FOOTBALL – Thirty-five years ago Aston Villa famously, and surprisingly, won the league title with just 14 players. Three years earlier, Nottingham Forest won the league immediately after promotion using just 16 players. Arsenal’s 1989 title win, their first for 18 years, was achieved with just 17 starters. This season, Leicester City have been the great surprises of the Premier League and have also followed a similar pattern in their selections. In the first 22 matches of the season, Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has picked just 17 players in his starting line-ups and the club could still equal the Premier League era record for fewest starting players in a season. Continue reading →
FOOTBALL – The Deloitte Money League has been released and unsurprisingly, the Euro Club Index ranking, which rates clubs based on performance, is highly correlated with this annual ranking of wealth. Four of the top-five clubs on the Deloitte list are also in the Euro Club Index top-10. Manchester United are the big exception at third in the Money League but ranked only 13th by the Euro Club Index. Another Premier League club, Liverpool, are the ninth richest in the world but are currently only just hanging onto a place in the Euro Club Index top-25. All nine Premier League clubs in Deloitte’s top-20 richest are ranked lower by the Euro Club Index. Continue reading →
FOOTBALL – With Sevilla FC winning the Europa League final, they have automatically qualified for the 2015/2016 Champions League group stage, making it the fourth Spanish side among the 22 teams already qualified for next season’s CL main tournament.
FOOTBALL – By failing to defeat Sunderland on Wednesday, Arsenal now cannot finish in the top two of the Premier League table. Their failure to finish higher than third has now reached its 10th consecutive season. This has become known as ‘The Vieira Curse’. In the eight seasons that Patrick Vieira played at Arsenal (1997-2005) the Gunners finished in the top two in the league. They did not manage that a single time since the Frenchman’s departure.
FOOTBALL – Everton’s elimination by Dynamo Kyiv means that thee are no English teams left in Europe this season. For the first time in 22 years, there will not be a single English club in the quarterfinals of the various European cup competitions. Ever since 1992/93, England have always sent at least one representative to the last eight in Europe. The seven English sides that embarked on their European adventure this season were Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City.
FOOTBALL – Arsenal needed three away goals in their Champions League away match against AS Monaco in order to advance to the quarterfinals. The wave shows a one sided match with Arsenal in charge. In the end, the Gunners came one goal short of progressing to the next round. Continue reading →