There’s an immediate hot take available here that I just can’t commit myself to: the departure of Neymar from Barcelona has had an uplifting effect on 33-year-old midfielder Andres Iniesta, and El Ilusionista is about to enjoy the consummate season because of a mixture of peak footballing intelligence and a proverbial unchaining on the left-hand side of Barca’s midfield.
Frank de Boer was let go by Crystal Palace this weekend after losing 1-0 to Burnley. It was just his fourth league match in charge, and his fifth overall. Granted, he lost all four of those league matches, only winning a Carabao Cup match against Ipswich Town. In memory of de Boer's time at Palace, we ranked his five matches in charge from worst to best. And no they weren't just all the worst.
The story of Sunday night’s 1-1 draw between Seattle and Los Angeles wasn’t Lamar Neagle’s 85th minute equalizer for the Sounders, nor was it Gyasi Zardes actually doing a goal for the Galaxy. It was provided by FS1 broadcaster Alexi Lalas after the match had concluded. Lalas has some opinions on the USMNT, and he brought them. He brought them hard.
Dejan Lovren is like a haunted doll. No matter how hard you try to get rid of him, he always finds a way to stay put. During Liverpool's last two summers, a main goal has been to replace Lovren in the starting lineup. Lovren is still in the starting lineup. Next summer they will try to replace him again, but will fail somehow. Dejan Lovren will keep his job.
With only a handful of matches remaining in World Cup qualifying, it’s become clear which nations are in serious danger of missing out on Russia next summer. While all will become clear in October, here are 25 global superstars who, if World Cup qualifying ended today, would either fail to appear at the tournament or would need to navigate a playoff to qualify.
25 Stars In Serious Danger Of Missing The World Cup
Real Madrid's leading scorer so far this season is 21-year-old Spain international Marco Asensio, who has four goals in all competitions.
Asensio is the next great long-range shooter, having torn up Barcelona and Valencia for sagging off him. He's clearly an incredible talent and will be one of the world's best attackimg midfielders sooner rather than later, if he isn't that already.
This past Saturday, Spain hosted Italy in a World Cup qualifier at the Bernabeu in Madrid. Both sides have won the competition in the post-millennial age and can justifiably feel bitter about being drawn in the same group. Italy, who have a well-established tradition of being utterly awful in the qualifying rounds of international tournaments yet miraculously not losing, are now at risk of finishing second in the group.
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.
Warning: Game of Thrones spoilers below (and Jean Michael Seri transfer spoilers if you're somehow DVRing that)
Transfer season is nearing its grand finale and storylines are all over the place and no one knows what will happen but everyone is excited. Similarly, America's favorite fantasy dragon incest jamboree has reached the conclusion of its penultimate season, and storylines are just as all over the place as the summer transfer window. In fact, I have noticed some striking similarities between the two.