Author Archives: mirsinho

Alisson Headlines Yachine Trophy Shortlist With Four Premier League Goalkeepers Nominated

​The Premier League dominates the inaugural Yachine Trophy shortlist, with four goalkeepers based in England’s top flight among the ten nominees for the award from France Football.

Liverpool Alisson Becker is joined by Manchester City’s Ederson, Tottenham Hotspur captain Hugo Loris and Chelsea’s Europa League winner Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, Ajax’s Andre Onana, Juventus’ Wojciech Szczesny, Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, Inter’s Samir Handanovic and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre yer Stegen complete the shortlist.


Alisson is perhaps the favourite to win the award after a stellar 2019 which saw him lift the Champions League and Copa America. In addition, the 27-year-old Brazilian earned a hat-trick of Golden Gloves in the Premier League, Champions League and Copa America.

Perhaps most likely to challenge Alisson – who also won UEFA’s Goalkeeper of the Year award – are ter Stegen, who lifted La Liga with Barcelona and Ederson, who has become a key figure in Pep Guardiola’s wonderful Manchester City side.

Notable by their absence are Manchester United’s David de Gea and Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois, who have endured difficult seasons.

Eusebio,Lev Yashin

Named after former the legendary Soviet Union star Lev Yashin – the only goalkeeper ever to have won the Ballon d’Or back in 1963 – the new trophy from France Football gives recognition to the year’s best stopper.

In addition to the Yachine Trophy, France Football also released the shortlist’s for their men and women’s Ballon d’Or awards and Kopa Trophy, for best player under the age of 21

The awards are among the most coveted in football and stand alongside FIFA’s own The Best as the most prestigious of individual honours in the sport.

All of France Football’s awards will be given out in a ceremony in Paris on 2 December.


See here for the full list of Ballon d’Or nominees.

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90min’s Definitive European Player Power Rankings: Week 10

Week 10. Blimey. This is, as they say, the thick of it. The thick of the season. Stuff is happening, all the time, across Europe, and when it’s not, it’s either Thursday (who cares about the Europa League) or a particularly pesky VAR interruption. 

In any case, this has also coincided with what I would call a sort of pivotal moment in politics. That’s right, we’re getting political here at EPPR. But not in that way. Nah, we’ve just teamed up with Armando Iannucci and Jesse Armstrong’s sweary tour de force, ‘The Thick of It’.

F*ckity Enjoy!


15. Radja Nainggolan (New Entry)

Radja Nainggolan

“Yeah, yeah. Andy Murray, Andy Pandy, f*cking Ghandi have a hand-shandy, whatever, just f*ck off out of my life.”

That is essentially what Inter said to Radja Nainggolan this summer. This Saturday’s thundertw*t of a goal was his response. If you haven’t seen it yet, your existence is pitiful and without meaning and I don’t want to know you. So, you know, watch it.


14. Jorginho (New Entry)

Jorginho

“I’d like to nail him to a tree through the head and watch lice slowly crawl over his body, eating off the flesh in a slow and painful death. But that rather bitter anomaly aside, most of the responses to the Warwick report press cuttings were pretty positive.”

And so went Jorginho’s first season in England. People weren’t happy. But the Italian is quietly reversing public opinion while exuding a greater and greater influence at Stamford Bridge. 

He’s certainly not an archetypal Chelsea midfielder, but with more puppeteering performances like the one against Newcastle and he might just be for the years to come. 


13. Jack Grealish (Re-Entry)

Jack Grealish

“I’ve got a to-do list here that’s longer than a f*cking Leonard Cohen song.”

Yes, Jack Grealish has a lot of responsibilities at Aston Villa, but boy does he realish it (lol). Against Brighton, he was everywhere and everything. 

Indeed, if we’re talking most impactful players for their clubs in the Premier League, he can’t be far off the Virgil van Dijk vortex of worship.


12. Luis Muriel (Re-Entry)

Luis Muriel

“All events are regional. Everything that happens in the world has to happen somewhere. Do you see? Even JFK’s assassination was a regional event. But it was also very important. Like this factory visit.”

Oh, you think this is about Luis Muriel going to Atalanta? No, no, this is about Atalanta visiting Lazio, because Atalanta are now definitively a bigger club than Lazio. Trust me. They’re the regional folk, while Muriel and co are traversing Europe, going global.

Anyway, the Colombian got another two goals in a cracking game and the Bergamo outfit are still sat in third place. Nice stuff, Luis. 


11. Arkadiusz Milik (New Entry)

Arkadiusz Milik

“Well it was a bit of a shock for us. In a good way. Like twins or a tax rebate.”

Having not scored since April and started the season with a groin injury that seemed to be still affecting him, Arkadiusz Milik surprised some Napoli fans with a return to scoring ways against Hellas Verona. Twin-scoring ways, to be precise. 

That 2-0 defeat kept Napoli in fourth place, and left their visitors straggling a point behind AC Milan. AC Milan!!! Hellis Verona, more like.


10. Raheem Sterling (Re-Entry)

Raheem Sterling

“Tomorrow, from broadsheets to wank rags, I want pages one, two and three to be a profile of Tom looking like a f*cking political colossus. Y’know: Tom meeting the Pope, Tom in an NHS hospital chatting to little, baldie kiddies. I want pages four and five to be a timeline of British politics with me at the centre looking f*cking indispensable and f*cking benign.”

After some bad press following the Wolves defeat and the, err, Bernardo Silva fiasco, Pep Guardiola wanted a no-nonsense three points against Crystal Palace. And he got it, nonsense and all. 

One of the better parts of this arty nonsense came from Raheem Sterling, with an assist for the ages. Luckily, a certain David Silva was on hand to salvage it with a no-nonsense wallop of a finish. 


9. Marcus Rashford (Up 5)

Marcus Rashford,Virgil Van Dijk

“I’m sensing a change in management styles. From touchy-feely to smashy-testes.”

No player represented Manchester United’s step up in performance against Liverpool like Marcus Rashford. The recently much-maligned marksman was at his effervescent best, besting Virgil van Dijk on more than one occasion, and providing United with the goal no one thought they could muster. 

And yet, even though the above quote might apply to the Red Devils, it remains the case that the below one could resurface at any time:

“Sacked after twelve months, looks like you’ve f*cked up. Sacked after a week, looks like he’s f*cked up.”


8. Lionel Messi (Re-Entry)

Lionel Messi

“Do you know 90% of household dust is made of dead human skin? That’s what you are to me.”

Yes, after a period of rest and recuperation, Lionel Messi is back. And he’s back on his mere mortal-humiliating bullsh*t. Now, the Argentine’s performance against Eibar was not a vintage one, but it still showed his complete and utter disdain for all those in his way. 

They’re just dust. Dead human skin. And he’s the hoover. 


7. Marco Reus (Re-Entry)

Marco Reus

“I think we should use the ‘carrot and stick’ approach. You take a carrot, stick it up his f*ckin arse, followed by the stick, followed by an even bigger, rougher carrot.”

Look, after three successive draws, Borussia Dortmund had to change their approach. Especially for a game as big as the one against league leaders Borussia Monchengladbach. 

And so they did, to great effect. They used Gladbach as the carrot and told Marco Reus to eat it. And he did. 

Oh, and the carrot from the quote is a different carrot. Just to be clear.


6. Tomas Koubek (New Entry)

Tomas Koubek

“From now on, it’s a proper fight. It’s a pub fight, Motherwell rules. And Tom is gonna get a pint glass in his f*ckin’ eye, and a pool cue up his arse, and another pool cue in his other f*ckin’ eye!”

Yeah, hardman Tomas Koubek brought the fight to Bayern Munich alright, stopping the Bavarians from getting a much-needed victory with a series of staggering saves.


5. David Silva (New Entry)

David Silva

“Look, people really like it when you go just a bit early! You know; steely jawed, faraway look in your eyes! Before you get to the point when they’re sitting round in the pub saying ‘Oh, that f*cker’s got to go!’ you surprise them! ‘Blimey, he’s gone! I didn’t expect that! Resigned? You don’t see that much anymore! Old school! Respect! I rather liked the guy! He was hounded out by the f*cking press!’ How about that, eh? What a way to go!”

Certain people have been questioning David Silva’s presence at Manchester City this season. Certain people were very, very wrong. 


4. Romelu Lukaku (Up 3)

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-SASSUOLO-INTER

“Don’t you ever, EVER call me a bully…. I’m so much worse than that.”

Don’t you ever, EVER call Romelu Lukaku a flat-track bully. He’s so much more than that. And he’s proving that with each passing game under Antonio Conte at Inter. 

Big Rom is on a Big Mission. 


3. Cristiano Ronaldo (-)

Cristiano Ronaldo

“This is a f*cking joke. Chancellor? He goes into debt every time he passes a sweet shop!”

Despite scoring his 701st career goal (like a kid in a sweet shop), Cristiano Ronaldo stays third. Again, he wasn’t happy. 


2. Robert Lewandowski (Down 1)

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-AUGSBURG-BAYERN MUNICH

“F*ckity bye!”

Another week, another goal, NOT ANOTHER TOP SPOT FOR ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI. 

I hope our relationship can stay strong through this testing time, Your Royal Highness the Best Goalscorer in Europe.


1. Antoine Griezmann (Re-Entry)

Antoine Griezmann,Arthur,Frenkie De Jong,Luis Suarez

“I’m cooking now! I’m f*cking Delia Smith! I’m cracking eggs! I’m pouring in baking powder! I’m using f*cking vanilla extract! It’s fantastic!”

In what could be described as a Norwich yellow, Antoine Griezmann channelled his inner Delia Smith to cook up a stormer at Eibar.

Having heard the disparaging ‘let’s be ‘avin ya’ calls, he played some of the best fursberl of his life, performing a vital role in all three goals, and showing his critics – a certain Leo Messi among them – that he can play the Barça way, that he can be a useful muse to both Messi and Suarez, whilst maintaining a certain goalscoring standard himself.

Good on ya, Grizi. 


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Ruslan Malinovskiy: 5 Things to Know About the Chelsea Target

You would have been forgiven for not having heard of Ruslan Malinovskiy until this morning.

The Ukrainian’s recent rise has been so rapid that up until last season he was relatively unknown outside of Belgium where he played his club football for Genk.


But after netting an unprecedented 16 goals for Belgian champions during the title winning campaign in 2018/19 he was snapped up by Atlanta in a £12.3m deal, where his form has been so impressive that – according to The Express – Chelsea have sent Claude Makelélé to scout him.

Chelsea are currently under a two-window transfer ban that will end in the summer, but here’s five things you need to know about the man who could be top of Frank Lampard’s shopping list come July.


Passing Ability

Tolgay Arslan,Ruslan Malinovskiy

Since making his switch to Atlanta over the summer, Malinovskiy’s sheer quality on the ball has begun to surface. In the Champions League this season he boasts a passing accuracy of 86.4%, and in Serie A he has begun to pick out passes that the average play simply wouldn’t see.

Chelsea have lacked a central midfielder who can unlock defences since Cesc Fabrégas left the club last season.

When combined with their pacy front line, Malinovskiy could be the perfect man for the job.


Experience

Makoto Hasebe,Ruslan Malinovskiy

One of the most exciting things about Chelsea this season has been the emergence of some the young talent they have in their ranks. Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham’s impressive form has seen them all earn international call ups, and Callum Hudson-Odoi is surely not far off.

Despite all this though they have tended to fade in games and have often dropped points from winning positions.

At 26 years-old, with 26 Ukraine caps and Champions League football under his belt, Malinovskiy could bring experience to a side that has struggled to manage games this season.


Stature

UEFA Europa League"KAA Gent v KRC Genk"

It is often said of players that move from Serie A to the Premier League, that they struggle to cope with the frenetic pace of English football.

Chelsea fans will point to how former ​Napoli midfielder Jorginho struggled for much of last season as evidence of this.

But, standing at just shy of 6ft tall, with a strong build, Malinovskiy, is unlikely to be phased by the intense pressure that Premier League sides will inevitably put on him.


Versatility

Ruslan Malinovskiy,Necip Uysal

In the age of attacking or defensive midfielders, it is rare to find a complete central midfielder who can do both.

Capable of operating as a number six, a number eight, or a number 10, Malinovskiy is the type of midfielder who pops up all over the place, winning 5.6 duels per game on average in Serie A this season, while also playing 1.9 key passes per 90.

With N’Golo Kanté injured this season, Chelsea’s midfield has looked passive in some games. Malinovskiy could inject the kind of all action style that Frank Lampard wants in the middle of the park.


Goalscoring

FBL-EUR-C3-CHARLEROI-LUHANSK

Malinovskiy’s goalscoring exploits were crucial as Genk won their first Belgian First Division title since 2011.

The Ukranian netted 16 times in all competitions last year and already has one under his belt at Atlanta, despite having only started 3 games this season.

Although Mason Mount has injected goals into the Chelsea midfield this season, if the England international were to pick up an injury the Blues would have to turn to Ross Barkley – who has just three goals in his entire Stamford Bridge career – for an attacking threat from midfield. Malinovskiy would surely be an upgrade.

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Gary Cahill Reveals ‘Freak Season’ Under Maurizio Sarri Drove Him to Chelsea Exit

​Gary Cahill has revealed that he took his training regime into his own hands, to prevent a ‘freak season’ under Maurizio Sarri scuppering a move away from Chelsea.

The centre half’s farewell season at Stamford Bridge resulted in just two Premier League appearances and six in other competitions, even though he was still club captain.

Gary Cahill

Yet Cahill was determined to remain sharp enough to present an attractive proposition to other top-flight clubs, revealing in an interview with the ​Sunday Times: “I was in a bit of a no man’s land. I spoke to the manager and told him I’ll be doing a lot more work and if I play, I will tail that off.

Selfishly, I needed to be at a level where I could go [leave ​Chelsea]. I can’t afford to have two or three months out of the game and then expect to pick it up in the Premier League.”

For ​Cahill, this meant creating his own training schedule that matched the intensity of competitive action as closely as possible. Training with the first team was supplemented with extra fitness work on both the pitch and in the gym.

Speaking of last season, he refers to “knowing I have to work harder than I was doing in the training sessions” which meant he “needed to keep the sharp stuff. It’s easy to do an 8km run at one pace but, as a footballer, that’s not what we need in games, you need to load your legs up to reach crosses.”

Maurizio Sarri

The hard yards paid off and he secured a transfer to ​Crystal Palace in the summer – reuniting him with his former England manager Roy Hodgson – and Cahill is happy to be back playing regular Premier League action.

He added: “My aim was always to get back playing regularly. Last year was a freak season. For the majority of my career I’ve played football week in week out.”

It’s probably my mental strength and that’s something I’m proud of… I just saw it as a blip and for me to get back on track and playing at the level I should be, I needed to be topped up. 

“I knew I would get back playing and I knew I would be at the top level, the Premier League.”

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Christian Pulisic Confident of Ending Scoring Drought Following Cameo in Newcastle Win

​Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic has revealed that he is confident he will rediscover his scoring touch as he battles to make more of an impact on the first team.

The American is yet to find the back of the net in his seven appearances for Chelsea, struggling for minutes under Frank Lampard. Pulisic has started just five of the Blues’ 13 games, but he has still managed to rack up four assists.

Christian Pulisic

He came off the bench during Saturday’s 1-0 win over ​Newcastle and played a vital role in creating the decisive goal. Speaking to ​ESPN after the game, Pulisic was quick to insist that his situation at ​Chelsea looks to be improving.

He said: “It was a really good game, happy for the team, had a strong performance, they defended really well, and I was happy to make an impact.

“[Lampard] told me to do exactly what I’m doing now, continue to train hard, when I get my opportunity I have to take it.”


Pulisic came close to earning another assist after his pass found Tammy Abraham in front of an open goal. The Englishman’s effort looked to be heading into the net, only for DeAndre Yedlin to pull off a sublime clearance to send the ball wide.

“I was going to shoot last-second, but I saw Tammy wide open and then DeAndre made an unbelievable block, so maybe I should have shot it. I just don’t have that scoring touch but I know it will come back,” Pulisic admitted.

Regardless of the miss, it was an impressive showing from the 21-year-old, who was unlucky not to score himself minutes earlier.

Christian Pulisic

After the game, Lampard was happy to give credit to Pulisic for his performance, challenging him to continue improving.

The boss said: “I am really pleased for him. He is a hot topic because of his national team. Everyone has got carried away with the short term but in the long term there is a lot more to come. I am delighted for him. He will feel good about that and he should do.”


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