Although both Drogba’s bullet header and emotional final kick will go down in the record books as the defining moments of the match, it was the man between the sticks, Petr Cech, who won the match for Chelsea.

Read More

The Greatest Teams in Football History - Week One: Liverpool (1975-1984)

The Greatest Teams in Football History - Week One: Liverpool (1975-1984)

This is the first in a series of articles, released weekly, counting down the 10 greatest teams in the history of football. The teams were selected based on the trophies they won, the cultures they created, and the effect they had on the game of football.

The team that every English dynasty is compared to, the team whose football inspired a generation of practicality on the field, the team that won twenty trophies in just 9 years – this team was Liverpool.

Read More

Premier League Predictions: Matchday 22

Premier League Predictions: Matchday 22

The Ole Gunnar Solskjaer regime faces its first challenge with a tricky trip to Wembley to face Tottenham.

The Red Devils will be facing a red hot Tottenham side that features Harry Kane, who has scored in each of his last 6 games in all competitions, and Son Heung-min, who has contributed to 12 goals in the premier league since the start of December.

Manchester United, however, are on quite the run of form themselves. The club has looked reinvigorated under the Norwegian, and a win against Tottenham would inflame hopes of a top-four finish. United have won 5 from 5 under caretaker manager Solskjaer, scoring 16 goals altogether. Rashford, Pogba, and Lukaku have regained peak form and are scoring as they did in previous seasons.

Though it may be short-lived, one thing is for sure – Manchester United have their swagger back.

Read More

Zinedine Zidane’s Manchester United: A Tactical Review

Zinedine Zidane’s Manchester United: A Tactical Review

Zinedine Zidane has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United to replace caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and bring back glory to the historic club. 

It comes as no surprise that his name has been mentioned so frequently in connection with the club – few managers have been as successful in such a short period of time. During his time at Real Madrid, the Frenchman averaged a trophy every 97 days. The most significant of these were his three consecutive Champions League victories. An absurdly difficult feat made even more impressive considering he won them in his first three years of top tier management. These accolades don’t even include his achievements as a player. A player who won the World Cup, the European Championship, the Champions League, and, in 1998, the Ballon d’Or.  

Read More

An American Soccer Fan in London

An American Soccer Fan in London

The next day, Manchester City would pull of a thrilling 2-1 win over league leaders Liverpool. That game would have incredible goals, consequential decisions, and Jurgen Klopp committing adultery with a water bottle. It was a spectacular game that highlighted the Premier League at its best, not at its most average. Its most average was on display for 90 minutes on a cold, dreary, Tuesday night in London. 

Read More

The UCL Round of 16 Draw is Tasty

The UCL Round of 16 Draw is Tasty

The Champions League draw for the Round of 16 was held earlier Monday morning and, for the four premier league teams in the knockout rounds, three of them are going to have a difficult road through to the next round. Liverpool face European giants and Rekordmeisters Bayern Munich. This matchup will see Klopp return to Germany to face a team he previously faced while managing his upstart Dortmund squad from five years ago.

Read More

Graded: Every Top 6 Transfer of the 2018 Summer Window (Part 2)

Graded: Every Top 6 Transfer of the 2018 Summer Window (Part 2)

Arsenal

Lucas Torreira – $ 34 Million – A +

Though his most dominating performances have come from a position on the bench, Torreira has been dominant for Arsenal all season. Representing another midfielder who fits the modern game – Torreira is a short, pacy, dynamic holding midfielder whose ability to chase down the ball and win back possession sets him apart.

Read More

Graded: Every Top 6 Transfer of the 2018 Summer Window (Part 1)

Graded: Every Top 6 Transfer of the 2018 Summer Window (Part 1)

At the midpoint of the second international break, the Why Always Mou team sat down to grade every significant transfer of the Premier League’s big six. The teams had their players graded individually and have been listed in the order they appear in the table. Disclaimer: To all Bournemouth and Watford fans, we are legally obligated to include Manchester United in the Top 6 due to our site's namesake being the manager in charge of the dumpster fire that currently holds 8th place in the league.

Read More