This first appeared on SportsLobster three days ago.
Like many people, I find Adrian Durham extremely annoying. He has all the insight of a pub bore, and the smugness of a man of genius who the world refuses to recognise. Somehow, his infuriating nature has drawn in listeners and readers, and he’s ended up presenting a show on TalkSport and writing a weekly column for the Daily Mail.
Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke handed in a transfer request on Monday, with a host of clubs linked with a move for the Belgian striker.
It’s always a risk when a player changes club – will he be able to adapt to the new environment, to his new teammates, to the new tactics? There’s a lot more to consider than just the paycheque on offer.
I’ve helped Christian to make his decision, by looking at the tactics of the four English clubs linked with him – Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool, and how he’d likely be used by those clubs.
A little earlier in the week, an article I’d written was published by BornOffside.
Following the abdication of Alex Ferguson, not just from the manager’s office at Manchester United, but as the working figure with the greatest influence over the English game, that role is now up for grabs.
Will Moyes, who’s never won a trophy, rise to the extra pressure? Will Mourinho recreate his earlier success at Chelsea? How will Andre Vilas-Boas and Brendan Rogers build on impressive but mixed first years at their clubs?
For years, the idea of Alex Ferguson and Manchester United being on top seemed to be the default status quo – if they didn’t win the title one year, the feeling was that they would next year.
But now, there is the possibility of real change. The landscape of English football could look very different this time next year.
This was before the fixture list revealed that Manchester United would play Chelsea on the opening day, and Arsenal made an ambitious move to sign Gonzalo Higuain – if anything, the points I made have been underlined since.
Also, with Manchester United’s Nani being linked with bids from Monaco and Galatasary, I took a look at how he’s performed this past season. I was surprised how often he was available but not selected in the big matches, and how long he’d been out injured.
Writing for Squawka earlier today, I’ve taken a look at some of the goalkeepers Arsenal are rumoured to be interested in pursuing, comparing their performances from a statistical perspective.
Rene Adler, Victor Valdes, Asmir Begovic, Pepe Reina, Michel Vorm and Petr Cech are amongst those who’ve been linked, and I’ve also looked at Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone – the three keepers used by Arsenal this season.
I’ve compared their goals conceded and clean sheets; their amount of saves made; success in claiming balls into the box and their distribution.