Are Atalanta’s advances losing their appeal?

Like the imperfections in somebody’s appearance, imbalances in football are often what catch the eye. And, in the case of the less renowned nerazzurri in the Italian game, Atalanta’s attacking overloads have seldom failed to dazzle over the previous five years. Atalanta’s exuberance, creativity and sheer excitement have all been the brainchild of Gian Piero … Continue reading Are Atalanta’s advances losing their appeal?

Intelligent and boisterous: Barcelona’s Gavi is redefining the role of the typical Catalan midfield maestro

In a summer of so many lows and very few highs for Futbol Club Barcelona, one glimmer of positivity and hope that has shone through the darkness is the emergence of Pablo Martín Páez Gavira, better known as “Gavi”. The Sevillano midfielder joined the ranks of La Masia as an 11 year-old prospect after leaving … Continue reading Intelligent and boisterous: Barcelona’s Gavi is redefining the role of the typical Catalan midfield maestro

Derby win provides Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace and Julian Stéphan with nascent vindication

That Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace could appoint a coach of Julian Stéphan’s calibre was, in itself, an indication of the extent to which the side from eastern France have grown increasingly comfortable with their rediscovered Ligue 1 status. Stéphan, son of Guy, replaced the outgoing Thierry Laurey in May. The change felt decidedly timely … Continue reading Derby win provides Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace and Julian Stéphan with nascent vindication

Allegri’s limp return is a health warning for the Old Lady

Back-to-back defeats prompted a wrong turn down memory lane for Juventus supporters. In Naples, they had been completely outfought, outthought and outmanoeuvred after they lost 2-1 to Luciano Spalletti’s resurgent Napoli. It triggered a stark warning from Leonardo Bonucci in their press conference prior to the midweek trip at Malmö.  Bonucci told the Italian media, … Continue reading Allegri’s limp return is a health warning for the Old Lady

Atlético de Madrid’s evolving place at LaLiga’s top table

Twisting and turning, aching and groaning, knees burning; Atlético de Madrid finally came round the ultimate bend in last season’s title race with nothing more to give. Every last life had been used, every slice of fortune pawned away and all of their reserves exhausted. Even while toting a double-digit lead earlier in the season, … Continue reading Atlético de Madrid’s evolving place at LaLiga’s top table