Anatomy of a howler
Anatomy of a howler
Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos remains on the radar of Premier League clubs. The Greek center-back, linked with a summer transfer-window move to Liverpool, is currently recovering from a knee injury but Arsenal is reportedly preparing to make a January bid for the Greece international. We’ve also got the latest on Robert Lewandowski and Gaston Ramirez so click here for more.
Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.
Southampton fans, you might want to look away.
When the Saints sold a relatively unknown teenager named Gareth Bale to Tottenham in 2007, there was a sell-on clause in his transfer that guaranteed Southampton a 25% stake in any future transfer fee for the Welsh player. After Real Madrid dished out a reported world record fee of $132 million, that would seem like fantastic news to Saints fans.
Unfortunately, just a year after selling Bale to Spurs, Southampton found themselves short on cash and chose to waive the clause in place for a lump sum of roughly $4 million plus a young goalkeeping prospect named Tommy Forecast (he’s never been heard from again). Not quite the estimated $33 million they would have netted this weekend.
Of course, nobody could’ve foreseen Bale to garner a world record transfer fee just five years after leaving St Mary’s, but just knowing this minor detail will be sure to cause Southampton fans some grief today!
(H/T The Mirror)
Now, we usually give footballers a bit of leeway with their fashion choices, since they are supposed to be eccentric, but this is too ridiculous, even for us.
Former Newcastle striker Nile Ranger recently posted a photo of a new addition to his lineup of tattoos. When ranger tattooed a smiley face on the inner part of his mouth a few years ago, it seemed like the worst tattoo he could possibly get. Wrong.
You’re not imagining things. Nile Ranger tattooed his own name on his face. We’re not exactly sure of the reason, but we completely support giving people a heads up before they interact with Nile.
Surprisingly, we can’t definitively say that this is the worst tattoo we’ve ever seen in world football, a niche that seems to attract awful body art.
For example, here’s former Inter Milan legend, Marco Materazzi, who seems to have tattooed a game of Bejeweled on his arm.
Or Bologna midfielder, Alessandro Diamanti, who might want to check if his tattoo artist has a license. Smile!
Or former Arsenal defender, Andre Santos, who seems to have let his mother design his tattoo.
But if we have to pick one, it might be the stomach tattoo of Southampton’s goalkeeper, Artur Boruc, who seems to have found a use for his belly button.
Keep up the good works, guys.
Team-building exercises in the preseason are customary for pretty much every team in every sport. But whereas most coaches would probably use snug, easy activities like trust-falls or the infamous “human knot,” Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino led his straight team into the fire, literally.
Pochettino opted to have his players do something a bit more unorthodox while training in Spain: walk over hot coals!
That’s right, in a sport where a player’s most valuable weapon is their feet, he made his players walk across a path of fiery coals. Sounds crazy right?
In truth, the entire team seemed to really enjoy the bonding exercise, following their manager one-by-one over the “trail of terror” with various chants — or just wild shouts— of self-encouragement. Laughs were had by all, and thankfully no feet were too severely burnt for the following training sessions!
#TBT: Gareth Bale in 2004
Remaining matches that impact relegation:
5/14: Arsenal vs. Wigan
5/19: Wigan vs. Aston Villa; Tottenham vs. Sunderland
Heading into the final week of the Barclays Premier League, the final team relegated has yet to be determined. Following recent results Stoke, Norwich, Newcastle, Southampton, and Fulham have sealed their spots in the Premier League for next season.
All eyes will be on the match between Arsenal and Wigan on Tuesday. Arsenal is battling for a Champions League position and Wigan is fighting for survival. A Wigan loss will be a dagger in their campaign and would condemn them to the Championship next season.
If the Latics beat the Gunners, Sunday’s matchup between Wigan and Aston Villa could have Premier League life or death riding on it.
With 2 weeks remaining, there are still 10 Premier League teams that can be mathematically relegated to the npower Championship. To say that every game left on the team’s schedule is a must-win would be a drastic understatement.
Here are just a few of the matches that could be the difference between survival and relegation:
Image via Opta
This table takes a look at what the Premier League landscape would look like if only goals from English players counted.
Thanks to English-born Rickie Lambert and his 14 goals, the currently 12th placed Saints would find themselves atop the table. Conversely, Manchester City would see a 31 point drop in a fall from 2nd place to 13th.
What’s the biggest takeaway from this?
Chelsea’s Petr Cech may have kept him out of the Blues’ squad for as long as we can remember, but Belgian keeper Thibault Courtois has built up quite a following over at Atletico Madrid with some sublime performances.
With a Europa League against his name, Courtois is heavily touted to be the next best thing. Some Premier League clubs are starting to take notice now, but who? Find out over at Paper Chase.