Sorry it has Been a Little While..

But, now I am back and will be doing what I do best and that is bringing my insights to our wonderful world of football. So keep it locked right here and stay up to date with my thoughts on key topics and talking points each & every week.

Until Next Time Football Headz.

P.M.P

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The New Season is Upon us

The 2013/14 Premier League season promises to be as exciting and memorable as ever. With so many changes in management to a potential shift in domestic honours, here is my opinion of the protracted Premier League table come the end of the season.

1. Chelsea (Champions)

Chelsea

Chelsea

The return of ‘The Special One’ Jose Mourinho will be a massive boost to the boys in blue. The Stamford Bridge outfit last won the league in 2010 – under Carlo Ancelotti, Mourinho though did have the most success in West London and his 2nd coming could prove to be as fruitful as his first stint in charge. With the ‘old guard’ still very much in effect – apparently Juan Mata is very much a player in his plans, with many of the young stars (Hazard & Oscar especially) are looking to be very keen to impress.

Key Player – Juan Mata

Juan Mata is the most integral part of the Chelsea system.

Juan Mata is the most integral part of the Chelsea system.

2. Manchester City (Champions League Qualifiers)

Manchester City

Manchester City

Manuel Pellegrini is a very experienced manager, which has inherited a very capable squad of doing an insurmountable amount of damage, very good business has seen him bring in Fernandinho and Spanish duo Alvaro Negredo and winger Jesus Navas, brilliant signings, very sensible considering Manchester City lacked a cutting edge last season which coincided with their very limp title defence last season. I do see them having a much better Champions League campaign this time around too.

Key Player – Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero was dogged by injuries last season.

Sergio Aguero was dogged by injuries last season.

3. Manchester United (Champions League Qualifiers)

Manchester United

Manchester United

Let’s not pretend that the loss of Sir Alex Ferguson will not have an impact on a transitional period for Manchester United, his legacy will be very hard to follow to say the least. In my view, David Moyes being appointed the manager has a positive and a negative, the positive being, that he has never needed money to build a well drilled and united squad, he did exceptionally well at Everton on a budget, the negative being, he has NEVER won any silverware, so that could be something that could work against him, he will need to be given time to stamp his authority at Old Trafford, but it will be tough carrying the burden of his predecessor and the apparent imminent departure of one Wayne Rooney, the transfer window hasn’t been too kind to him either, with the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara ignoring the ‘Red Devils’ advances, could that prove to be costly? Only time will tell. However, the return of Phil Neville and appointment of Ryan Giggs, who is still playing an active role in the first team (both in a coaching capacity) is a stroke of genius.

Key Player – Robin Van Persie

Robin Van Persie was the Premier League's top goal scorer last season with 26 goals.

Robin Van Persie was the Premier League’s top goal scorer last season with 26 goals.

4/5. Arsenal/Tottenham (Champions League playoff/Europa League Qualifiers)

Arsenal

Arsenal

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

This rivalry over the last few seasons has heated up tremendously, but as the saying goes, it seems to be Arsenal maintaining the ‘status quo’. Not since the season of 1994/95 has Tottenham finished above their North London rivals and in this desperate situation, especially with regards to what has happened over the course of the last 2 seasons, Spurs will be as determined as ever to put that right. However, Arsenal have never finished outside the top 4, since Arsene Wenger took over the reins in 1996, they have a knack and an experience of continuously defying the odds and finishing a season strongly and with Jack Wilshere fighting to be fully fit for the new campaign, sky could be the limit for the gunners, Tottenham however do possess an ace up their sleeve, that ace being new £26 million signing Roberto Soldado, but, as twist of fate would have it, their coveted ‘number 11′, of course being Gareth Bale may be set for the Bernabeau this season, provided Real Madrid can actually meet Tottenham’s valuation of the player. Tough to call which of these rivals will come out on top.

Key Player – Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Gareth Bale (Tottenham)

If Arsenal are to even be considered for an automatic Champions League spot, Wilshere (above) needs to last the whole season

If Arsenal are to even be considered for an automatic Champions League spot, Wilshere (above) needs to last the whole season.

Gareth Bale flourished under AVB last season, if he stays, Tottenham could find themselves causing real damage in regards to a top 4 finish

Gareth Bale flourished under AVB last season, if he stays, Tottenham could find themselves causing real damage in regards to a top 4 finish.

6. Liverpool (Europa League Qualifiers)

Liverpool

Liverpool

Funnily enough, I can’t see the Luis Suarez saga dampening the mood much around Anfield should the Uruguay forward be sold. Brendon Rodgers has been tasked with bringing the glory days back to the red side of the Mersey and with the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and most importantly Steven Gerrard, who’s just signed a contract extension with the club. Useful additions the likes of Iago Aspas, Luis Roberto and Simon Mignolet should see them mounting a serious challenge for a Champions League place, but for me that’s as good as it’s going to get.

Key Man – Steven Gerrard

'Captain Fantastic' is coming into the twilight of his career, but still has a lot to offer and once again will be looked upon for inspiration.

‘Captain Fantastic’ is coming into the twilight of his career, but still has a lot to offer and once again will be looked upon for inspiration.

7. Swansea City (Europa League Qualifiers)

Swansea City

Swansea City

Michael Laudrup has worked wonders with Swansea, many pundits and fans alike were questioning whether he’d be able to continue or even add to the ethics and tactical brilliance that Brendon Rodgers took with him to Liverpool, well, he answered those critics emphatically, bringing a trophy and another top half finish to the Swans in their centenary year. Quite the achievement for a club that only just stepped up to the big time 2 seasons ago. Laudrup has again signed brilliantly to add to his already talented squad and whilst keeping the likes of Michu and Ashley Williams this summer, the signing of Wilfried Bony will prove to be pivotal in their quest of a top 7 finish.

Key Player – Michu

'Michu' was a bargain signing at only 2.5 million last season.

‘Michu’ was a bargain signing at only 2.5 million last season.

8. Everton

Everton

Everton

The jury will be out on this appointment, after successfully keeping Wigan in the Premier League for the 4 seasons he was at the DW stadium, they finally did drop out of the Premier League, albeit with the success of winning the FA Cup last season. Now the question remains, can Roberto Martinez cut it at a higher level? My opinion says yes, he has the credentials to be a top class manager, with good ethics and should be given the chance to manage a higher tier, top division club, adding to the positives is that he hasn’t parted company with any of his top stars, the likes of Leighton Baines, Kevin Mirallas and of course Marouane Fellaini could and actually should prove pivotal again to Everton’s cause, the addition of former Wigan striker Arouna Kone can only enhance Martinez’s prospects of a very good debut season with ‘The Toffees’.

Key Man – Leighton Baines

This England International has a wand of a left foot and his quality from set pieces will be a huge plus for Everton.

This England International has a wand of a left foot and his quality from set pieces will be a huge plus for Everton.

9. Fulham

Fulham

Fulham

A little bit more thought went into this one, Newcastle United, Southampton & West Brom will all be vying for this position in my view, but I have a good feeling about Fulham this season, especially with the signings Martin Jol is bringing in, notably Adel Taarabt and the possible imminent arrival of Darren Bent, without losing any of his key figures in the process. Fulham have progressed every season under Jol’s guidance and this season coming will be no different, with the spine of the team as solid as ever, Craven Cottage will be a tough place for any team to go and take 3 points.

Key Player – Dimitar Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov seems to be enjoying his football again under Martin Jol.

Dimitar Berbatov seems to be enjoying his football again under Martin Jol.

10. Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Alan Pardew endured a horrible time last season, Newcastle were never going to relegated, but a team with that much talent shouldn’t have been down there scrapping relegation dog fights, especially as they were Champions League hopefuls the season prior. There has been a French revolution at St James’ Park as of late (leaf out of the Wenger play book maybe). Lots of good things will be expected from the likes of Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye, if Newcastle can keep them fit along with Hatem Ben Arfa and Moussa Sissoko, the sky could be the limit for ‘The Magpies’, but for me, a 10th place finish.

Key Player – Fabricio Coloccini

Coloccini is the glue that keeps the Newcastle defence solid. He was missed greatly last season.

Coloccini is the glue that keeps the Newcastle defence solid. He was missed greatly last season.

11. West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion

Steve Clarke deserves a medal for the work he’s done at The Hawthorns, the loan signing of Romelu Lukaku was a stroke of genius and they were one of the surprise packages last season, a very good cohesive unit, with an explosive counter attack, they have the tools to do damage to anybody on any given day and with the acquisition of Nicolas Anelka to partner Shane Long in attack, it could prove to be a very potent partnership that could yield plenty of goals.

Key Man – Chris Brunt

Injuries and sub appearances limited Chris Brunt's full ability last season, if he is fit for the coming campaign, there is no doubt he will feel like a new signing for 'The Baggies'

Injuries and sub appearances limited Chris Brunt’s full ability last season, if he is fit for the coming campaign, there is no doubt he will feel like a new signing for ‘The Baggies’

12. Southampton

Southampton

Southampton

Since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino, Southampton have added a lot more ‘flair’ to their game, that’s not dismissing the great work of former boss Nigel Adkins, but there seems to be another dimension which has been instilled and that will stand them in good stead for another strong season in the top flight, new signing Victor Wanyama, will be a very useful commodity in an already strong midfield for Southampton which contains the likes of Adam Lallana and Jack Cork, not to mention Morgan Schneiderlin. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how Southampton gets on this season around.

Key Player – Rickie Lambert

15 Premier League goals last season, Rickie Lambert certainly knows how to find the back of the net. Just ask Scotland.

15 Premier League goals last season, Rickie Lambert certainly knows how to find the back of the net. Just ask Scotland.

13. Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Christian Benteke signing a new contract was a major boost for the club, his goals last season practically saved Aston Villa from the drop, so his presence this season will be equally as important, Paul Lambert knows that his squad isn’t blessed with all the depth in the world and they are the youngest squad in the league, but he does have a few seasoned individuals that will see Aston Villa remain a main stayer in the English top flight. A fully fit Ron Vlaar will be crucial too.

Key Player – Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke signing a new contract can only be good for Aston Villa, but next summer will they be so lucky in retaining his services? 19 Premier League goals last campaign.

Christian Benteke signing a new contract can only be good for Aston Villa, but next summer will they be so lucky in retaining his services? 19 Premier League goals last campaign.

14. West Ham United

West Ham United

West Ham United

Sam Allardyce has always had the knack of guiding teams in a ‘positive’ direction, his accolades with ‘lesser’ clubs speak for themselves. However, this season, I think it will be a bit of a struggle for West Ham, even with the acquisitions of Andy Carroll and more recently Stuart Downing, they don’t have enough defensively for me, they will always score goals, but will always concede too. Not to be involved in a relegation battle, but a bottom half finish is as good as it gets for the Upton Park outfit this coming season.

Key Player – Kevin Nolan

He is the perfect foil for Andy Carroll and can link up the midfield to the attack with apparent ease, he's also a goal scorer himself.

He is the perfect foil for Andy Carroll and can link up the midfield to the attack with apparent ease, he’s also a goal scorer himself.

15. Sunderland

Sunderland

Sunderland

Identity is a big word in football, along with such words like character and passion, these are words that would sum up Sunderland in a nutshell nowadays, because of Paulo Di Canio. For me, his appointment late last season was a stroke of genius, he’s a motivator, he’s somebody who would be looking to squeeze out every ounce of fight from his squad week in, week out, I’m of the belief that Sunderland will start off very well, but will tail off just after Christmas, he has signed wisely, Emanuele Giaccherini being the most notable new signing, but he has literally dismembered the majority of his first team from last season, this team will need time to gel, time will tell if they gel well enough, 15th for me.

Key Player – Steven Fletcher

Steven Flethcer will be looking to build on his impressive start for Sunderland at the start of last season.

Steven Flethcer will be looking to build on his impressive start for Sunderland at the start of last season.

16. Norwich City

Norwich City

Norwich City

I hold my reservations for Norwich, I would’ve feared for them had they not signed an out and out goal scorer, but I think in Gary Hooper, they will have enough, especially after parting company with Grant Holt, goals were hard to come by last season for the Canaries, so this season they will be looking to make amends, considering they had one of the worst records at home the season just gone. Sebastian Bassong and Russell Martin will be looking to have big seasons defensively and I’m sure manager Chris Houghton will be happy with the final outcome of his teams league finish. Considering what he has at his disposal.

Key Player – Wes Hoolahan

The creative spark that should give Gary Hooper plenty of opportunity to hit the back of the net.

The creative spark that should give Gary Hooper plenty of opportunity to hit the back of the net.

17. Cardiff City

Cardiff City

Cardiff City

The newly promoted side are gearing up for their first ever Premier League season and Malky Mackay has been making some very good moves in the transfer market, especially with the signing of Steven Caulker from Tottenham. It will be hard to gauge how Cardiff will fare as this will be their debut season, but if it’s anything like their Welsh counterparts over at the Millennium Stadium – Cardiff City will survive, only just though, for me.

Key Player – Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy will want this to be a season to remember for his beloved Cardiff.

Craig Bellamy will want this to be a season to remember for his beloved Cardiff.

18. Stoke City (Relegated)

Stoke City

Stoke City

Maybe a little bit harsh on Stoke City, but Tony Pulis parting company with the club can only be seen as a negative, not the most popular tactics were implemented when Pulis was in charge, but it worked and was very effective. Mark Hughes has a massive task on his hands, his last stint saw him get the chop at Q.P.R. Funnily enough, I’d go on record as to say that the Q.P.R squad he inherited is far more superior then the group he has now, individually, I guess the only positive is Stoke are very aggressive and Hughes’ style is of a very aggressive nature (his nickname is ‘Sparky’). No real movement in the transfer market though could prove to be fatal.

Key Player – Ryan Shawcross

Perhaps a little unfortunate to not get regular England call ups, but is vitally important to Stoke City's chances of maintaining their top flight status.

Perhaps a little unfortunate to not get regular England call ups, but is vitally important to Stoke City’s chances of maintaining their top flight status.

19. Crystal Palace (Relegated)

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

Ian Holloway has earned a second bite of the cherry, if you will. His first taste of managerial ‘success’ in the Premier League came when he got his then Blackpool team into the big time, entertaining football as well as press conferences and interviews will be fun to watch, but I can’t see any other outcome, but relegation for the Eagles, even with the arrival of Marouane Chamakh. Yannick Bolasie and Jonathan Williams will be Crystal Palaces’ players to watch this season, seen as former favourite Wilifried Zaha has moved on to Manchester United.

Key Player – Yannick Bolasie

One of the star players to look out for at Selhurst Park this season.

One of the star players to look out for at Selhurst Park this season.

20. Hull City (Relegated)

Hull City

Hull City

This was the easiest one to predict for me. Under Steve Bruce, Hull City did exceptionally well to claim the 2nd automatic spot from the Championship back to the Premier League, their second season. But again, I see it as a bridge too far for The Tigers. Very little movement in the transfer market has led me to believe that Hull could be in danger of falling out the Premier League with a whimper. Robert Koren and Ahmed Elmohamady will be the players charged with having that extra bit of quality, seen as they have had Premier League experience previously.

Key Player – Sone Aluko

Goal scoring and creative freedom will be what is required from Sone Aluko this season.

Goal scoring and creative freedom will be what is required from Sone Aluko this season.

Of course this up for debate, do you have a different opinion on the final league standings? Or do i have it close to spot on? Let me know.

Until Next Time Football Headz.

P.M.P

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PMP is BACK!!!

Hey all my football headz, guess who’s back, with the new season now officially upon us, blogs are going to be back in full effect, with live debates to boot for the new season on a weekly basis. Be on the look out for updates and news on upcoming, views, debates, videos and events.

Until Next Time Football Headz.

P.M.P

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United we Stand or Divided we Fall?

This sight has been seen far too often, will it continue to be witnessed?

This sight has been seen far too often, will it continue to be witnessed?

With an unprecedented dominance since the inception of the Premier League, Sir Alex Ferguson has finally called time on an unbelievable career, leaving behind a tremendous legacy and feats that (in my opinion) will never ever be seen again. His legend will live on in the memory and throughout his beloved Manchester United, but does his retirement spell the end of the Old Trafford clubs tidal wave of dominance? Here are a few other clubs in the Premier League who may feel that their time, is now –

Arsenal

8 is now the number that is echoing around the Emirates, it signifies that last time Arsenal won a trophy (FA Cup in 2005). There is no telling when the next barrage of Arsenal dominance will be, but the mantra of ‘In Wenger we trust’ still holds true to the majority of the Arsenal faithful, but what is it that is stopping Arsenal from getting their hands on silverware? Does a change in manager need to be in the pipeline? Are the players at the disposal of the club not good enough? Could Manchester United’s identity change, under a new regime so to speak, be the spark of a revival? Only time will tell, but what do you think?

Is it time for Arsene Wenger to move on?

Is it time for Arsene Wenger to move on?

Chelsea

The Roman Abramovic Era has been met with some controversy and some sinister views in the way they conduct business over the years. But can you really ague with the success they’ve had? 11 trophies in 10 years is what this Blue machine can boast, winning every single major competition (domestically & European) in the process, not to mention bragging rights of being the most successful London club in recent history. So why the negative questions and statements about this club, their way is obviously working and with the potential return of one Jose Mourinho, they could be the strongest they’ve been in a very long time.

His tactics have definitely paid off, 11 trophies in 10 years is quite remarkable.

His tactics have definitely paid off, 11 trophies in 10 years is quite remarkable.

Liverpool

The noise being made by Manchester United must be like nails being scratched on a blackboard, if there was one club that needed Sir Alex Ferguson retiring, it would probably be Liverpool, a success in the 1980’s is the best they can make a toast too, of course since the glory years, they can boast being the only other Premier league club (other than Chelsea) to have won every major competition they’ve played in domestic and European (Manchester United haven’t won the modern UEFA Cup/Europa League). Brendon Rodgers is the man tasked with bringing the glory days back to Anfield, maybe not in the same way as Manchester United have done over the years, but potentially something similar to what they accomplished previously in the 80’s? For me, players such as Downing, Henderson and Carroll aren’t the type needed to help build a title challenging side, others may say different.

Are these 3 the type of calibre players that can take a club like Liverpool to the next plateau?

Are these 3 the type of calibre players that can take a club like Liverpool to the next plateau?

Manchester City

Emerging as ‘the next big thing’ to take over as being the super power of the Premier League, they have all the money in the world and have already assembled a very talented bunch of footballers, but there seems to be something missing (no it’s not Roberto Mancini). Whoever decides to come in and take up the reigns of the Etihad club will need to have a good knowledge of knowing how to win things…quickly, that’s no exaggeration, Roberto Mancini in his tenure of 3 and a half years won the Premier League and the FA Cup, plus guided Manchester City to another FA Cup final and two seasons in the elite European competition of the Champions League – yet he finds himself out of a job which has seemingly taken on the worst title that could ever be used to describe a managerial hot seat of ‘poison chalice’.

Pellegrini is the favorite to take over at Eastlands.

Pellegrini is the favorite to take over at Eastlands.

Tottenham Hotspur

The North London outfit are probably the least fancied of the 5 to reign supreme in England, Spurs have been talked about for quite a while now as being the ones that could eventually wake up and be a force to be reckoned with again. They simply haven’t woken up yet, slowly emerging as being one of the top teams in the country, a lack of quality has certainly curtailed their chances for glory in recent years, boasting only 2 Carling Cup victories (1998 and 2008) and a Champions League debut in 2010, this club has starved..miserably, maybe undeserved, but in this business you have to make your own luck and maybe be a little braver. Could Andre Villas Boas be the man to deliver what the White Hart Lane faithful have been vying for or is too far out of reach for the Lilywhites to ever bring back the glory days of the 1960’s and 80’s?

Gareth Bale and Andre Villas Boas are pivotal to Tottenham being a success.

Gareth Bale and Andre Villas Boas are pivotal to Tottenham being a success.

As usual all of your feedback, debates, questions and banter is all welcome, remember to keep it clean. ;)

Until Next Time Football Headz.

P.M.P

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Post Match Playmakers Team of the Year

Congratulations to Gareth Bale for winning the PFA Young & Player of the year award, I feel it was well deserved and he will undoubtedly make my starting XI in the team of the year this season.
Here are the remaining cast to complete my squad –

David De Gea

David De Gea (Manchester United)

David De Gea (Manchester United)

At the ‘baby’ age of just 21, De Gea has come on heaps and bounds since his big summer move from Spain 2 years ago, he looks now to have the confidence of goalkeeper destined for greatness. The Manchester United stopper has been making some unbelievable saves this season and that has been one of many highlights as to why Manchester United found themselves winning the Premier League title for the 13th time with only 5 games remaining.

Pablo Zabaleta

Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)

Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)

A no nonsense, hardnosed defender, simply put he was the shining light of Manchester Citys’ season & it would be fitting for him to win the FA Cup with his club as his performances justify a championship. Not normally thought about as a ‘world beater’ Pablo Zabaleta has been on top form this season & it isn’t down to other players in his position not performing, it’s just been down to him being that good.

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)

Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)

An obvious choice in my opinion, he has been managed perfectly by Sir Alex Ferguson & it has bore fruitful for Manchester United, especially winning the Championship by a commanding points lead over their bitter city rivals. With United losing only 4 games all season, Ferdinand has shown that at the age of 34, experience is key, he did have a good cast around him in Evans & at times Vidic, but for me, Rio has stood out the most.

Jan Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)

There aren’t many ball playing defenders around at the moment & the £10 million spent by Tottenham on this former Ajax defender is beginning to look like a bit of a bargain, some sources are already touting him as a possible Barcelona player in the near future & you can see why. With 8 goals to his name in his debut season, Jan has shown that he can be a force at both ends of the pitch, with consummate ease & only in his mid-twenties, you can expect he’s going to get much better in the coming seasons ahead.

Leighton Baines

Leighton Baines (Everton)

Leighton Baines (Everton)

If I was doing a World XI right now, this Everton star would be rivalled only by Barcelona left back Jordi Alba, an exceptional season yet again for Leighton, he’s a master at set pieces, can read the game well & seems to have a telepathic understanding (especially with his Everton teammate Steven Pienaar), very good defensively & of course offensively & has a keen eye for goal, you only need to see his return of assists and goal ratio to know that Everton have a fight on their hands to keep him at Goodison.

Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick (Manchester United)

Michael Carrick (Manchester United)

This is as good a season I have seen from Michael, he has matured since his arrival to Manchester United from Tottenham 7 years ago, he keeps everything ‘ticking over’ in the centre of the park, breaking up play whilst can become an advanced playmaker if you give him enough time & room to pick a pass, easily the best holding midfielder England have got nowadays & should he want to, he will be a sure fire starter for the World Cup in Brazil should England get there.

Michu

Michu (Swansea)

Michu (Swansea)

Now be honest, how many of you had even heard of this man’s name before he came to the Premier League? Michael Laudrup should take a bow for this one & we should thank him for bringing this majestic talent over to English football. At 2.5 million, Michu is easily the bargain of the season, having been signed from Spanish side Rayo, scoring 20 goals in all competitions in this, his debut season & not even playing as an out & out striker, Michu has also played a significant part in helping Swansea to win their first domestic title in their centenary year, scoring in the final of a 5-0 mauling of Bradford.

Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

It’s very easy to see why this powerhouse is in my team of the year, he does it season in, season out, he was clearly missed when he went away to the Africa Cup of Nations this season, that was echoed very loudly by the Manchester City faithful, at times the season before this one, he was the one man you could rely on to nick that all important goal or make those infield runs, battering midfields & defences alike, making something happen, he’s a lot more than just an impact player, he is the heartbeat of Manchester City.

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)

I don’t think that there is anything more you could say about this flying Welshman, the scary thing is he’s only going to get better & better & better, still at the age of 23. The sky is the limit for this man, his best season yet in terms of goal scoring (19 goals in 29 games) in the Premier League alone, 24 in all competitions this year, he was the clear winner for the PFA awards in my view as I feel he has single handily dragged Tottenham to victories in many games they weren’t good enough to win if they were without him.

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Footballing wise, he would arguably be the first name on my team sheet, his brilliance at times leaves me speechless as he very much plays like a street footballer, he had been enjoying his best goal scoring season to date, unfortunately his season is over after receiving a 10 game ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, had he not done that, he probably would’ve won the Golden Boot & potentially had the chance to win a PFA award – as it stands right now, he sits 2nd behind Dutch scoring machine Robin Van Persie & came runner up to Gareth Bale for an award.

Robin van Persie

Robin Van Persie (Manchester United)

Robin Van Persie (Manchester United)

Let me ask you something, when you think of an out & out goal scorer tell me, who comes to mind in this current era, barring Messi & Ronaldo who aren’t strikers. I’m guessing you’re thinking 3? Lewendowski, Falcao & Mr RVP himself, right? You’d be right, there aren’t many prolific strikers around at the moment – that’s my point, I suppose van Persie was destined to win an English championship at some point in his career, because his talents should be recognised with silverware, he is showing how devastating he can be when he’s fully fit & has full seasons under his belt. Easily a 20+ goal a season striker, providing he can stay fit, he can still have another 3-4 years at the top of his game in what many regard to be the best league in the world.

Do you agree with my Team of the Year, is there anybody you’d change? Leave me your opinions here.

Until Next Time Football Headz

P.M.P

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Ode to Sir Alex

He is quite possibly the greatest manager in the history of football, he is as driven as they come and at the age of 72, he doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. But what is going to happen when that time actually comes? Where do Manchester United go from that point? Who would be the most likely candidate to be instilled as the new boss of the Old Trafford club? These are questions we obviously don’t know the answer to as yet, but one thing is for sure, Manchester United wouldn’t be the team they are without him.

He is arguably the most decorated manager in history.

He is arguably the most decorated manager in history.

In my opinion, the greatness of the man will never ever again be seen. To win as many trophies as he has in his 25+ years at the helm is beyond spectacular, it should also be used as an example to other football clubs who strive for the same success.

I have heard on many occasions that Sir Alex will get to hand pick his predecessor, so who will be the most likely of candidates? He are a few I feel could potentially take over the reigns once the legendary Scotsman decides its time to walk away.

1. Jurgen Klopp

The 45 year old has been making waves since his arrival at Borussia Dortmund. Borussia Dortmund these days are a lot more resolute and harder to beat, couple that with players the likes of Robert Lewendowski and Mario Gotze, they are one of the finest teams in European football right now. But could the job at Manchester United be too good to turn down or too big for him to take on?

Borussia Dortmund are one of the best attacking forces in Europe because of this man.

Borussia Dortmund are one of the best attacking forces in Europe because of this man.

2. Jose Mourinho

Touted as many peoples favorite for the job, tactically astute and will do whatever it takes to win, recipe for success, right? Has won the Champions League on three separate occasions with three differant clubs in 3 differant locations, is also on course to win his fourth currently with Real Madrid. His only negative, longevity isn’t his strong point, which basically means, he’s never at a club for too long.

Has managed at most of the top clubs in World Football, has won everything there is to win.

Has managed at most of the top clubs in World Football, has won everything there is to win.

3. David Moyes

My personal favorite to take the job. Why? Well for one he is a fiery Scotsman, a very talented manager, who, like Mourinho knows what its like to manage in the Premier League, currently with Everton, his flaws (if you can call it that) is he hasn’t won any major honors as yet, whilst I think he has done a wonderful job at making Everton a Premier League force, I feel his skills at a bigger club could propel him to be a top manager, could Manchester United be that next level?

Is currently the 3rd longest serving manager in Premier League history.

Is currently the 3rd longest serving manager in Premier League history.

4. Josep Guardiola

Currently the next in line to take over the job at Bayern Munich next season. He poses a very impressive CV, winning 14 titles whilst with Spanish giants Barcelona in only 4 years, a relatively young manager, with a deep desire to win, already snubbing the opportunity to come to England by rejecting Chelsea, this could be a job he was actually waiting for all along, who knows? Time will tell.

As talented as they come, albeit at an already star studded squad in Barcelona, about to ply his trade at another European super power.

As talented as they come, albeit at an already star studded squad in Barcelona, about to ply his trade at another European super power.

5. Antonio Conte

The Juventus icon has been echoed as one of the brightest young managers in the game. Charged with leading his beloved Juventus back to the top of Italian football, some are saying it’s only going to be a matter of time before he hones his talents somewhere else within Europe, the question remains though, would the lure of Manchester United be enough for him to move from where he knows best?

Has had his controversies, but that doesn't tarnish the incredible job he is doing at Juventus.

Has had his controversies, but that doesn’t tarnish the incredible job he is doing at Juventus.

Have your say on this, give me your opinions on here or via twitter (www.twitter.com/postmatchplayer) and I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Until Next Time Football Headz.

P.M.P

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Is Arsene Wengers Time up?

ImageI know. It seems now that every time there is a dip in form especially at Arsenal, the knives come out for boss Arsene Wenger, but why? It is a fact that under Arsene Arsenal are one of the Premier Leagues most decorated clubs, bested only by Manchester United in regards to silverware. Speaking of silverware, we are now in the 8th season since Arsenal have won anything, that right there is the problem to why the football club and more importantly the head coach is getting both barrels pointed in his direction by the gooner faithful, albeit the club are actually in the best possible financial position at present & seem happy to be balancing the books rather than focusing on dominating the business of football. Stars such as Cesc Fabregas, Kolo Toure, Patrick Vieira, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy were never really replaced and in Robin Van Persie they had someone who could make something happen just like Thierry Henry did in his time there – both have not been replaced either. So where do Arsenal go from here?

Knocked out of both domestic cup competitions to lower league opposition, being 3-1 down in the first leg of the Champions League due to Bayern Munich’s dominant display at the Emirates on top of fighting with North London rivals Tottenham for that coveted 4th Champions League spot, it seems as if that this season could be a step too far in regards to the managers tenure at the club where he has been for 16 years. Conceivably, the bottom line is a team of Arsenal’s stature & worldwide status should be challenging for major honours, not relying on getting a Champions League place every season, of course granted it gives them leverage in the transfer market, but if you’re still losing your top players and replacing them with mediocre ones, how far do you really expect to go? You could argue that the likes of Per Mertersacker, Mikel Arteta, Lukas Podolski, Thomas Vermaelen & Olivier Giroud should be at least good enough experience to help get Arsenal back to the summit of the Championship mountain, coupled with the core of young talent they have at their disposal with Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey & of course Jack Wilshere, this team should be unstoppable, but more often than not, they’re being found out tactically & it’s something that has to be rectified, before it’s too late.

I have seen comments and phrases from news reports such as ‘no hope, no future’ & ‘times up, fresh ideas needed’. Wenger has always stuck to his principles and insists on playing the great brand of football that Arsenal can play, that’s all well & good, but there comes a time where being tactically astute could stand you in good stead and give you another dimension base to work on. I personally don’t believe Wenger is that kind of manager to change or even tweak his tactics, he fully believes that the familiarity of an open 4-3-2-1/4-3-3 formation is the key to silence the doubters and critics – it hasn’t worked, so, are the media right to question his ethics, passion & tactical decisions? You tell me. All i know is that Arsenal’s current plight is a far cry from the ‘Invincibles’ squad of 2003/04 (below).Image

All of your opinions are welcome. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @postmatchplayer & get involved with a new initiative that I have worked on, it’s a live chat debate EVERY TUESDAY 18:30 (UK time) http://www.blogtv.com/postmatchplaymaker, sign up, sign in, tell all of your friends, let’s have a debate.

Until Next Time Football Headz. ;)

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