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.
With three months still remaining in Europe’s major leagues, four of the five most-watched competitions are pretty much already decided. In Germany, Bayern Munich have ostensibly been crowned champions with an 18-point lead over their nearest rivals. In England and France, it would be shocking to see Manchester City and PSG throw away their respective 13-point and 11-point advantages. Spain is tighter, but Barcelona comfortably sit nine points clear of Atletico Madrid.
Clubs have DNA. Not in the chemical sense but more in terms of the enduring cultural traits which are endemic to every single iteration of the team they put out onto the field.
Manchester United and their propensity for scoring late, important goals.
Barcelona and their Cruyffian pass pass pass.
Tottenham Hotspur and their glorious failure.
These are values which develop and manifest in a number of different ways. But over the course of many generations, fans will be able to witness these teams reverting to the values built into the very fabric of the club.
Every footballer music video is bad. This makes sense. Footballers are not musicians, nor are they dancers. But still, the footballer music videos could be better. There is room for improvement.
We think part of this is down to which footballers are making music videos and which footballers are not. No one cares what Jese has to say, no offense to Jese. However, these four footballers (well, one is a coach) would make excellent music videos, we think.
Geoff Cameron doesn’t hold back. Whether on or off the pitch, he’s not afraid to get stuck in. He’s not shy about supporting unpopular Trump policies or calling out a former USMNT coach. In a recent interview, he straight up said the U.S. would have qualified for the World Cup had Jurgen Klinsmann remained as coach, but the Geoff Cameron Bruce Arena comments stood out the most.
No event defines an athlete’s career quite like the World Cup. It’s why people still look at Lionel Messi like he’s got something to prove (he doesn’t) and why the name Chris Wondolowski still brings a tear to the eye of many Americans. The 2014 World Cup made Mario Gotze an international icon, turned James Rodriguez into the hero of Colombians everywhere and earned DeAndre Yedlin a Spurs contract.
There's something tragic about each of Mexico's six-straight World Cup Round of 16 eliminations — being unable to reach the quarterfinals has become a haunting nightmare for El Tri. However, it doesn't detract from the country's long and rich history of playing in the world's greatest competition.
In fact, Mexico is one of the national teams with the most World Cup appearances. El Tri have been present at 15 World Cups, only trailing Argentina (16), Italy and Germany (17), and Brazil (20).
All-Star gaaaames. There’s nothing more exciting than watching the NBA’s West beat the East 192 to 182 while the 6-10 Anthony Davis scores 52 points off 39 shots, and there’s nothing more sporting than watching Canadian journeyman Will Johnson crunch Bastian Schweinsteiger on the ankle after the German graciously appears following a grueling summer spent winning the World Cup.
The UEFA Nations League is objectively a cool idea — turn meaningless friendlies into interesting competitions, replace boring lopsided matches with enticingly even matchups, create another tournament for players and fans to enjoy. But Wednesday’s draw didn’t exactly get the pulses racing for next fall’s Nations League schedule outside of a handful of UEFA’s 55 countries.
League A, Group 1 is awesome: Germany, France and the Netherlands. Group A4 is pretty good too: Spain, England and Croatia. But the other 14 groups fail to really move the needle.