FootballOpinion

A Noble Endeavour

A new article I’ve written has been published on Squawka today.

With players away from their clubs for the international break, I’ve looked at an English player who never seems to be even mentioned as a possible international – West Ham’s Mark Noble.

Mark Noble, preparing to launch a cross into a penalty area populated mainly by sentient socks. Possibly.
Mark Noble, preparing to launch a cross into a penalty area populated mainly by sentient socks. Possibly.

Writing for Squawka, I’ve looked at Noble’s strengths: creating chances for team-mates; keeping play ticking over by consistently maintaining possession; his talents as a defender and his all-round consistency.

If reading about the all-round consistency of a footballer who plays for a team you probably don’t support doesn’t sound like a good time, then I’m very sorry, and I’ll try and entertain you more next time.

If it does sound like the kind of thing that would interest you, then

Click here to read Four Reasons Why Mark Noble Should Be Considered For the England Squad

FootballOpinion

Squawka: Adam Le Fondre, Super-Sub

This one’s from a few weeks ago, that I forgot to link.

However, it’s a look back to the last Premier League season, so nothing’s out of date. I looked at Reading striker Adam Le Fondre, looking at when he’s scored his goals, whether he was better deployed from the bench or when starting – basically an overall look at his season.

Adam Le Fondre, earlier in his career. Between matches, of course.
Adam Le Fondre, earlier in his career. Between matches, I think.

With Le Fondre being a major part of Reading’s campaign to return to the top flight, as well as being linked with moves to Leeds, Hull and Leicester, he should be a key player for someone next season.

Click here to read Adam Le Fondre: Scouting Report

FootballOpinion

Squawka: Lukas Podolski & Nani’s 12-13 Seasons

Over at Squawka, I’ve just written two articles, both of which went up on Thursday.

With Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski a year into his career at the Emirates, a year in which he’s scored a pretty respectable 11 goals, bids have come in, from Borrussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.

I took a statistical look at Podolski’s season, his strengths and weaknesses, as well as his style.

Click here to read Podolski Rubbishes Transfer Speculation But Should Arsenal Consider A Bid?

The Two Subjects, Coming Together
The Two Subjects I Wrote About, Coming Together

Also, with Manchester United’s Nani being linked with bids from Monaco and Galatasary, I took a look at how he’s performed this past season. I was surprised how often he was available but not selected in the big matches, and how long he’d been out injured.

Click here to read Should Moyes Consider Bid For Perennially Promising Manchester United Winger?

FootballOpinion

Harry’s No Houdini

In October, with QPR rock bottom of the Premier League, Mark Hughes was replaced as manager by Harry Redknapp.

Despite some big name signings in the summer who’d be underperforming under Hughes (Jose Bosingwa, Esteban Granero) existing talent (Adel Taarabt, Djibril Cisse) and January signings of Redknapp’s (Chris Samba, Loic Remy), QPR went down. Redknapp is well known as a social guy with friends in the media, so the common angle has been that Redknapp couldn’t do enough to save them.

Maybe SeagullMan could have saved QPR?
Maybe SeagullMan could have saved QPR?

But how true is this? Writing for Squawka, I’ve taken a statistical look at different parts to QPR’s style of play, looking at how they’ve performed under both men.

Click here to read Redknapp’s Lack of Impact at QPR

FootballOpinion

Squawka: Vincent Kompany’s Season

New on Squawka today, I’ve taken a look at Manchester City’s captain, Vincent Kompany. Absolutely dominant last year as City inched ahead of Manchester United for the Premier League title, he’s looked a little disappointing to me this season.

Not bad in any way, just disappointing, compared to last year.

I’ve broken down the various aspects of his game, this year and last, looking for differences and similarities.

Vincent Kompany 2012 champion
Vincent Kompany, 2012 champion

Click here to read Is Vincent Kompany A Player in Decline?

FootballOpinion

Footballers Abroad: Like Living in a Foreign Country

New today on Squawka, I’ve taken a statisitical look at three English players based abroad in major European leagues. That’s David Beckham, Joey Barton, and Michael Mancienne.

David Beckham, pictured moments after a teammate told him his shirt was edible.
David Beckham, pictured moments after a teammate told him his shirt was edible.

Click here to read Englishmen Abroad.

FootballOpinion

Squawka – Young Player of the Year

On Friday, nominations for the PFA Player of the Year award, and PFA Young Player of the Year award were announced – the winners will be announced at an event on April 29th.

Writing for Squawka in an article published yesterday, I’ve looked at what the Squawka Performance Scores have to say on the Premier League’s top young players, and looked deeper at Squawka’s statistical breakdowns, to see what else the stats have to say about the quality and style of the top 5 players.

Eden Hazard taking on Norwich defenders, while storing nuts in his cheeks.
Eden Hazard taking on Norwich defenders, while storing nuts in his cheeks.

The Squawka Top 5 young players has some of the same players the PFA members have nominated, but some that have been overlooked – this includes one tidy but not eye-catching player I like, who wasn’t nominated. More importantly, there’s no place for Danny Welbeck in the top 5, which I’d argue makes my/Squawka’s list more legitimate than the PFA’s.

Click here to read Squawka’s YPOTY Shortlist