Why world class strikers are now in short supply

Who didn’t want to play striker as a little ‘un. Ferdiand, Shearer and Cole – and before them Lineker and Rush – set our imaginations ablaze.  No.9 has always been known as the glamour position, from which footballers can be elevated from mere mortals to demi-gods. Despite this, there appears to be a lack definite lack of world class strikers in world football, at least in comparison to a decade ago. This situation has been reinforced by Louis Van Gaal’s decision to sign unheralded French forward Anthony Martial for £36 million, as the lack of genuine top quality options seems to take its toll.

Let’s cast our mind back a decade ago, when strikers such as Raul, Thierry Henry and Ruud Van Nistelrooy dominated the European game. These were authentic number nines, who combined strength with high quality finishing while leading the line for their teams with distinction. The game has evolved during the last decade, however, with deeper players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard now assuming a heavier goal scoring burden.

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Football’s worst Dives: Bringing shame on the Beautiful Game

Ah, diving. This is the most contentious issue in football, and also something that mysteriously gets blamed on overseas players. This bizarre mindset was demonstrated in a recent incident involving St. Johnstone defender Brad McKay, who has been charged by the Scottish FA after labelling Hearts’ striker Juanma as ‘a typical foreigner’ who ‘gets touched and goes down’.

If foreign players are responsible for diving, homegrown players have certainly picked up the concept. To celebrate the dark art of diving we have dug out three of the worst offences:

Kyle Lafferty, Rangers v Aberdeen

Kyle Lafferty

My personal favourite, Kyle Lafferty set a new low with his disgraceful ‘simulation’ against the Dons’ Charlie Mulgrew. After a collision on the touchline, the two players came together before Lafferty hurled himself to the ground as though he had been head-butted by an extra from Easter Island. A dumbfounded Mulgrew was sent-off, and despite sharing a smug wink with his teammates,Lafferty was forced to apologise after a backlash on social media.

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180 Minutes, 3 Shots and 6 Points

No, this is not the title of a new Nick Hornby book; nor is it a brief synopsis of Jack Wilshere’s playing activity in the last year. Instead, it is the tale of Manchester United’s season to date, as while the Reds sit fourth with a 100% record they have singularly failed to play with any great conviction.

Cue huge media speculation, with expert pundits (and Robbie Savage too) underlining the need for extra reinforcements before the end of the summer transfer window and highlighting Rooney’s recent decline.

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The Madness of King Mourinho

Fuck you mate

Yep, he’s melting down again. After a triumphant return to form in the Premier League last season, the Arrogant One has lost his marbles.

We’re now on Mourinho watch, waiting for him to finally implode. You can’t imagine him going down in anything other than a ball of flame, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Not everyone hates him of course, some Chelsea fans might get a tad upset. But in the long run you have to feel their club would be better served by someone without such a stupendously large ego, an ego so big it crushes other physical matter in its gravitational wake.

Time to hit the panic button – three transfer fails worth remembering

steve-marlet-fulham-

It’s that time of year again, when managers around the world realise that their threadbare squads are ill-equipped to cope with the demands of the new season. Cue three weeks of mindless mayhem in the transfer market, as records are broken and the boundaries of credibility are stretched to breaking point. The summer transfer window has seen some of the most spectacular recruitment failures in history.

Here are some of our favourites…

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Football’s axis of evil

Yep, you’re eyes did not deceive you. Vladimir Putin and Sepp Blatter shared a stage to announce the draw for Russia 2018. The internet reacted in the only way it knows to: with memes.

They generally focused on how banally evil the duo are, plus the burgeoning bromance between the two. Here is our pick of the best:

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