On this week's podcast Gavin and Owen picked out a team of the best Scottish teenage footballers right now. The side is outlined below, click the link in the tweet above to hear the podcast for more detail about the playing style of each and the thinking behind our selection.
Let's look at how Everton performed last season and what that suggested they needed, what they get by buying Richarlison and what some other options might have been. The final section is also relevant for other clubs as the young, goal scoring wide forward transfer merry-go-round seems to have swung into action with Barcelona stealing Malcom from under Roman noses, Europe's giants hovering vulture like around Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey and Brighton picking up the Eredivisie's top scorer Alireza Jahanbakhsh for around £17 million.
The 2018 World Cup has been excellent, maybe the best of all time, with all sorts of shocks, smart set pieces and two good teams competing in the final; France and Croatia. Both finalists have done brilliantly to progress through the latter stages of the tournament although Croatia have been taken to extra time on three occasions. Will this play a big factor on Sunday? I don’t believe this will be a factor that will affect how they play.
Both teams play with a 4-3-3 formation and the analysis of the six players highlighted below shows all can change the match due to their game knowledge. The really exciting aspect about how they set up is the rotation between the individuals in midfield with players moving to deeper roles and more advanced roles to keep the balance of the team.
Raheem Sterling has been booed by pubs full of his own fans, voted by the public as England's poorest player against Panama despite setting up two of the goals and has faced racist attacks on his character from the English tabloid media throughout the 2018 World Cup. He's missed some chances in the World Cup and there is a perception that he is a poor player or at the very least a poor finisher. The difference in England's system and Sterling's role within it certainly helps us understand why he is not scoring for them as much as he has done for Manchester City. It is worth also then thinking about why he has scored so much for Manchester City. Let's start by considering Benjamin Mendy's knee.
As we reach the semi-final stage of the brilliant 2018 World Cup here are three hot takes; Belgium's defence is too old, Romelu Lukaku can outscore Harry Kane in the 2018/19 English Premier League and the deep lying midfield playmaker is dead but Luka Modric can have one (or two) last hurrahs.
In a webinar on the Inspire Coach Education channel Gerard Jones predicted that the 2018 World Cup in Russia would be dominated by set plays. He wasn’t wrong! Set plays have been a major trend at this tournament. Now that we're at the semi-final stage I've analysed the set play attacking and defending of the four remaining countries; Belgium, France, Croatia and England. Each country has had some intelligent attacking set plays but has had some issues in defending them. This World Cup has been excellent - let's hope it continues to be do keep an eye out for the examples I note below in the remaining matches.
Written for Pure Fitbaw by Laurie McGinley
The 2018 World Cup, in Russia, has been an excellent tournament full of late goals, world class players showing their skills and attributes and dark horses coming to attention. One of those dark horses is Uruguay and I have been studying them throughout the group stages and have analysed how they defend as a team and how they transition from defence to attac
Just one week into the Finals tournament and Russia 2018 has already become The Setpiece World Cup. Freekicks, corners and VAR-assisted penalties are overshadowing goals from open play in a competition made overly evenly balanced by the intervention of the officials in the video control room.
Alfredo Morelos and Moussa Dembélé are both 21 year old centre forwards and play for Glaswegian clubs in the SPFL Premiership. This season they have performed similarly in some respects; both averaging approximately a goal every two games and setting up a shooting chance for a teammate around 1.30 times every 90 minutes. However, despite these similarities there is a remarkable contrast between the two individuals.
Given all the easy chances Morelos apparently misses is he more of a bull in a china shop than El Bufalo? If he isn't even trusted to start against Celtic it seems likely Rangers may explore selling him this summer. Morelos recently retweeted rumours of interest in him from Turkish club Beskitas and in some ways it would be understandable if he was looking for a way out of Ibrox. Celtic are likely to face rumours of the interest in Dembélé all summer and may be considering whether it is time to cash in.
The players highlighted in this article can be viewed as both potential replacements or added depth and competition. They are all fairly young and are reasonably realistic targets - though some only as loan deals. Scout these players out and tell us your thoughts on them and who else both clubs should look at by tweeting @PureFitbaw and @OwenJamesBrown using #OldFirmReplacements - we'll be following this up with more suggestions in part two soon.