How do you know if a football manager is actually good at their job?

[ad_1] An important thing to remember about Andre Villas-Boas is that he had ridiculously good hair. You don’t spend a record-shattering €15 million (£12.9; $16.3m) fee to sign a rookie manager away from Porto unless you’re pretty sure you know what you’re getting, and one thing Chelsea knew for certain, back in the heady days … Read more

Football’s best up-and-coming managers: Thiago Motta, a fascinating tactician

[ad_1] This is the first article in a six-part series looking at some of European football’s most innovative up-and-coming managers. Thiago Motta knows a thing or two about success. When your CV includes two La Liga titles, one Serie A title, five Ligue 1 titles and two Champions League winners medals, you tend to command … Read more

Playing out from the back: Why teams do it and is it worth the risk?

[ad_1] Picture the scene: a team has been awarded a goal kick. The goalkeeper throws the ball to one of two central defenders standing nearby in the six-yard box. One of them puts it down to restart and plays it laterally to the ‘keeper, who receives the pass and rests their studs on the ball … Read more

Bellingham’s non-goal shows us football’s full-time law needs to change

[ad_1] It is the final seconds of the NBA Finals. The clock hits 0.0 in a one-point game, but play continues for a few seconds because the Golden State Warriors are driving towards the rim. The fight at Madison Square Garden is going the distance. The final bell goes in the 12th round, but the … Read more

Cristiano Ronaldo’s fragile ego is rather sad for someone who has achieved so much

[ad_1] A clip did the rounds on social media after the Carabao Cup final last weekend. We won’t share it here because the dum-dums responsible don’t need any more attention than they have already received, but it essentially involved some supposed Liverpool fans near the steps up to the Wembley Royal Box filming the defeated … Read more

Robert Lewandowski was Barcelona’s big post-Messi gamble. It hasn’t entirely paid off

[ad_1] “Everything Robert won at Bayern Munich, the goals he scored, it was all with the aim of ending up where he is now: playing for Barcelona.” Robert Lewandowski’s career has been full of targets, but two summers ago he fulfilled what is fair to describe as his ultimate ambition. The quote above comes from … Read more

Sir Jim Ratcliffe on Man United, Old Trafford, Sheikh Jassim and Mason Greenwood: Full transcript

[ad_1] On Tuesday evening, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS completed their purchase of a minority stake in Manchester United, as the British billionaire acquired a 27.7 per cent stake in the Premier League club in a deal worth over $1.3bn. On Wednesday, Ratcliffe spoke to the written media for the first time about his decision … Read more

Mbappe is leaving PSG: Thank god that’s finally over

[ad_1] Ice ages haven’t lasted as long as this. Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid… it has been a thing for about a decade at least. The Athletic was not even in existence when the pair began courting each other. Twitter was still fun (and called Twitter), Taylor Swift hadn’t heard of American football and the … Read more