August was not a kind month to two of the world’s biggest clubs, Barcelona and Arsenal. There were shock departures, shock non-departures, cringe-worthy losses and unimpressive victories.
Barcelona and Arsenal went their separate ways after the 2005 Champions League final: Barcelona won and has been winning ever since, while Arsenal hasn’t sniffed a league title (let alone a Champions League semifinal) since. But the clubs are still two of the richest, most popular teams, each ranking in the top six in attendance for European clubs.
Wayne Rooney was charged with drunk driving early Friday morning. Police stopped England and Manchester United’s all-time leading scorer around 2 a.m. in Wilmslow, Cheshire, south of Manchester about six miles from his home. Rooney was released on bail and will appear in court on Sept. 18.
August was a kind month for Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba. United currently sit atop the Premier League table after trouncing West Ham, Swansea and Leicester by a combined scoreline of 10-0, with Pogba scoring two goals and registering an assist in three dominating individual displays.
He was duly awarded the club’s Player of the Month award, and with Nemanja Matic now anchoring the midfield alongside him, the Frenchman used August as a showcase of things to come.
What a moment this was: Philippe Coutinho, plagued by a back injury that, according to Brazil national team doctor Michael Simoni, “was something emotional” and simply required “a pep talk” to resolve, turned out for Brazil after missing Liverpool’s opening five competitive fixtures and scored a goal 16 minutes after coming on! Warrior.
Since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in June 2003, the London club has been known as one of the more extravagant spenders in the transfer market. But since shelling out $70 million to Liverpool for Fernando Torres in January 2011, the Blues have been fairly conservative in the transfer market in stark contrast to the rest of England.
This isn’t to say the Blues have stopped spending — in fact they’re spending as much as they ever have — but in a market where everyone else is paying massive sums for every player, Chelsea’s transfer business has stayed relatively the same.
No matter where Ravel Morrison goes or what he does with his career, there’ll always follow a quote from former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson regarding his prodigious talents as a teenager: “Sadly, there are examples of players who have similar backgrounds to [Ryan] Giggs or Cristiano Ronaldo, who, despite enormous talent, just aren’t emotionally or mentally strong enough to overcome the hurts of their childhood and their inner demons.
Watford’s Miguel Britos Decides He Doesn’t Like the Look of Anthony Knockaert’s Legs, Commits Horror Tackle
Watford were forced to play most of their tie against Brighton this Saturday with 10-men. The Hornets went down a player after this nasty two-footed tackle by defender Miguel Britos in the 24th minute.
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) August 26, 2017
With Liverpool’s 6-3 aggregate pasting of Hoffenheim on Wednesday, the English Premier League put five clubs in the Champions League for the first time. That’s five chances for English fans to cry over their clubs failing to come through in the continental competition.
Chelsea won the Champions League in 2012 but since then English clubs have barely sniffed the final. In 2015, no EPL team even made it past the Round of 16. The days of 2008 — when the EPL had three of the four semifinalists, including both teams in the final — are barely visible in the rearview mirror.