Tag Archives: Feature

5 Reasons Why Chelsea Are Dominating, feat. Winger With Best Take Ons In PL

Amitai Winehouse (@awinehouse1)

Last night’s display against Schalke spoke for a Chelsea side at the top of their game.

The 5-0 victory, away from home, against Roberto Di Matteo’s new team, was the absolute epitome of everything Jose Mourinho has been building since he took charge of Chelsea again last summer.

Unlike other teams in the Mourinho mould, his Chelsea side have graft and beauty in equal measure.

They now head into December, assuming they can manage the next game, undefeated in all competitions and with only one draw in the Premier League, which came away from home against last season’s champions Manchester City, showing the extent to which they are the top dogs in the English top flight.

Here’s why they’ve been so good:

1. Nemanja Matic

Brought back from Benfica for £21 million last January, Matic is the platform on which Chelsea play. He’s a dominating figure in the middle of the park and offers a shield for the back and talent going forward.
Bringing back Matic was arguably Mourinho’s best decision since his return.

2. Cesc Fabregas

An Arsenal hero, yes, but Fabregas will undoubtedly go on to make a bigger impact at Chelsea than he did with the north London side.
He offers creative flair alongside Matic, and the two in tandem are comfortably one of the stronger midfield pairings in the league.

3. Eden Hazard

This is an obvious one, but it’s staggering to think of how good Hazard has actually been this season. He’s scored more than 1 in 3, provides more than two chances a game for his teammates and completes 65.26% of his take ons, with the highest number in the league at 62 take ons.
He’s a genuine star and any team would be lucky to have him.

4. Diego Costa

Diego Costa looks like he eats bullets for breakfast and gunpowder for lunch, then tops it off with a lit match for dinner. He’s a brutal striker, one who scares defenders and backs it up with goal after goal.
He has 11 goals in only 10 games in the Premier League – what more could you ask for from a striker?

5. The Defence And Courtois

Mourinho’s sides are famed for their ability to keep out the opposition, but with more attacking drive in the team this could have fallen by the wayside.
It is to the credit of the defence and Thibaut Courtois, freshly returned from his loan spell at Atletico Madrid, that this has not happened. Courtois often displays moments of individual shot stopping brilliance when it looks inevitable that an opponent will score.
This is, in part, why Chelsea have the second best defensive record in the league, behind only surprise package Southampton. They’ve conceded only 11 goals.

Leeds Utd Starlet Lewis Cook Could Finally Replace Legendary Batty

Amitai Winehouse (@awinehouse1)

Leeds United have been blessed in recent years by the exceptional run of young stars produced by their academy.

It is to the benefit of those stars that Neil Redfearn, the man who oversaw their development, is now in charge of the first team, having been appointed as head coach after the sacking of Darko Milanic.

His arrival has heralded the full integration of Lewis Cook, who was kept on the fringes of the first team by the two previous coaches.

While his partner in the middle of the park, Alex Mowatt, has won most of the plaudits, understandable given his recent goalscoring exploits, Cook offers significant hope for the future.

Leeds’ great sides have always had a steely option in midfield.

The most famous player to play in that role was Scottish midfielder Billy Bremner, who came to define what Leeds fans expected from a player.

Billy Bremner

Tiny but filled with a combative spirit, Bremner possessed talent in bucket-loads, but also knew how to handle the darker sides of the game.

Bremner also had a key role in the development of another Leeds midfield great, David Batty.

Batty made his debut in 1987 under Bremner during his spell in charge of Leeds, and like the Scot, Batty was small but tough.

The relationship between the two was such that Bremner used to make Batty come to his office every morning to drink a sherry with a raw egg stirred into it, due to a belief that Batty was slightly too lightweight to succeed.

Batty prospered from there, winning Division One with Leeds under Howard Wilkinson, the Premier League with Blackburn and making 42 appearances for England.

Batty’s retirement in 2004, after his return to Leeds, came after a long spell out of the side, but many Leeds fans would tell you that the Whites have never really replaced him.

There have been attempts to bring in defensive midfielders, but they’ve never been like Batty or Bremner, strong but skilled, supreme players but with an edge to their game.

Cook looks like he could be the first true replacement for Batty in a decade.

Lewis Cook

Like the former Newcastle man and Bremner, Cook stands at under 5 ft 10 inches, but those who have seen him this season would be aware that no opponents can bully him out of the game.

Cook wins nearly two tackles every 90 minutes, cutting opponents off before they can start an attack.

He also has the passing skill that the ex-Leeds duo possessed, able to launch attacks after picking the ball up front defence.

It’s not just in recycling play that he impresses, with Cook providing over a chance every 90 minutes.

One of the major plus points of Redfearn’s regime so far is that Cook has played every game.

He has made the defensive midfield role his own, and with more attack minded talent around him, has impressed in every game without demanding much attention.

The clash with Blackburn on Saturday, the team with which, to Leeds fans’ chagrin, Batty won the Premier League crown, symbolises an opportunity for Cook to further cement himself as the natural replacement to Bremner’s old charge.

When Batty arrived, Leeds were at a similar mediocre ebb in their history.

While it is risky to put too much pressure on the 17 year old, if he can have a similar effect as Batty did, Leeds could finally start climbing once again.

Arsenal And Man Utd Combined XI: Why Welbz Is Dat Guy Up Front

Arsenal and Manchester United meet in the Premier League on Saturday, and both sides are at a lower ebb than they have been for a long time.

The arrival of Louis van Gaal in the summer was meant to herald a rejuvenation for the Old Trafford side after the debacle of the David Moyes era at the club.

This has not turned out to be the case, however, and Van Gaal has struggled to get the team playing consistently.

Arsene Wenger has also failed to inspire his troops to fluid displays, despite a big summer spend (although one that was incomparable with Man Utd’s huge outlay).

Alexis Sanchez has been the real plus point, dragging his side to result after result.

If we were to combine the two teams, however, who would play?

We’ve explored that below:

GK: David de Gea

One of the most impressive stoppers in the Premier League since the start of the season, De Gea walks into the side.

Wojciech Szczesny has not made any major mistakes, but the fact that Wenger is reportedly chasing Petr Cech suggests even his boss would not necessarily keep him as first choice.

RB: Rafael

Mathieu Debuchy looked good upon arrival at Arsenal, but an early injury brought about an end to his spell in the side.

While Calum Chambers has rarely looked hugely flustered in the right hand role, Rafael is a natural right back, and lends the defence far more balance.

CB: Per Mertesacker

The German giant offers an imposing presence in the defence, something that simply does not exist in the current Man Utd side.

While Arsenal’s defence have been lax, this is nothing in comparison to Man Utd’s struggles there.

CB: Laurent Koscielny

Which is why Koscielny also features.

Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and the series of young stars that have featured in the middle of defence have never looked solid, which is why Van Gaal is chasing the likes of Mats Hummels in January.

LB: Luke Shaw

Arsenal’s injury woes have stretched across their entire defence, but Kieran Gibbs has impressed since the season kicked off.

Shaw, however, offers an attacking threat down the left, and Van Gaal would be disappointed if he was unavailable for Saturday’s tie after picking up a knock.

CM: Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal’s golden boy of last season has not been at his sensational best since the season began, but he still has the capacity to change a game in the blink of an eye.

Running from deep, he offers a threat to any defence.

DM: Jack Wilshere

Wilshere has been left on the bench for the last few games by Wenger, but his impressive display in the defensive midfield role for England against Scotland suggests this is a position Wenger should try to use the player in.

It remains to be seen if the manager will take the risk and do so, but it could be to the benefit of Arsenal.

RW: Alexis Sanchez

One of the top performers since the start of the season, Sanchez has taken no time at all to settle at his new club after his big money transfer from Barcelona, scoring eight in only 10 games.

Often seen as playing above and beyond the rest of his side, Wenger will be hoping Sanchez can inspire his troops to a win on Saturday.

AM: Wayne Rooney

Exceptional in mid-week for England, Saturday is the sort of potentially high tempered tie that Rooney thrives off.

He needs to improve at club level, however, if he wants to captain Man Utd back into the Champions League.

LW: Angel Di Maria

The record breaker Di Maria has been one highlight for Man Utd since the season began.

His £59.7 million transfer was supposed to place Man Utd as title challengers again, but this has not been the case as of yet.

The player himself has impressed, however, and with Shaw behind him, this side would have considerable threat down the left.

ST: Danny Welbeck

Welbeck has undergone a huge makeover over the last few months, with his £16 million move to Arsenal giving him the opportunity to impose himself as a top level striker.

He has done so with aplomb, and compared to the likes of Robin van Persie, he is clearly operating at a higher level on a more regular basis.

It might be interesting to see if Van Gaal comes to regret the £16 million sale by Saturday evening.

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