Originally written on Finishers Forum  |  Last updated 11/3/14
Tottenham’s Gareth Bale a worthy winner of double PFA award - At 23, Cardiff-born Bale has elevated himself to the ranks of the world’s elite group of players after another outstanding campaign that has made him one of the most coveted individuals in the game. It takes a special talent to win the vote of his fellow players ahead of Manchester United’s Robin van Persie – last year’s winner and the striker who has made the decisive contribution in taking the Premier League title to Old Trafford for the 20th time. Bale is that player… (BBC Sport) Sturridge and Coutinho show Liverpool can survive sans Suarez - How does a team respond to their best player being suspended for the rest of the season? Well, they go out and win 6-0 away from home, of course. Luis Suarez commenced his 10-match biting ban on Saturday afternoon as Liverpool destroyed Newcastle United in what was quite clearly their best performance of the campaign so far… (Football.co.uk) Robert Lewandowski unlikely to join Manchester United this summer - The agent of Robert Lewandowksi appears to have dashed Sir Alex Ferguson’s hopes of signing the Borussia Dortmund striker in the close season by stating he is interested in playing in the Premier League in the future but that is not “this summer”… (The Guardian) Why Writing Off Spanish Soccer Is Premature - Last Sunday, I had pretty much decided to write a piece on the approaching UEFA Champions League semi-finals. I even had the first paragraph done – “Just twelve months ago the accepted wisdom was we were getting set for a Champions League el clasico final. It didn’t happen but the bookmakers believe it will happen this time. Are we getting ahead of ourselves again?”… (Forbes) … Barton happy to cast 1st stone at Bosingwa for ‘laughing’ at relegation - My first reaction to Joey Barton’s twitter comments after QPR’s 0-0 draw at Reading Sunday, when he was quick to lambast Jose Bosingwa for being seen laughing when walking down the tunnel after relegation was confirmed, is: “Who are you to talk?”… (ESPN FC) Paolo Di Canio feared Sunderland sack - Di Canio, 44, had to fend off questions about whether he held fascist beliefs as the focus on his political views overshadowed his arrival in March. “He [chairman Ellis Short] might have thought, ‘Now I’ll sack him straight away’ because he was under pressure,” Di Canio told the Sunderland Echo… (BBC Sport) Will Gunners blow race for Champions League? - As the days of Premier League football continue to dwindle for another season, reality sinks in. There’s less to play for and more teams clearly eyeing pints on the beach. Some literally go through the motions — you only had to watch the abject performance by QPR and Reading on Sunday to see that. After a scoreless draw, both sides walked off the pitch relegated to the Championship in seemingly good spirits… (ESPN FC) QPR’s Premier League relegation: a fan’s postmortem - QPR couldn’t even manage a whimper, let alone a bang. Instead they were relegated from the Premier League to laughter – José Bosingwa’s as he sauntered down the tunnel after Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Reading. It’s been a wretched couple of seasons at Loftus Road, and I can’t recall a group of players – with a couple of exceptions – being held in such contempt by the fans… (The Guardian) Mancini musing over perfect No. 10 - In no country, arguably, is the No. 10 revered as much as in Italy and Roberto Mancini belonged to one of its greatest generations, an era of fantastic fantasists that took in Roberto Baggio, Gianfranco Zola and, later, Alessandro del Piero and Francesco Totti… (Tactics and Analysis – ESPN) Changing of the guard? - What a week this was. The unemployment figures went over the six million mark last Thursday, for the first time in Spain’s history. That represents 26% of the active population, and normally, football would offer itself up as the opium of the people – a role that the game successfully played during Franco’s 40-year regime. It seemed to help in keeping revolution at bay. Which is a roundabout way of saying that Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, born in Galicia but a Real Madrid supporter, must have been suffering a little last week when Spain’s two semi-finalists in the Champions League both failed miserably to deliver… (ESPN FC) Technique and possession not everything - The age of the diminutive attacking midfielder is over! All hail the bulky center forward!   OK, perhaps that’s something of an overreaction. Barcelona will be back, reinforced, reinvigorated and hopefully with a restored manager who only needs to worry about football. Real Madrid will spend, both on players and a new coach, in yet another bid to reclaim their place as kings of Europe… (The Boot Room – ESPN)
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