Writing this piece just minutes after a turgid encounter between last season’s top-two finishers, it’s difficult to escape the suspicion that this season’s edition of the English Premier League is going to be a tough watch. Continue reading
Laurent Blanc’s baffling decision to opt for a 3-3-2-2 formation rendered his PSG side impotent going forward, helping Manchester City to secure their debut Champions League semi-final appearance. Continue reading
Leicester City will go into the New Year level on points with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League, after an uneventful – but tactically interesting – scoreless draw against Manchester City. Continue reading
One year and two days ago, the Republic of Ireland lost away to Scotland by a single goal. The nation’s chances of even securing a playoff looked remote at best. Tonight, it won that playoff, comfortably besting a much-fancied Bosnia-Herzigovina side to qualify for Euro 2016. Continue reading
Mehmed Bazdarevic, manager of Bosnia-Herzegovina, had clearly done his homework. Recordings of Ireland’s recent visit to Warsaw would have revealed a fragile Irish left-flank, that crumbled in the face of Polish probing to deny Ireland automatic passage to next summer’s European Championship finals in France.
Arsenal’s 2-0 victory at home to Bayern Munich a fortnight ago was built on the foundation of a solid defence, married to a relentless counter-attacking determination to prevail upon the German champions’ poor defensive transitions. Continue reading
Arsene Wenger deservedly received plaudits here and elsewhere in midweek for taking a pragmatic approach to his pre-match preparations for Bayern Munich.
In a pug-ugly, scrappy game, in which neither nation could seemingly manage to string two passes together, Ireland fell victim to a calamitous performance from the left-side of their defence – and only remained in touch to the end thanks to an extremely fortunate penalty decision in their favour. Continue reading