England Well Short Of The Elite

On a warm night in Paris, an exhibition between France and England put a lot more on show than Gareth Southgate would have liked to see… and perhaps delivered his most stark reality check yet.  Despite playing almost an entire half without an eleventh man, France outperformed England exquisitely, delivering waves of attacks brimming with…

Real Reign Again – But Will Buffon Prevail?

A victory worthy of the label ‘supremacy’ was witnessed last night as Real Madrid retained the Champions League at the expense of Juventus, becoming the first team to do so since the re-formatted ‘Champions League’ in 1992.  In doing so, they underlined the strength and immeasurable talent across their squad and management team and dealt…

Sorry Eugenie, But Sharapova Is Fine To Return 

Eugenie Bouchard has made absolutely no secret of what she thinks of Maria Sharapova in the previous weeks.  Sharapova made her return last month, after a 15 month doping ban, at the Stuttgart Open, where she made it to the semi-finals.  Upon her return, Bouchard, in a scathing interview, branded Sharapova a ‘cheat‘ and said…

Is Spanish Dominance Finally Beyond Atleti?

  Atletico Madrid have always been a team for whom success is unbelievably sweet to savour. Not because they lack the abilities to be one of the worlds best, but because their city rivals Real have long kept them in the shadows.  Diego Simeone coaxed them into the limelight with a beautiful premise of hard…

Fellaini HAS To Go!

He was the first marquee signing of the David Moyes era at Old Trafford and a midfielder whose physicality and intelligence were the reasons he was bought in 2013 for £27 million. Marouane Fellaini is an unpopular figure by all accounts. During his early months at United, he was made a scapegoat – most notably…

Messi Majestic, Ramos Ruinous. And As For Ronaldo….

Barcelona have clawed their way back to the summit of La Liga with one of the most high quality El Clasico’s seen in a long while.  While Lionel Messi will claim an enormous portion of (deserved) plaudits for two excellent goals, part of the analysis will view Real Madrid as having shot themselves in the…

Hard on Hartley? Hardly!

Dylan Hartley may have some room to be aggrieved at being left out of the Lions squad that are preparing to tour the country of his birth, no less than a month after captaining England to a second successive Six Nations title. Further to his chagrin, his deputy in hooker duty,  Jamie George, will get…

Have United Blown The Title Race Open? 

  A tactical masterclass from Jose Mourinho against former team Chelsea provided enormous positives that will be felt in Manchester and indeed the capital. Under fire before kick off for dropping the talismanic Zlatan Ibrahimovic and starting scapegoat Marouane Fellaini, his selection was not only justified, it was tactically brilliant. Just the sort of move the…

Defiant Wenger Faces Final Showdown

Exiting the Champions League at the last-16 stage has effectively become part and parcel of the Arsenal season. The are, by now, firmly out of Premier League contention, with the FA Cup a source of solace rather than a reflection of the ambition at the North London side.  The early season acceleration has now fully…

Haye v Bellew: A Post Fight Analysis 

It was the easiest thing in the world to completely write off Tony Bellew coming into this fight with David Haye. For all his trash talk and the enormity of the drama that led to it, it was Haye’s supremacy over the years that had led to belts at cruiserweight and heavyweight. This certainly gave…

Ranieri’s Sacking: A Reaction

Just nine months after guiding Leicester City to an unprecedented Premier League title, Claudio Ranieri finds himself being shut out of the club at which he will forever be a legend. In a cruel twist of fate, it is the climax to a season long curtailed by expectations of what would follow on from that…

Wales improve… But England march on

This was almost a Grand Slam final in its own right. Wales, a point to prove after a stuttering win over Italy. England, unbeaten in 15 games and current holders of the 6 Nations Grand Slam title. The stage was set for the showdown that would have enormous bearings on the winners of the title. …