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  • The making of Arsène Wenger

    Arsène Wenger is one of the most revered men in football. Not only is he a brilliant manager, he’s also a motivator, a teacher, a confidant and an eternal student of the beautiful game. Nevertheless, his final years at Arsenal were marred by everyone in the footballing world having an opinion on whether he should…

  • José Mourinho: The Inter Years

    At the end of August 2018, following a 3-0 defeat of Manchester United at home to Tottenham Hotspur, a frustrated José Mourinho quoted the German philosopher, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, in defence of himself when asked whether he was still one of the world’s great managers.    “Did you read any philosopher? You spent time…

  • The Redemption of Louis van Gaal at AZ Alkmaar

    What can be said about Louis van Gaal? The legendary Dutch manager is a winner; a visionary; a stern pragmatist. No matter what way one looks at him, his brilliance precedes his arrogance, for success was never too far away from him.   Early in his managerial career, he changed the method at Ajax, forming…

  • Helmut Groß, Controlled Chaos and the Stuttgart School

    The late 1990s and early 2000s saw a period of struggle for the German national team. After winning the European Championships in 1996, the World Cup two years after that saw them fall in the quarter-finals, losing to debutants Croatia in France. The 3-0 embarrassment led to calls for change, but it didn’t arrive in…

  • The Miracle Match of 1950: England vs. USA

    Up until recent years, you would almost always struggle to find comparison in terms of stature and wealth of footballing talent when it comes to the United States of America and England. Many other sports serve the reverse purpose, but football belongs on the east side of the North Atlantic, or so many would believe.…

  • Premier League Returns: From Gareth Bale to Michael Owen – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Christmas came three months early for Tottenham fans as Gareth Bale returned to north London for a season-long loan after seven years away. But, in keeping with Christmas traditions, Spurs fans will only be able to enjoy their new toy after dinner – or in more boring terms – until the Welshman gets fit.  …

  • How Jackson Martinez Stole the Show on His Way To Porto, Then Fell Apart at Atlético

    Since the turn of the millennium, FC Porto have signed, sealed and developed a host of South American players from cut-rate, unproven circumstances into acclaimed, unstoppable stardom. The names that instantly spring to mind are James Rodríguez, Alex Sandro and Radamel Falcao who stunned the Primeira Liga at a young age before inevitably going on…

  • The Rise of LASK Linz, the Club That Never Gave Up

    “Who the hell are LASK by the way? Don’t worry I LASK someone,” tweeted Gary Lineker after Manchester United were drawn to face the Austrian side in the Round of 16 in the 2019/20 Europa League. While the former forward’s tweet may have been a tongue-in-cheek, punny comment, it was partially true that not many…

  • Roberto Baggio: The Legend of Il Divino Codino

    The mullet. The number ten. Echoing cries of ‘é fino di Baggio’ from high up in the gantry. Few would’ve expected the Divine Ponytail to recover from that many setbacks. But here he was.   Eight years after he scared Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi to pieces at the San Siro, Baggio simply drifted beyond…

  • Ralf Rangnick: The Hoffenheim Diaries

    “That’s the kind of football we want to play one day,” said Jürgen Klopp after his Borussia Dortmund side were beaten 4-1 by Ralf Rangnick’s Hoffenheim in a Bundesliga fixture in September 2008. Vedad Ibišević (twice), Sejad Salihović and Carlos Eduardo struck for the Sinsheim club to seal an emphatic win in their first-ever season…