After a poor game of Man United again, Fellaini gives a point to Everton

At the end of an encounter rotten by technical errors, Everton pulled a logical 1-1 draw against a pale Manchester United Sunday at Goodison Park. Doubts, always doubts, and many unanswered questions.

What a poor game of Man United again!

Everton 1-1 Manchester United
Goals: Baines (89th sp) for Everton // Ibrahimović (42nd) for Manchester United

Nothing was perfect, but the essential thing was there. Zlatan Ibrahimović, who had long been shouting at everything and anything, having fought with Gareth Barry, had even cut short of boredom by opening the scoring on a dismal outing in Stekelenburg before half time. Manchester United held its first victory in the Premier League since November 6th. And Mourinho wanted to concretize in the last moments by bringing in Fellaini. A tuft that stirred in a few seconds with the foot that drags as far as those of Idrissa Gueye. This is how Everton finally snatched a point in the final minutes of a long rotten encounter by a low technical level. Difficult to swallow for MU, but rather logical.
Journey to the End of Sadness
José Mourinho now needs to know. Know if his Manchester United is well on track, if he is able to confirm the few advances seen in recent weeks, but especially to see the state of his search for style set in motion for a little less than four months. Can there be a next day to the beautiful score played Wednesday night at Old Trafford against West Ham in the League Cup? Do his men have the ability to repeat the good chains, the automatic glimpses? He is convinced of this. So the Portuguese says that everyone is now at the level of his expectations and that his choices are more tactical than specific. That’s why we did not have to worry about Juan Mata replacing Goodison Park on a stage that Mourinho loves. Result: Henrik Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba also, while Darmian was again preferred to Blind in the absence of Luke Shaw. Opposite, Everton also landed to pass to the revealer after three games without success and a week after a logical defeat to Southampton (1-0). Ronald Koeman got angry, squealed to strengthen himself quickly and had decided to pose Barkley and Jagielka on the bench.

On entry, the reaction expected by Koeman is visible. Everton fights, press, holds the ball and embarrasses a wait-and-see United. One looks at oneself, one gauges oneself, one is afraid also and sometimes one lights up, the image of a tackle of Barry on Ibrahimović or a robbery two feet detached from Rojo on Idrissa Gueye. If not ? Otherwise, not much, except for a far shot from Pogba away from Stekelenburg or a fuzzy attempt at Funes Mori that does not warm anyone. Manchester purrs, lack of movements in front, while on the other side, Yannick Bolasie tries to shake the pace of a closed meeting. Michael Oliver decided to be cool, so the only thrills are in the big carvings and dirty shots in the midst of the sadness of a match where neither team is able to chain the movements in time. As if we could play ninety minutes, wait, shower, get barred and voila. In the end, Zlatan Ibrahimović finally managed to unlock the game before the break (0-1, 42 ‘). Not the best promos.

Especially since the second period starts again on the same bases with terrible technical errors. But the spaces opened, so Mirallas first warned De Gea after easily taking the lead on Rojo, before seeing the pair Martial-Mkhitaryan finally fuck the brothel on the other side. Herrera hit the bar at the hour of play, and United finally began to play. Koeman tries to react and sends Deulofeu and Enner Valencia into the battle passing 4-4-2. The reaction is immediate for Toffees who find their pressing, grow, and in two minutes, Gueye and Holgate, entered in the place of Coleman, wounded, oblige De Gea to release again its costume of savior. See Phil Jones being the best player of the day for Manchester United says a lot of the very average performance of José Mourinho’s men who will therefore not be able to confirm the few promises of the last appointments. At the end of the blows, Valencia crunched a new opportunity for Everton, while the Mou brought in Rashford and Fellaini. A detail that changes everything, because on his first duel, the Belgian international upsets Gueye. Penalty for Everton (What a great news for Everton!), and Baines layer perfectly De Gea (1-1, 88th). This is how to catch a job in seconds and leave a first victory in the Premier League for a month. In Manchester, it is now certain: Marouane Fellaini is only good to satisfy Goodison Park.

What a poor game of Man United again!

Why a football ball in your balls hurts?

Fact: why a football ball un your balls hurts?
Very little, if any, footballer has escaped a strike in the intimate parts during his career. And all players know the pain it provides. How can we explain the sensitivity of the balls? This is an important question we want to answer today.

This is probably the only situation in football where you can never blame the opponent for simulating. Even yourself, in front of your screen, suffer from empathy. Because you knew it, this excruciating pain that takes you in half a second after receiving the ball in your private parts. Right away, you regretted having made the courageous guy who wanted to protect his camp by putting his body in opposition. After long seconds of martyrdom, you got up again as best you could. You tried to put yourself in the game, forcing you to forget what had just happened, but your lower abdomen did not zap. The pain brought back under the abdominal area is a real hell. This is the true obsession of the footballer: the blow in the testicles. Whether it comes from the opponent, the football ball or even the post.
Some sources that are not really reliable ensure that a kick in the testicles would be 160 times more painful than a childbirth. The thing is obviously more than exaggerated, but at least the bases are laid. Hence the question, as simple as fundamental: why is it so bad? First obvious explanation: the testicles are not protected, as can the heart for example. Neither grease nor muscle nor bone … The purses are not equipped to cushion a blow and must manage on their own to handle a shock. Would nature be badly made?

Still a ball in the face or a small elbow well placed nevertheless less tremble than a free kick from Roberto Carlos who could finish his race where you know. Here again, a reason justifies that the family jewels are more sensitive than other parts of the body. “It’s a reproductive organ. As each species has a mission to reproduce, it is considered very important since it produces gametes and testosterone. As a result, pain plays the role of the alarm signal. And as in addition, it is not very well protected, the alarm mechanism is very powerful. In other words, the body is very attached to its balls. Consequently, if one touches it, he reminds the owner, warning his brain to make it clear that it will not have to happen again. And now everything will have to be done to protect him. That is why this pain that you have known in the past makes you unconsciously, or consciously besides, to put your hand before your parties if Roberto Carlos is about to shoot.

To fulfill this mission, nature has once again done well. In order to alert on their maltreatment endured, the testes need to be richly equipped. “To protect in a certain way his jewel, the body has found nothing better than to supply him with many nerves. Thus, in case of a hard blow, the message “Attention, something happens at the balls, there!” Is transmitted very quickly, recalls the pain specialist. It works, since once you have experienced this pain, you avoid it as much as possible. Okay. And what pain is left in the lower abdomen, what is it due to? “The first pain, immediate, is the consequence of the” fast “nerve fibers, which are supposed to provoke a reaction. The second pain, that of the lower abdomen, corresponds to diffuse pain, due to “slow” fibers. As the testicles share nerves with the stomach, it is this area which pays the expenses. In addition, the pain may increase if the testicle strikes against the pelvic bone. Surely what must have happened to this poor wretch.

If the painful effect is spectacular, the consequences of a blow to the genitals are generally not serious. Nevertheless, if Hulk concentrated all his energy and sends a missile between your legs, you would feel a pain so extreme that it could cause syncope.

So, this was actually our serious explanation why a football ball in your balls hurts. Hope you liked it and try to avoid it happening in the future.

Plane crash: the terrible curse on football

Curse on Football with planes?

Yesterday the Brazilian club of Chapecoense was very hard hit by the crash of the plane that transported its first team in Colombia to compete in the final match of the Copa Sudamericana against the Atlético Nacional. This is not the first aerial accident in the world of football. Is there a terrible curse on football?

4 May 1949 – Torino
After the war, the Torino is THE great Italian team, certainly also the best in Europe. The team won the national league title and is invited to show its talents abroad. The Avio-Linee Italiane, which hails eighteen players (including eight internationals) and staff (including coach Egri Erbstein), returns from a gala match in Portugal against Benfica. There is no survivor to this crash due to difficult weather conditions, a radio fault and a piloting error. 31 victims in total.

6 February 1958 – Manchester United

With the one who touched the Torino, it was the other plane crash that most traumatized the world of football. Flight 609 of the British European Airways transported the “Busby Babes” of Manchester United on February 6th, 1958, the famous gold generation of the Red Devils, then in search of a continental title. The team had just won their qualification for the semi-finals of the Cup of the champions on the lawn of the Red Star of Belgrade. The specially chartered Airspeed AS.57 Ambassador 2 was refueling in Munich. At the third attempt to re-launch to Manchester, the aircraft crashed at the end of the track in an icy weather. Among the 23 victims, eight Manchester United players. And among the twenty-one survivors, manager Matt Busby and a handful of Busby Babes members, including Bobby Charlton.

16 July 1960 – Danish Olympic Team
In the summer of 1960, the Danish team was preparing to compete in the Olympic Games. A final test match is planned in Herning, in the north of the country. Among the players summoned, eight came from Copenhagen and borrow a small plane. In the Sound, the strait that separates Denmark from Sweden, the aircraft crashes and kills its eight passengers, aged between nineteen and twenty-nine, including guard Per Funch Jensen, one survivor of the crash, But who dies on the road taking him to the hospital. Only true survivor: the pilot, who must still undergo an amputation.

3 April 1961 – CD Green Cross (Chile)
It was 11:57 pm on April 3rd, 1961 when the Douglas DC-3 crashed in the Cordillera in the Maule region of Chile at an altitude of 3,200 meters. The crash made no survivors among the 20 passengers, including a majority of players and staff, and four crew members. The plane made a domestic flight to Chile between the city of Castro and the capital Santiago, where the Green Cross formation originated. The drama returned to the news in 2015 when mountaineers rediscovered the remains of the aircraft’s fuselage, as well as bones and tattered clothing.

Leonardo Albornoz: “We heard the engine of the plane”

26 September 1969 – The Strongest (Bolivia)
South America, again, this time with an accident that affected the Bolivian football and especially the club of The Strongest. Sixteen of his players, a masseur and two leaders were in this plane that was returning from Santa Cruz, where the team had just played a friendly tournament, heading for La Paz. One hour after takeoff, the aircraft crashes at an altitude of 4,500 meters. During the hours that followed, the confusion reigned. And for good reason: that same day, in Bolivia, a military coup d’etat took place. There are rumors of a hostage taking, but it was an accident that decimated a majority of the club’s staff in the capital. The team however quickly rebuilt around its captain Rolando Vargas, absent from the tournament, and conquer the national title only a year later.

11 August 1979 – FC Pakhtakor Tashkent (USSR)
An aerial collision between two aircraft is rare. This is what happened on 11th of August 1979 in the sky above Kourylivka, in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The disaster caused 178 victims, the total number of passengers and crew of the two Tupolev aircraft of Aeroflot. The investigation reveals that one of the aircraft mistakenly followed instructions from the control tower to the other. One of the planes went from Donetsk to Minsk, where the Pakhtakor Tashkent team was competing against Dinamo Minsk. The crash killed seventeen players and staff members.

8 December 1987 – Alianza Lima (Peru)
It is the end of the season in Peru in December 1987, and Alianza Lima is preparing to conquer a new national title. Returning from a trip, the team is transported by a Fokker F27, chartered by the national navy. Just before landing in Lima, the plane crashed into the sea. A landing gear problem had been reported a few minutes earlier at the control tower, but it was a human error that would have led to the crash, The aircraft flying too low. Of the forty-three dead, there are sixteen players, including Alfredo Tomassini, a survivor of the accident, but who died drowned before the arrival of rescue. The only survivor is a pilot.

7 June 1989 – Kleurrijk Elftal (Suriname)
The “Kleurrijk Elftal”, was a selection of players of Suriname origin in the Netherlands, created in the mid-1980s to strengthen the ties between these two countries. On June 7, 1989, this selection leaves from Amsterdam, direction Paramaribo to play a series of matches. A few kilometers from the capital of Surinam, the plane crashed with 187 people aboard, due to human error. 15 players died in this accident, out of the eighteen members of the selection. Among the fifteen survivors in total, there is Sigi Lens, the father of Jeremain Lens, who will however put a premature end to his career. The accident also killed the sister and mother of Romeo Castelen, the future Dutch international, who had made the trip.

27 April 1993 – National team of Zambia
The qualifying for the 1994 World Cup was in full swing in April 1993 in Africa. The Zambian national team was to face Senegal, with flight 319 of the Zambian Air Force which had been specially chartered by the Federation. Three refueling stops were planned. Just after the second in Libreville in Gabon, the aircraft crashes at sea, 500 meters from the coast. The causes: a defective engine and the fatigue of the pilots. Among the 30 victims to be deplored, there are 18 players. A good part of Zambian football’s livelihood, with the notable exception of its star Kalusha Bwalya, then PSV player in the Netherlands, who was both the coach and the captain of the team. He had to go to Senegal on his own. The selection will be rebuilt around him and will miraculously reach the CAN final only a few months later.

And then, yesterday with a new crash with most of the team from Chapecoense. This is hard to believe there is not a curse on football. Flying by plane is definitely not the safest transportation for football teams.

Swansea wins the Premier League game of the year!

Last week, we lived the game of the decade in Champions league between Dortmund and Warsaw (8-4). This weekend, we probably lived the English Premier League game of the year between Swansea and Crystal Palace (5-4) with an amazing finish.

Swansea 5-4 Crystal Palace
Goals: Sigurdsson (36th), Iron (66th, 68th), Llorente (90th + 1, 90th + 3) for Swansea // Zaha (20th), Tomkins (75th), Cork (own goal, 82nd), Benteke (84th) for Crystal Palace

This was a game totally crazy for this duel at the bottom of EPL table. After twenty minutes, Zaha controlled the ball, dribbles in the surface and does not bog by swinging a shot in the middle of the goal. It’s enough to beat Fabiański who had plunged. But Hennessey has no interest in laughing, for a quarter of an hour later he is caught on a strong free-kick from Sigurdsson just in front of the surface. Swansea thinks to make the difference thanks to a double of Fer in two minutes (66th and 68th). If the Swans are already leaving the last Premier League spot, Tomkins narrows the gap, before poor Cork equals with a goal against his own side. Benteke comes to crucify the premises by offering a great come with a goal in the 84th minute. At least, that’s what he had to think, before Llorente came to equalize in the extra time. The Spaniard offered an incredible second goal in the last seconds. 5-4: what a game!

Bob Bradley’s Crazy Success
Arrived from Le Havre to replace Guidolin, Bob Bradley finally won at the head of Swansea after six Premier League games. The American first believed to hold an easy victory since his team led 3-1 to the 75th. But the Eagles of Zaha and Benteke scored three times in nine minutes and went past! An incredible turnaround that has given way to… another

As said above, Fernando Llorente scored twice in the stoppage of the game to get a 5-4 victory for the locals. A madness.

Therefore, Swansea wins its first Premier League game this season and what a game: probably the game of the year! With this Swansea AFC results, the team is not bottom of the league anymore.

Dortmund-Warsaw 8-4: this is actually NOT the C1 record!

12 goals in C1, A record, really?
If you followed the festival of goals between Borussia Dortmund and Legia Warsaw in the Champions League news on Tuesday, the information quickly spread to entice the whole football world: we would have witnessed the most prolific match in the history of C1. This is false, since the record dates from the 1969-1970 edition and probably won’t be beaten for a very long time.

Every year, the Champions League is the competition that makes the eyes of any good football fan. The mythical music, the stars, the big posters and, highlight of the show, the summary of the evening with all the goals… This Tuesday evening, the surprise was great with the unfolding of this Dortmund-Legia. Seven goals in thirty-two minutes, then twelve in total at the final whistle, to finish on a score worthy of a water-polo game (8-4). Everyone had fun watching this game completely unbridled, where Shinji Kagawa marks the history of the C1 with 2 goals in seventy-six seconds, it’s true. But despite this river score, this encounter should not be ranked as the most fertile in goals since the creation of the Champions League in 1992. The history of his ancestor, the European Cup champions clubs, contains indeed 2 protagonists, the KR Reykjavik and the Feyenoord Rotterdam, for the biggest avalanche of goals ever known in C1.
For the first round of the first round, on September 17, 1969, the Feyenoord team took the lead against its modest Icelandic opponent, far from being a fan of continental surprises. The game turned crazy, and the score of 0-7 at half-time leaves no room for doubt as to the identity of the future winner of the game. There was a monstrous 0-10, but Reykjavik saved the honor thanks to Baldvin Baldvinsson’s head a quarter of an hour late. 1-10, then 2-10, before Ernst Happel decided to amplify this butchery with two last goals (12-2). Fourteen goals in total, one goal every six minutes thirty seconds on average. The C1 record is set.

An unexpected coronation
Following this memorable “spanking”, the return match turned into a mere formality. Reykjavik left the Netherlands with four other goals and a cumulative score of 16-2. However, Feyenoord was still not a favorite in this competition. Real Madrid, Benfica Lisbon, Celtic Glasgow and especially AC Milan were bigger candidates. Anyway, the team won the first C1 in the history of Dutch football. De Trots van Zuid (Southern pride in VF) surprised AC Milan, too sure of his strength, in a sold-out stadium in the second leg in Rotterdam (0-1, 2-0). Same in quarters against FC Vorwärts Berlin, in an equally tight duel (0-1, 2-0), then in semi-finals against… Legia Warsaw, already (0-0, 2-0). In the final in San Siro, the Feyenoord and Celtic Glasgow neutralize at the end of normal time. Everything is set in overtime with the winning goal signed Kindvall (116th, 2-1), the first actor of the slap given seven months earlier in Reykjavik.

Who knows, Kagawa may be the hero of this Champions League 2016-2017…

Chelsea new EPL leader after winning against Middlesbrough

Chelsea new EPL leader after winning against Middlesbrough
Without shaking, the Blues went to impose themselves on the field of Middlesbrough. Chelsea took the lead in the English Premier League (EPL) with a goal scored by Diego Costa, the club’s top scorer.

Costa released the Blues with a goal at the 41st minute.

The last time that Diego Costa competed for the title of top scorer of Premier League, it was in 2014-2015. A season where he had eleven pawns in the first twelve days and Chelsea had finished champion of England. Today, the striker is late compared to 2014-2015, but he is leading the scoring table and his team is leader of the EPL. This is thanks to a new win against Middlesbrough, which gave the victory to The Blues and sent the Blues to the top. So yes, it’s too early to make the Londoners favorites as there are other contenders such as Liverpool FC, Manchester City and Arsenal. However, with his 3-4-3 which does not take any goal, the team of Antonio Conte seriously begins to settle like a true candidate for the title. His victory at Boro is proof of this.
The 3-4-3 mastered … for 40 minutes
Faced with a Boro not so easy to maneuver (drew at Arsenal and Manchester City in the last three games), the Blues struggled during the first minutes. If Kante is faithful to his level, Hazard, Pedro, Costa, Moses and Alonso flanked a little. As a result, it is Middlesbrough that appeared the most dangerous, in spite of misconduct. Rather solid, Karanka’s men did not seem particularly embarrassed by the famous 3-4-3 of Conte.

Only Valdés must take the decisive stop in front of Pedro after a good collective movement in London. The Spanish goalkeeper conceded a goal, where Diego Costa took advantage of the apathy of the defenders to open the score just before halftime. Ideal.

A 3-4-3 that always resists
And the soldiers of Conte did not intend to stop there. Upon the return of the locker room, Chelsea continued their progression and accelerated the rhythm. This was an evidence with the bar found by Pedro. Middlesbrough no longer touched the ball. The only solution for the Reds: play high by accenting the pressing. This allowed them to come much closer to the Chelsea’s goalkeeper, thanks to a very mobile Traoré. Chelsea replied by forcing constantly on the right, with Moses, often free of any movement. Above all, Chelsea still does not take a goal in the Premier League for a while. This has been going on for six games. Either since the introduction of 3-4-3, Chelsea FC results and scores have been great. A scheme that pleases both defenders and Mr. Costa.

Chelsea is now the new EPL leader. Let’s see how long does it last.

The Three Lions ruined their perfect football game

Score: England 2-2 Spain
Goals: Lallana (9th, Penalty Kick) and Vardy (48th) for England // Iago Aspas (89th) and Isco (90th + 6) for Spain

If you followed the latest England football news, you probably know that the Three Lions drew against England last night. The team was winning 2-0 and but the Three Lions ruined their perfect football game. What could have been a performance will stay as a disappointment.

So yes, it was just a friendly game. Yes, it’s not necessarily the type of parties to draw conclusions. But breathing had never hurt anyone, and England football definitely needed it. Everything was perfect, Wembley was ready to savor a success of prestige and the Three Lions quietly amused themselves in front of a harmless Spain, in full renewal of generation and undermined by the wounds. Then, Southgate’s men trembled in the final minutes of the encounter. Not so friendly, eventually.

So far, Gareth Southgate was only a “part-time” manager. Nothing more than a layer of Paracetamol to rectify the face of a nation of football that seeks confidence, which is rebuilt since its fall in worldview (Humiliating defeat against Iceland at the Euro Cup) and its recent internal problems. But the temporary coach of England wants to know until when he will hold the bar and if eventually he will plunge his head on the bench of the country’s hopes.

At the start, Southgate only signed for four games and he was so far unbeaten after two successes in three official meetings, the latest most convincing against Scotland (3-0) on Friday. So, he wanted to make the test against Spain. Spain was reworked by Julen Lopetegui with six changes compared to the eleven victorious of Macedonia on Saturday in Granada. Rooney returned to Manchester, Kane finished to recover and as a result, England landed Tuesday evening in a Wembley where the team is unbeaten since last March. During this game, Vardy was preferred to Sturridge, Lingard in place of Rooney and Clyne Rather than Walker on the right side. A beautiful and competitive team.

Spain attacked the game with a three-man defense and controlled the ball. Problem: this England is cynical, this is not really a team yet and lives at the moment only to the individual performances of some. Southgate’s men blow the evening on a logical penalty transformed by the brilliant midfielder of Liverpool, Lallana (1-0, 9th). And after ? Afterwards, not much between Spain struggling and still looking for an organization where Mata and Thiago Alcántara scribble, and an England quickly private of Lallana. The game is rather sad, only David Silva tries to impose his boss suit, and several dirty blows are exchanged. Sterling offered some technical delicacies though, laughed with Carvajal and pushed several times to torture a Íñigo Martínez in suffering.

Spain has recovered to four behind, but is still on his sketches.

Then, the laboratory mode is activated again: Jagielka replaces Cahill, Heaton takes the place of Joe Hart and Lopetegui offers the first international minutes to Iago Aspas and Ander Herrera. No matter, England continues to work, gobbled in confidence and, after a first warning from Walcott on Reina, Jamie Vardy comes off a superb head on an offering from Henderson (2-0, 48th). The shot is beautiful, the striker of Leicester snatches a smile, and Wembley bursts as the keeper of Naples saves Spain on a new cartridge of Walcott. Spain, meanwhile, is struggling to be dangerous, except for a beautiful attempt of Silva diverted by a good reflex of Tom Heaton.

The English mastery is not total, but sufficient in front of such opposition, while two styles are opposed: the projection as opposed as the construction. The last half hour was only a long agony towards a final whistle expected despite some nice English combinations, a good copy given by John Stones after his bad first half against Scotland.

Then, Iago Aspas decided to celebrate his first selection by a nice reduction of the score (2-1, 89th) and Isco beat Heaton at the end of the additional time (2-2, 90th + 6). Terrible to swallow for England, lucky for Spain. The English team made a great performance but the Three Lions ruined their perfect football game in the decisive time (The “Fergie” Time).

Southgate should be able to sign down the proposal that will be made to him by the FA.

How Schalke 04 and Russia are connected

The Russian novel of Schalke 04
The double confrontation between Schalke 04 and the Russian club of Krasnodar is a first. Schalke 04 had never had the opportunity to face a Russian club before. Yet the club’s history with Russia is not so new. Since 2007, the team appears with the Gazprom logo on the chest. Left to grumble supporters and politicians of all stripes when international relations are becoming strained, we are going to show you how Schalke 04 and Russia are connected.

“It’s not really tactful, in the current situation, to accept an invitation to the Kremlin and to be instrumentalised too.”

In 2014, the attack comes first from Peter Tauber, general secretary of Merkel’s party. Indeed, Schalke kind of participated in the “Putin’s propaganda.” The boss of the club, Clemens Toennies, took for his grade. The invitation of Vladimir Putin to Schalke 04 to come for a walk in Moscow during the summer, during full diplomatic crisis over Crimea. The German politicians seemed to find an event yet short for almost eight years: a club in the Bundesliga is funded indirectly by the Russian Government, the majority shareholder of Gazprom.

Russian influence on German football goes wrong behind the scenes. Yet this is not the first time that Russia appears alongside Schalke 04. For ten years, the indirect connections between Moscow and the German team are increasing.
Gazprom landing in Schalke shirt was in 2006. The club then facing serious financial difficulties. With the former chancellor (SDP) Gerhardt Schröder, who acts as go-between in the deal, Clemens Tonnes met Vladimir Putin and Alexei Miller (Gazprom’s boss) to brag about his team. The deal was signed in October, and since Tönnies does not hesitate to consider the Russian president as a close friend. They especially got a discreet fashion in partnership win-win-win.

Schröder and Putin ally on the issue of Nord Stream, a gas pipeline between Russia and Germany through the Baltic Sea. At the same time, Tönnies opened a lucrative market to sell kilos of meat with his business. He did not hide his satisfaction with the implementation in Russia. Business is thriving on his side. Meanwhile, the Russian government has a window and a tool of “soft power” diplomacy, which can be useful at times. Alla Lazareva believes that Gazprom is a “Russia promotion tool in the world that is in a great geopolitical ambition, in the tradition of Russian expansionism of the nineteenth century.”

The Crimea Conflict
Among supporters, the logo that appears on all the blue jerseys is controversial “For us, it’s simple: I do not buy any merchandising item with Gazprom logo on it. And we continue to go to all the home games.” declared group fans.

The annexation of the Crimea, the sanctions envisaged by the EU against Russia and the impact on the sponsorship produced a snowball effect. “Some say we should put politics out of football and sport. It’s impossible. The policy is part of society, sport also. Yet it is the argument of Tönnies when attacked by political parties. “We are sports people, but not international politicians. Politics is not our playground.”

But, Gazprom has no role in the decisions of the club. This is only a financial partnership that allows Schalke to get substantial revenue, which saved the team. They remain in a neutral position concerning sport management.

Therefore, in May 2016, the contract extension until 2022 of the contract is taken as an inevitable event and does not cause much discussion in the Schalke management team. Indeed, there was no other sponsor able to put that much money.

So, even if this is the first time Schalke 04 plays against a Russian football team in an official game, Schalke 04 and Russia are well connected for many years. This is the kind of news that often emerged when you follow the Bundesliga news and highlights.


Creation of an Atlantic League because of the Champions League reform?

If you follow the European football and especially the Champions League news, you probably know already that a few months, after the announcement by UEFA of the new reform of the Champions League for the summer of 2018, an old idea gradually was reborn: creating an Atlantic League. A project understandable in logic, thought since the early 2000s would be a shock in European football.
One certainty: whatever the outcome of this Atlantic League project, football fans are fond of this Atlantic League idea. The boss of the European Club Association, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, like that idea. For him, a Bayern-Juventus has nothing to do in the last sixteen of the Champions League. This confrontation may well have offered one of the finest football games that 2015-2016 season was able to give us, seeing Juventus being beaten and dismissed that early in the competition was hurtful. Yes, Rummenigge loves football His vision of the thing is simple: everyone should remain in his place and, basically, it twists his guts to see twenty-four hours apart, Juve gets back by his Bayern and Atlético avert the PSV after a long and endless double confrontation. The double Golden Ball / Ball ‘Or winner (1980 and 1981) wants flashy and has run the business, then that Bayern-Juventus had its place in the finals in minimum in semifinals. That’s the basic idea.

On August 26, when the soccer Europe had their eye on Monaco to know the fate of local teams Nice or Saint-Etienne, Rummenigge had the opportunity to mow everyone at full speed and block bit system, not forgetting to scribble a little on the work done by Platini in the recent years. Here is the result of thinkers from 2018, the four highest-ranked countries in UEFA competition will pose four representatives in the Champions League, without getting bogged down in unnecessary barriers to large. So far, four gluttons qualifiaient eleven clubs, this will soon be able to align 16. 26 teams will be directly qualified (against 22 today). Elitism, here we are. This is a disguised way to respond to ideas of Superleague and other closed circles. At least that’s what Karl-Heinz thinks.
The alternative life
Since this reform was announced, reactions are chained. The Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) has squeaked by speaking of a “unacceptable” decision and threatened to program games along with those of UEFA competitions. But the body has also recovered a new boss, Aleksander Ceferin, elected on September 14 at a special congress in Athens. A Slovenian lawyer, soon in his 50s, karate black belt. Good to know for a man who particularly supported his candidacy with the help of Scandinavian federations, but also, according to the Norwegian magazine Josimar, his buddy from FIFA, Gianni Infantino. In early September, Josimar detailing an investigation into the deep ties between the two men and the way in which Infantino had worked to push the candidacy of Ceferin. Since the Slovenian spoke and struck hard: “I am independent, trust me.”

And on the reform? “I have not participated in this project, but it is not good for small and medium federations. I have to check what are the pros and cons of this decision. And there are advantages and disadvantages. I will look and take action.”

We must look to the north, far north, and listen Hørsholt Anders, CEO of FC Copenhagen whose early season is perfect now with a status of undefeated leader and a C1 Superligaen campaign started with ambition (second group G behind Leicester and tied with FC Porto, ed.)

“It’s only a draft. A project still far from happening, but it could be set up in the future”

Which project? Anders Hørsholt had this to say “Creating an Atlantic League between the best Scottish clubs, Danish, Dutch, Belgian, Norwegian and Swedish. We talk about big arms, PSV, Feyenoord, Ajax, Anderlecht, Brugge, Celtic, Rangers, FC Copenhagen, Malmö or Rosenborg. Brøndby have also been probed. If we fail to act now, we will see the biggest clubs grow even more, and the situation will become increasingly complicated for clubs like us. So we have to look at an alternative location.”

Logically, if there is a creation of an Atlantic League, registered clubs will not participate in their national championship. The project target is to grow between historical and pieces to also avoid the endless series of steps to reach a Champions League group stage.
“We did not create this situation”
The idea is not new and, according to a field survey conducted by the Guardian, rather well received by the fans despite the inevitability of being forced to get there. Yes, football should not run like that. In February, some reports have also made known the interest of the general manager of Celtic FC, Peter Lawwell: “We must understand that this is not a situation that has been created. But that also means that we will lose money and therefore should be discussed with clubs experiencing a similar situation to ours.”

For now, the Atlantic League is still in the project phase. The format was then conceived by former PSV boss Harry van Raaij, who recently told the Daily Record have was approached by a consortium interested to finance the package, sponsors and even a diffuser. Van Raaij already has the basics, drawn at the time with the former head of the Rangers, Sir David Murray, and had even submitted to UEFA in the summer of 2000.

Their counterpart Ajax, Michael van Praag , thought it was too early and UEFA had cleared everything. But the time has changed, the world of football too. And the Atlantic League may soon no longer be a dream written on a piece of paper.



Arsenal has great chances to finally win the English Premier League title

In this beginning of the English Premier League season, it without a doubt we can say that Arsenal FC scores and results are great. Indeed, they are at the top of the league in company of other top teams like Manchester City, Liverpool FC, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. Except Manchester United, all the big shots are here this season and the English Premier League title should be well disputed in 2016/2017 as opposed at the previous season where Leicester City won the title.

Arsene Wenger said about Arsenal that the team has great chance to win the English Premier League title this season. Wenger also declared that the title will probably be won with between 82 and 86 points this year. Today, Arsenal is in a much more competitive position to fight for the title than the last five or six years while Leicester won last season title with only 81. Arsenal’s excellent start to the season has raised belief among Arsenal fans that the club is ready to win its first title since the season 2003/2004.

The competition will be really tough this year and it’s not only a competition between Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea; this is also a competition between the 4 great football managers that are Arsene Wenger, Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. Ar

Arsene Wenger has been criticised the past few years for not winning titles but his regularity is astonishing. Arsenal is the most consistent team in Europe by reaching the 1/8 finals of the Champions League every year for more than 10 years.

Arsene Wenger just celebrated his 20th anniversary as Arsenal FC coach and his contract expires at the end of the season. This proves his loyalty and longevity in a profession with usually a lot of turnover (Jurgen Klopp is the Liverpool FC manager for a bit more than a year while Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have new coaches.

It looks increasingly likely the Arsenal’s boss will extend his contract because he has the support of the fans and also the support of the shareholder Stan Kroenke.

Winning the English Premier League title will definitely make Arsene Wenger enter more in the Arsenal FC legend. Let’s see if Arsenal wins a new English Premier League title this year.