I have a theory as to one reason (of many) the England National Team tends to underperform in major tournaments: the players all play in the same league. Every England international plays in the Premier League. One might argue this breeds familiarity and is therefore good for the national team, but I think it leads to a lack of stylistic variety in the team and makes the payer pool stagnant. It's basically like inbreeding, is what I'm saying.
Arsenal fans gave the mercurial Mesut Ozil a standing ovation as he was subbed off with the Gunners holding a 2-0 lead over archrival Tottenham they would not relinquish in the North London Derby on Saturday at Emirates Stadium. It was the type of adoration bestowed upon a man of the match who had given everything to defeat a hated foe.
And yet it was a performance that only made Arsenal fans grow more frustrated with Ozil and the team they love.
The footballing gods are fickle. One month ago, a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace sent Newcastle United to the lofty heights of sixth in the Premier League table, in front of both Arsenal and Liverpool. Now, after being held scoreless for 180 minutes in defeats to Burnley and Bournemouth and falling to 11th, the Toon travel to Old Trafford to play a Manchester United side welcoming back both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba to the side.
Arsenal fans are a sensitive lot. They want to think their club is the best in the world, even though it hasn’t been the best in England in well over a decade. They want to think their club plays the prettiest football in the league, even though that torch has long-since been passed to Manchester City. They want to think their club reigns supreme in North London, but as of last season that is no longer the case.
And so it’s settled. Last night, Peru claimed the final spot in the 32-team field for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, bringing us to the final event before the June 14 kick off at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow: the draw to determine the eight groups of four for the finals.
Just when you thought Chicharito would have more chances to play, David Moyes is appointed West Ham manager.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean bad news at first glance (even though many West Ham fans are reportedly pissed that Moyes was named boss).
However, if you take a look at recent history, you’ll see Moyes’ arrival to the London club could potentially spell a great deal of frustration for Javier Hernández.
Germany and England don’t always see eye to eye on the football pitch after decades of contentious football matches. But even with all their history, that Ruben Loftus-Cheek double nutmeg was just nasty.
Here at The18, we typically steer clear of transfer rumor nonsense fueled by nothing more than the strange fancies of dubious websites because we’re not hacks. That’s why our award-winning staff is so often likened to German dachshunds with regards to the transfer market — we sniff out the nonsense and we piss on it.
Danel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling played a game in which Sterling was made to guess which of Sturridge's traits was rated higher in FIFA 2018: pace, shooting or dribbling. Sterling narrowed it down to either pace or shooting, before finally guessing pace.
Reader, he was wrong. And then he was even more wrong than he thought he was.
Sturridge finding out that his FIFA pace is at 76 is hilarious pic.twitter.com/UoVPI6LjIO
Son Heung-min scored Tottenham’s only goal in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday. More importantly, it was his 20th league goal, making him the highest scoring Asian in English Premier League history. Son, a 25-year-old South Korean, passed former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung, who scored 19 goals from 2005-2012.