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The Premier League is the most successful domestic football league on the planet. Broadcast to hundreds of millions of viewers dotted around almost every country on earth, it not only attracts massive crowds at home but also continues to appeal to a growing global TV market. In December 2023, it was announced that the Premier League had signed a new £6.7 billion deal with Sky Sports for the broadcast rights to the league, with the new...
Given that association football — otherwise known as soccer — is the world's most popular sport, it's no surprise that the beautiful game is the subject of near-constant debate from global fans of the game. And it's not just teams, managers, and players whose performances and skills get dissected by the masses, it's also the specific tactical roles they are supposed to be occupying on the soccer field. Football divides people...
At the start of the 2023/24 season, Bayer Leverkusen were an exciting prospect, strengthened by promising new signings and boasting one of Europe's most exciting young coaches. However, no one expected them to take the Bundesliga by storm in the way that they have. Throughout their history, the club have been viewed by many as perennial under-achievers, with their lack of trophies — to date, they have never won the Bundesliga title...
The role of the attacking midfielder in football is a fascinating one. When it comes to creating chances, no player on the pitch is relied upon more than an attacking midfielder, and as a result this soccer position has gained an almost legendary status amongst many fans of the game. Many of the greatest players of all time have plied their trade in attacking midfield. In this article, we'll be taking you through some of the very best....
Refereeing in the Premier League comes with a huge amount of responsibility. Every game in England's top division is placed under a microscope and given tons of press coverage, particularly when the league's biggest clubs face up against each other. And since the introduction of Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) into the league, the level of pressure on referees has been ramped up even further. In recent months, experienced pundits such as...
Being appointed as the referee for the World Cup final is a huge achievement. For most officials who find themselves in this position, they'll look back on the game as the pinnacle of their career, a testament to the fact that they got to the top of their profession, just like the illustrious athletes that surround them (and typically grab all the headlines). Getting the call up doesn't just show that they've officiated well throughout the...
The best modern-day managers are known for their innovation. Even when a soccer formation looks fairly simple when written down on paper, top-level coaches will regularly invert certain positions and tweak things tactically to outwit the opposition and push their players to the next level. This kind of innovative, forward-thinking positional play can be developed from a number of different starting points. However, whatever approach a...
The standard of information and knowledge surrounding sports science, fitness and nutrition in soccer has grown exponentially in recent years. Every professional club now has a dedicated team of experts whose job it is to ensure that each player steps onto the soccer field in tip-top physical condition, ready to compete at the highest level. A variety of different factors play into this, from strength and conditioning work done in the gym,...
Surprise packages and amazing underdog stories are a huge part of what makes football great. When Leicester City romped their way to the Premier League title in 2016/17, everyone in England was stunned, not least the Foxes' diehard supporters. A few years later on the other side of the channel, Lille shocked everyone by storming past heavy favourites PSG to win the 2020/21 Ligue 1 title. This season, La Liga has been flipped on its head by...
After developing a strong interest in analysis while studying Sports Coaching at Leeds Beckett University, data analyst and scout Liam Henshaw spent several years building up his skills and developing a portfolio while working as a football trader and supervisor in the gambling industry. Freelance employment at different professional clubs and agencies ultimately led him to his current cole as a Data Analyst and Scout in the recruitment team...
Eventually, all soccer players must come to the end of their playing careers. Some pros will reach this moment with regret and sadness, worried about how they will replace this defining feature of their lives, which for former Academy prospects will have shaped everything they do since they were a young child. On the other hand, some players may reach the end of their career feeling more than ready to take a step away from the beautiful...
In various countries across the globe, people have been playing different forms of football for centuries. However, it wasn't until the Victorian age that the formalised sport of association football was created by the inaugural English Football Association. In the early days of the sport, friendlies were the most common way for people to enjoy soccer; however, it wasn't long before demand for some kind of organised competition began to grow,...