The Round Up, World Football

In what has been an extremely exciting week of football across our favorite leagues, what have been the latest stories, reactions and reviews on all the happenings? Here are our football updates from the last few days:

United Crumble amidst De Gea show of shame

It’s rather comfortable to fixate on all the flimsy narratives that came into play, what with Solksjaer making a big song and dance about his opposing Chelsea side been afforded an extra two days to rest, and perhaps a few United players dealing with a supposed fatigue and all that, but at the end of the day been afforded less time to prepare can in no wise excuse the many failings that resulted in that shambolic United showing against Chelsea.

All round poor squad selection and team set-up
For a game that had the potential to bring OGS to his first ever managerial final, and within inches of FA cup glory, the questionable tactic he went with absolutely beggars belief.

If his approach was to rest his squad, which in hindsight wasn’t an enlightened approach, his decision not to start with the much rested Odion Ighalo was off by a mile. The United side was lacking any form of striking focus all game long, what with Rashford and James offering plenty nothings down the center, where it counted. Starting De Gea over his cup favorite – Sergio Romero would also prove to be far too costly even as leaving the brunt of the creative work on Bruno Fernandes was.

Bruno Fenandes over-dependence
When you notice a very talented player entering a team and suddenly getting so much praise, it’s more than likely that he might be getting heavily burdened beyond the scope of work he is meant to do, as is the case with Bruno.

With all the praise Pogba is getting for being ‘reborn’, ‘freed’, or ‘rejuvenated’, it is quite obvious that everything starts at the feet of Bruno in the United attack and as it has begun to show, once Bruno is switched off, so does the service to United’s attack dry up.

Toothless attack
It’s funny how all the talk of United’s attack being as good as City’s or Liverpools now seems like malarkey in the wake of the disappointing performance against Chelsea. The inability of United’s front men to carve open a much porous Chelsea defence is an exclamation point to the urgent need for Solksjaer to recruit one or two more attacking personnel to beef up his roster.

De Gea and his inept back crew
Many a time it’s sad to see a player who was once the toast of all, slip into an unimaginable low, but such is the case of the Spanish goalie. Not only is he committing errors at an alarming rate making him much too untrustworthy, his defenders who are meant to protect him and limit the amount of saves he should be required to make (not like he is making any at the moment though) are as clueless as their goalie. each time a decent looking attack comes asking questions of them.

As the supposed ‘holiday’ feeling has come and climaxed for United, with the Champions League top spots up for grabs, it’s interesting to see how Solksjaer will seek to rally his troops and get a decent finish to what has been a very topsy-turvy campaign for Manchester United this season.

Messi and Ronaldo rip apart new individual records in Europe

Water is wet, the sky is blue…and in other related news, Messi and Ronaldo have shattered a new couple of records over the last few days.

The fact that, granted the kinds of unconvincing seasons both stars’ teams are having – the internal institutional crisis going on in Barcelona and Sarri’s derailment from “the way” at Juventus – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are still eclipsing all sorts of records any which way, is just a testament to how great these both players are.

Any one with the slightest bit of interest in Spanish football is all but aware of the catastrophe going on in FC Barcelona. They just recently rescinded the La liga title to an absolutely dominant Real Madrid side, but more to it, the team looks as disjointed as ever. There is a lack of leadership and direction, players aren’t as good as they once were, management is as poor as it gets, and the fans have given up hope in a side they once lavishly boasted in.

But amidst all the disaster and doom gloom, one thing has been consistent: the genius of Messi. Even in a year where he barely had any pre-season and was in and out during the first two months due to injury, Messi still managed to run away with all the attacking accolades in Spain and even set some new records for himself while at it.

He scored the most goals, had the most assists, created the most chances and pretty much topped every other attacking metric there was to rate. To do this at his age, given the problems the club has, and there are many, it has been a season worthy of adulation for the brilliant Argentine.

It’s interesting however to hear persons undervalue the performance Lionel Messi has had, given how greatly esteemed he is. But winning a record 7th Piccici, setting a new assist record in Spanish football and hitting 20 goals and 20 assists for only the second time ever in history of European football, it’s epic tomfoolery to claim it has been anything less than an outstanding season for Messi by any footballing standards.

Currently, it’s impossible to disguise the fact that Ronaldo hasn’t had as efficient a set-up as he would have hoped for while joining the Old lady. The midfield and supply has left plenty to be desired and the tactics employed by Sarri haven’t always flattered Ronaldo’s better attributes. But being Ronalo, not only has he made it work, he has revelled in the challenge and excelled.

At the age of 35, to hit the meteoric numbers he has in a new league – scoring 30 in 30 for Juve this season (with all of 4 games to play), and been the fastest player to hit the 50 goal mark in Italian football history – one will be remiss not to acknowledge the great feet he has made.

As he has his eyes on not only the Scudetto and the highest goal scorer award in Italy,but also the European golden shoe, it would yet be fun to see how this 35-year old anomaly and freak would continue to defy the odds and prove his doubters wrong, with both personal and team honors to his credit

With plenty of noise about these two greats of the game haven peaked and only in decline, it’s amazing how they still have every other player in the world far behind them as far as either ability or performance go. One can only be giddy with anticipation as we see just how many more years of amazing football we will be treated to by these footballing gods.

Lewandowski and the others who would bemoan the Ballon d’or cancellation

FIFA the best and Ballon d’or awards have both been suspended for this year, 2020, for reasons hardly understood. Seeing as football did in fact go on, and votes could still have easily been done, what with the internet plenty at out service now more than ever, it’s quite sad to see that the awards won’t be hosted this year. To the utter disappointment of a few.

No doubt Lewandowski was tipped by most to be in pole position for both awards this year, but who are the others who have been most outstanding over the course of this season and were looking at themselves to be favorites for both the Ballon d’or and the FIFA the best awards.

Or better put, who have been the ten best players in the world so far this season:

Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski has quite easily been the best player thus far this season. Not only does he lead the mark with goals in German Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal, he is also currently the highest goal scorer in the Champions Leagues. Frankly, Lewandoski has been the best in every competition he has played in this year.

Lionel Messi
The numbers for Messi tell all the story. And, even as it has been a very underwhelming season for Barcelona, Messi’s numbers have eclipsed everyone’s in spain, and nigh in all of Europe.

Kevin De Bruyne
It’s easy to lose sight of how well De Bruyne has played this season when one considers how poorly City have fared, in some regard. But in matters of individual performances, almost no one has come near De Bruyne all season long.

Virgil Van Dijk
Hardly a flash in the pan for his appearance in the galas last year, Van Dijk has proven this season that not only is he extremely world class but he has earned the right to be mentioned amongst the very best; as evidenced by his performance for Liverpool enroute their historic league win.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Once again, it’s all about the numbers for this man. 30goals in 30 league games, and counting…it’s been a season of pure class from CR7. Should he win the European golden shoe, he might even go higher up this list – such as would be well deserved.

Mohammed Salah
All the high praises and platitudes are not enough for the stellar performances Salah gave week in week out towards Liverpool’s historic campaign. He was as dastardly in goal scoring as he was in creating for team mates. It has been an exceptional season indeed for the Egyptian.

Karim Benzema
For a man who soldiered most, if not all, of the attacking burden of a title winning side that went up against a team that boasted all of Suarez, Griezmann and Messi, it cannot be overstated how impactful Karim Benzema was in offence for Real Madrid all season long.

Sadio Mane
Perhaps due to his calm demeanour, Mane doesn’t get all the praises he deserves, but almost no one has been as unsung a hero as Mane has been in the Liverpool side. Constantly stepping up on big occasions, creating and orchestrating play…Sadio has had a remarkable season by any and all standards.

Sergio Ramos
By a long margin one of the best shifts you’ve seen by any defender in years. Ramos was the quintessential “complete footballer” for Real Madrid all season long: shutting down oppositions in defense and banging in goal after goal for Madrid on the other end. The Madrid defense owe their improvement to a man who was at the same time the second highest goal scorer for the team this season, such is the ridiculous impact he had on the Madrid side all season.

Thomas Muller
Thomas Muller has had the sort of career you would most appreciate in hindsight more than in the “here-and-now”, but this has been one of, if not his best season yet for Bayern Munich. Setting the assist record in Europe while on the road to a historic treble, should things go his way, it’s been a brilliant performance for Muller up until now and he deserves a spot on this list.

The Ballon d’or cancellation is a big shame to world football, as this year boasted a ton of outstanding players who would have loved a bite of the cherry and might have fancied their chances of claiming one of football’s most coveted prizes.

Ake to City, Havertz to Chelsea and other interesting transfer news

With the transfer window set to open in late July, as is the norm rumors of player movements have been touted all over the news. A few have been in fact worthy of note and with that, most of our interests are piqued.

What are the most interesting transfer news in football right now?

Jaden Sancho to Manchester United
With what seems to be like a happy move for all, it’s hard to understand why the matter seems to have dragged on end. However, there is hardly any doubt the impact the English man would have in the United side. His skill and creativity will help to arm United with enough firepower up front, as they look to bolster their squad and vie for trophies in coming seasons.

Nathaniel Ake to Manchester City
It’s hardly news that City have a hole in their central back position, a problem that Guardiola has nursed all season long and will definitely try to find amends to in the transfer window. The question of how well Nathaniel fits into the City side is another matter.

It’s looking to be a transfer that asks more questions than provides answers, and we can only look to see how the left footed 5ft 9 center back from Bournemouth can complement Aymeric Laporte in defense, or if Pep has plans to purchase one more center-half in the transfer window.

Kai Havert to Chelsea
The Bayern Leverkusen youngster has been an absolute revelation all season, and as expected, many teams have had their eyes on him. The issue however has been the money Leverkusen has decided to hold out for. With the look of it, only Chelsea is ready to pay the king’s ransom being asked for by the German side.

However, with all the creativity and quality Chelsea already boasts in attack, one is forced to ask if there aren’t other slots that such an amount of money could be better employed in to strengthen the London side.

Lautaro Martinez to Barcelona
No strangers to the ridiculously inflated transfer Market we find ourselves in, Barcelona is in the market, yet again, for another 100M+ player.

Unlike the clubs previously failed transfers in recent years, it’s difficult to fault the reasoning behind this particular move. There is an actual need for the player, as Suarez’s years are far past, and the quality of Lautaro is quite obvious to all.

Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool
Having conquered Germany over and over again, one can only assume that Alcantara has decided against renewing his contract at Bayern Munich in search of a different experience. And what better coach to sign up under than one who has coveted him for many years now: Jurgen Klopp.

It isn’t yet certain if Alcantara would be a starter or a squad player, but judging by the attitude of the people at Anfield, it is clear that they don’t see the spanish veteran as a marquee signing and he should not expect an instant starting shirt for the Champions.

The Ballon d’or cancellation is a big shame to world football, as this year boasted a ton of outstanding players who would have loved a bite of the cherry and might have fancied their chances of claiming one of football’s most coveted prizes.

As the English and Italian league draw to an end, and we have our eyes on various cup games coming up in Europe as well as the Champions League continuation only at the corridor now, it looks like we have yet another eventful week of football upon us.

We’ll be here with all the exciting reviews, stories and updates on the go!

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