Lionel Messi is no stranger to analysts going into intricate detail regarding his goal scoring form and style of play – there’s just so many goals to analyse!
Despite being one of the most consistent players of our generation and throughout the whole of history there have been concerns regarding this seasons form in comparison to previous. This is largely due to injury but this may be one season where Messi is outscored and outshined by not just Cristiano Ronaldo, but teammate Luis Suarez. So just how does he compare to other seasons?
La Liga goals
Despite not starting as many games as he would have liked in La Liga, Messi has still accumulated 25 goals in 28 games with an impressive 13 assists, more than everyone but Luis Suarez. Compared to last season however this isn’t as impressive. Messi managed to start all but one game in La Liga last season and score 43 goals, making 18 assists. Both are inherently great records to have despite criticism of Messi this season.
Messi featured in every European game leading up to their final win against Juventus last season (13 games) and managed to score 10 goals – not a bad record. This was accompanied by 4 assists. However, before their exit to Atletico Madrid this season Messi only managed 7 games due to injury although he scored 6 goals making full use of his game time in the Champions League – assisting with one goal.
Copa Del Rey Continue reading How does Messi’s statistics compare to last year?
The America head coach Jurgen Klinsmann reckons it’s high time the match officials, who are on duty on the pitch, should be allowed to take the help of technology if they want, while making marginal decisions especially the ones related to penalties.
The increase in the frequency of errors made in decision making by referees is something which is discussed a lot. But, still, technology, which can solve the problem, has been kept away from playing any part.
Actually, not a lot of sports have this sort of approach regarding technology as Football has. There is ample use of technology in most of the other sports which are popular around the world and it’s logical
If there is something which can help you in getting your decision right and if that decision can ensure a fair result of the game comes out, why would you not like to bring it into play? Why would you necessarily want to rely on naked eye?
One argument against the use of technology in soccer is that with the current system of the referees passing their verdict on their own and that too instantly, it keeps the excitement factor in the game which would go out if the replays dictate the decision making. Continue reading Jurgen Klinsmann backs using Technology for Matches
Mark Noble says that he has not given up hope of featuring for the England national team. The 28-year-old has played in almost every level of youth national team.
However, he has not been able to feature for the senior team even once in his career. This comes as a major surprise given that Noble has been one of the consistent performers for West Ham since his debut in 2004. As one of the experienced Premier League names, Roy Hodgson may decide to call upon the West Ham star for the upcoming Euro 2016. This is due to a number of injuries especially in the midfield.
The latest squad announced by the England manager for the friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands does not feature Noble once again. However, the West Ham United midfielder is unconcerned about this aspect and says that he still believes that a door will open for him in the future. Time, though, is fast running out for the player at 28. Noble’s inclusion to the national team has been supported by names like Tony Gale, who is a former West Ham star. In the past, England have been able to get performances out of Scott Parker, who is similar in playing style to Noble. Continue reading Mark Noble still trying to Feature in English National Team
Massimiliano Allegri reckons the recent results have brought Juventus in contention for League glory in Italy, but, he has admitted it would not be that straightforward considering the fact that Internazionale is going pretty strong.
According to Allegri, it would require some serious effort to displace Internazionale from the top.
There’s a 6-point gap between Juventus and Internazionale with each team still having 22 games left to play.
So, it’s very much possible to overcome the deficit in the time duration that is there, but, Internazionale is currently looking strong in all the areas and it’s hard to imagine that they would drop any easy points to give a sniff to Juventus.
Juventus, however, needs to be consistent and hovering around the top.
To Juventus’ credit, they have been able to make a good comeback after being slightly patchy in the starting stages of the summer.
They are presently on a bit of a winning run with 6 wins in a row.
They beat Fiorentina 3-1 in Turin the other day and managed to get back in top 4 in the standings for the first time in the season. Continue reading Massimiliano Allegri reckons the recent results have brought Juventus in contention
Leonardo Jardim reckons the recent win that Monaco secured over Bastia showed that the young team was progressing well. Monaco did not seem to be that comfortable in the initial stages of that game, but, did not lose the plot and hung in there to turn it around later on.
A couple of goals by Traore in the 72nd and the 84th minute respectively gave them the decisive lead and they pulled off another three points to manage to move one position up in the table.
In the post game interview, Jardim was quoted as saying, “It’s been going pretty of late. I am happy with the development that the youngsters are showing. A bit of patience was required today. Bastia is a very compact team and they do not give much to the opposition especially when they play at home.”
“First 45 minutes, we were struggling to match their intensity, but, what’s important was that we did not hand them any easy opportunities and kept ourselves in the contest.”
“Winning tough games like these with a fairly inexperienced team, it’s very satisfactory. We hope we remain consistent in the rest of the season.”
Les Rouges had finished the previous Ligue 1 at no. 3. They would want to have a similar sort of finish this season too. Currently, they are at the 4th position with 27 points in 17 games.
They are behind the toppers Paris Saint-Germain by miles as all the other teams are, but, they have every chance to overtake Angers and Caen which are positioned second and third respectively in the table at the moment.
As far as Paris Saint-Germain is concerned, they are presently 15 points clear at the top and are almost guaranteed for the title yet again.
Real Madrid suffered a huge setback ahead of the first El Clasico by suffering a 3-2 defeat against Sevilla. This defeat was surprising considering that Madrid took the lead early in the match through Sergio Ramos. This goal would have propelled the team to a strong position, but it turned out in the opposite direction after Sevilla came back with vengeance.
The home team appeared unstoppable and were leading 3-1 with 15 minutes left in the game. This was after goals from the likes of Llorente and Banega. Their defeat increases pressure from manager Rafa Benitez, who admitted that Madrid collapsed after seeing Sevilla equalise through Immobile.
Madrid are up against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend. This defeat makes the situation extremely was considering that the Catalans can afford to come with just a draw in mind. They have opened a three-point advantage to take advantage of Madrid’s slip. After having failed to win the league title in the last few seasons, success in the domestic competition will be the main priority for Benitez. However, he has split opinions since becoming the replacement for Carlo Ancelotti. Madrid have certainly become more solid at the back but they have also been lethargic in attack. Cristiano Ronaldo once again failed to sparkle amidst rumours of unhappiness.
“We played 30 very good minutes, lots of control, in all levels. Then we let them score at a set-piece. That changed the game. From the second goal we started to make mistakes, they took advantage and scored a third. We came back and scored late, but it wasn’t enough. That was the lesson from the game, in the first half a good Real Madrid for a long time, in the second half we were not able to manage the situation. We should have killed the game in the first half, and we didn’t,” said Benitez.
Vicente Del Bosque, the La Roja boss, reckons that the slightly longer 2015-16 La Liga season is going to harm his team’s preparations for Euro Cup.
With Barcelona having had an additional competition to take part in i.e. Club World Cup, some of the games of La Liga have been rescheduled and the league is going to be a week longer this time around.
This hasn’t amused Del Bosque a single bit.
According to the 64-year old, some of the players of the national squad who are playing in the leagues in other parts of Europe will get free of their club duties earlier and then, they will have to wait for the La Liga guys. It means the whole squad would not be able to have that many training sessions together.
In the words of Del Bosque, “It appears nobody bothers to take La Roja’s interests into account.”
“I don’t have the authority to speak on behalf of federation. But, as manager, I must say the way this rescheduling has been done, it concerns me.”
“Nobody came to me and asked for my views. My answer would have been a big no if that had been the case.”
“It’s not just about a week. The players would actually not get as much time as they could have to gel.” Continue reading Vicente Del Bosque reckons La Liga longer bad for his Team
Despite the fact that the last weekend’s defeat at the hands of Villarreal pushed Real Madrid back in the title race in the Spanish Primera Division, Rafael Benitez is still quite unfazed.
According to Benitez, it’s quite normal to go through a bit of a lean period in a long season and it is something which is bound to happen to other sides as well.
The Los Blancos have suffered a form dip over the last one and half months as they have been beaten thrice in the Spanish top flight in that duration. They were undefeated in Liga prior to that and were sitting at the top in the standings.
When asked about this sudden slump, Benitez said, “When you play a lot of matches in a long season, there comes a period when the form deteriorates and it’s something which each and every side experiences”
“As far as today’s game is concerned, first half was pretty poor. But, we bounced back well. We were decent after the break. We still missed the opportunities yes, but, there were not too many mistakes made. If we had played the whole game like that, we might have secured the points, but, unfortunately, it was not to be.”
Real Madrid is now trailing by 5 points to the top positioned Barcelona and the second positioned Atletico both of whom have got 35 points.
Barcelona is at the top due to the better goal differential.
The next game for Real Madrid is on the coming Sunday against Rayo Vallecano which is in the relegation zone at the moment.
Playing them at home would be a cake walk for the Whites and they would like to return to winning ways with a big win in that game.
Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has warned Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling against taking any bad advice from agents.
The 20-year-old has made it clear to Liverpool that he wants to leave the club. A number of top clubs like Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea are thought to have made their interest clear to Liverpool. Arsenal are also interested in signing the player, but the prospect of having to part away with almost £ 40 million may prove to be a stumbling block. Arsenal legend Henry has admitted that he would like to see Sterling play for the gunners.
The 20-year-old has attracted intense criticism over the last few months. It has increased after widespread reports amongst the media stating thatSterling had publicly told the Liverpool board and its manager that he wants to leave. The player was named as the young player of the season during the awards ceremony held by the club, but he was booed by his own supporters as he went to collect the award. Henry says that it is up to the player to decide to leave or stay, but he should have kept the decision in close quarters rather than go to the media. Continue reading Thierry Henry has warned Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling against taking any bad advice